Fall 2012 London Fashion Week: Jonathan Saunders

– By Leena Sanzgiri – 

In recent seasons, London Fashion Week has been a pioneering forum for defining how color and print will trend. There are a few designers who tend to lead the “palette pack”, and Jonathan Saunders may very well be their master. Saunders is nothing if not skilled at working color across print, all the while surprising us with his choices season by season.

Perhaps the most unexpected aspect of Saunders’ Fall 2012 collection was its relatively muted hues. With neons and color blocking dominating several of the latest seasons of fashion, it seemed logical that Saunders would produce nothing but brights. The designer chose instead to focus on browns, maroons, lilac, and forest green to open the show, and punched up the collection’s close by transitioning into his more traditional go-to tricks of using reds, acid blue, and neon green. Saunders also made the intelligent move of continuing his Pre-Fall 2012 foray into designing a collection depicting his muse as she dresses across several occasions (as opposed to principally creating dresses, as he has in seasons past). For this fall, Saunders showcased a varied, modern interpretation of a societal woman as she moves everywhere from cocktail hour to the tennis court—even incorporating visors into sportier looks. The true star here was texture. Silk jacquard blazers were paired with well-cut tweeds, coats were embossed with a diamond geometric pattern that   reappeared stitched into knit skirts, and chiffon blouses and dresses were embroidered with orange and green flowers.

Where Saunders may have faltered is in at times miscalculating the age of his lady. While the suiting that opened the show was a good bridge to the sophisticated dresses and tennis-and-golf-inspired looks that would follow, there was a series of pleated, checked smocks worn with knee-high boots that felt too young for a woman of such developed taste. Even so, Saunders triumphed in once again innovating a new set of color combinations we couldn’t have imagined we’d pair together—masterful indeed.

Leena Sanzgiri is a Manhattan-based management consultant from Dubai, where she grew up loving fashion, art, music, and theater. She strives to balance writing, traveling, cooking, painting, socializing, and hunting for vintage finds with watching abnormal amounts of reality television. Stay tuned for her forthcoming personal blog and for more posts on OliviaPalermo.com, or follow her on Twitter: @leenasanzgiri
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