I started my AW19 season for London Fashion Week at the Alice Archer show. Walking in to the sound of gentle, relaxing music playing in the background, models were being escorting in and out setting the scene for an extremely elegant show.
The Alice Archer AW19 collection was inspired by the early 16th century artist Lucas Cranah and his use of rich colours and sumptuous proportions of his subjects. Especially taken by the painting ‘Cupid Complaining to Venus’, she used her love of it throughout each design, working it into the prints and embroidery seen throughout the range.
Focusing on the Cranach’s depiction of apples, Archer developed a technique of embroidering in white thread overlaid with her oil paintings of apples from trees in Somerset - giving the designs a painterly feel. Also inspired by medieval woodcuts of snowball and hawthorn trees the embroidered pieces in this collection have a real connection to nature, with the addition of hand embellished pearls making them three-dimensional, bringing it all to life.
From fitted bodice prom dresses and coats to two piece suits featuring flared trousers this collection is the epitome of modern luxury. Florals on velvet and corduroy fabrics gives each piece a unique touch. What stood out the most for me was details on the sleeves - capes and ruffles gave a slight edge to the sophisticated nature of the show.
Alice Archer graduated from RCA in 2013, she moved to Antwerp to work as an embroidery designer for Dries van Noten. She has since worked frequently with Tracey Emin, producing her hand embroidered art work. So, you can see she’s had a passion for embroidery throughout her career, making this collection all the more specialist!