British label Preen was founded in 1996 by Justin Thornton and Thea Bregazzi, who met at art college on the Isle of Man. Known for its rugged coastline, medieval castles, and diverse culture, their native island became a wealth of inspiration from which their designs drew. Known for combining Victoria silhouettes with punkish elements, the pair fuses past and present to create intrinsically modern pieces that echo a nostalgic affection for the past. They unveiled their debut collection at London Fashion Week for Spring/Summer 2001 and rocked the fashion community with pragmatic yet glamorous patterns and flattering drapery. Subsequent collections built on their success, with increasing sales and interdisciplinary press attention. Already a regular on London Fashion week schedule, the designers decided to showcase the line at New York Fashion Week in 2008. Since showing in New York, the brand’s international exposure exploded and sales grew exponentially.
In 2008, Thornton and Bregazzi launched Preen Line, an easy-to-wear assortment of contemporary pieces that emphasized laidback nonchalance without sacrificing attitude. Ever evolving, the duo then expanded into eyewear and shoes. After having two children, they gave birth to a children’s line, Mini Preen. Today the brand offers six women’s wear collections annually and Preen designs can be found in over 25 countries worldwide.
At first sight, the designs for Spring-Summer 2016 seem extremely feminine and delicate, as represented by romantic prints and fluttery, chiffon detail. However, look closer and one quickly discovers a darker, more masculine undercurrent to the seemingly gentle line up. Bias-cut dresses and stark juxtapositions of black patterns, fragmented or pervasive, permeate the collection. For the contemporary woman who enjoys easy to wear styles with a high cool factor, this is a fashion queue not to be missed.