Posted by Bethan Holt, Fashion Junior at Large

The first time I met Justin Thornton of Preen was almost a year ago at the presentation of their SS12 collection during LFW. Then, the references I heard were "Virginia Woolf"and "Bloomsbury". For AW12, that continued in a similar vein with Victorian botanical illustrations and Beatrix Potter mentioned as starting points. However, Resort '13 is a turning point for Thornton and his wife, Thea Bregazzi, who together design Preen. This time, it is contemporary artist Jeff Koons whose work has inspired the (amazing) collection which "should make people excited about Summer and holidays, whether they're going away or not" Thornton told me yesterday.

Blown up flowers on paint splash backgrounds at Preen Resort

Jeff Koons' Landscape (Waterfall) II (from

Jeff Koons' Landscape (Tree) II (image from
Florals have not been abandoned but there's definitely a new, graphic boldness to them. There are overblown hydrangeas and poppies, splashed in bright, popping scarlet, magenta and cornflower blue. However, they're foregrounded against bold, wide stripes which takes away any English country garden connotations.

"Many of our customers are in Australia or the Middle East, so this collection isn't about going on holiday for them" Thornton explains. Thus, there are all the pieces which make up a practical wardrobe- a pencil skirt, sweaters, riffs on the white shirt and excellent colour blocked suits which "came from the idea of a 70s tracksuit". Sportswear features heavily; there are 3 different sweatshirts in the mix.  The cropped style has sold very well so far I was told but my personal favourite was the scuba version below.
My favourite....the scuba sweater
Tailoring inspired by 70s tracksuits (image from
And a final tip from Mr Thornton on arm shapes "we're really feeling a wide, kimono sleeve. It's very 80s and just so easy". See white shirt below for evidence- you heard it here first. 
Preen's new favourite arm shape
Flowers and stripes

All images by Fashion Junior at Large, unless otherwise indicated.


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