Autumn Winter 2017
Reacting against the industrial revolution and urban expansion, Romantic writers, artists and composers created work transfixed with the intense emotion that transpires in awe of the sublime beauty of nature. With these ideals of the natural world anchoring her approach to the Mother of Pearl AW17 collection, Amy Powney looked further back in art history, moved by the transcendent use of darkness and light in the paintings of Caravaggio, her favourite artist.
Powney began to use her art historical references amplifying large botanic images in fiery colours printing them on inky, heavy silk satins, seemingly setting the ora alight. The play with colour and light continues with golden metallics set amongst deep black velvets and heavy jacquards. In true Mother of Pearl style, Powney o sets these Romantic references with the humour exhibited in Larry Sultan’s Pictures from Home (1992).
Whilst simultaneously designing the AW17 collection and renovating her East London home, Powney discovered references from both projects entwining. Padded cushions have evolved into functioning bags and quilted bedspreads are restructured into crepe-de-chine outerwear. At home and at work, Powney channeled Larry Sultan’s exhibit of the iconic Palm Springs décor- palette, bubblegum pink and pea green, scattering it throughout her designs.
To off set the femininity evoked through the prints and fabrications, Powney took silhouettes from Victorian menswear developing suiting, coats and ruffled detailing; looking back to the Romantics of the 1800s with a nod to The Blitz Club on the way. Just as the Romantics celebrated liberalism and radicalism, this AW17 collection develops the contemporary individualism of the Mother of Pearl woman, bolstering splendour and luxe with the sporty DNA of the brand through relaxed forms and tracksuit co- ordinates, along with Mother of Pearl’s ever-present sense of humour.