Warm beaches

Thierry Colson says of his Spring-Summer 2018 collection: “It’s for women from seventy to seventeen”, a telling inversion. Some might say it takes us back in time, evoking our historical and cultural collisions with the Ottomans at the crossroads across which Greece and Turkey face each other. Others might describe it as timeless.

As we know, Greece is always present in Thierry Colson’s collections. However, other outfits recall Jean-Étienne Liotard’s pastel studies of Turkish domestic and social life in eighteenth century Constantinople. “Liotard’s drawings provided a lot of inspiration for this collection’s mood board.”, says Colson.

This season’s collection uses silks and cottons from Chanderi, the Indian town famous for its weaving since the second century after Christ and said to have been founded by Shishupala, cousin of  Lord Krishna. There are silken poplins woven from the Como region of Italy and Jacquard brocades recalling the French weavers of Lyon.

Some of the colours evoke an English feeling through lawn greens and the lavender shades of early Laura Ashley dresses and robes worn by women heading for the warm beaches of the eastern Mediterranean or the old Barbary Coast. For others, the greens evoke Islamic art and heraldry or spring meadows in the mountains of Greece or Anatolia.

A couple of men’s outfits recall the young Greek rebels against Ottoman rule, immortalised in the poetry of Lord Byron or Delacroix’s paintings of the Hellenic wars of independence of the 1820s. Candy pinks and degraded blue Delphiniums in print or embroidery recall the summer outfits worn by jetsetters in the Greek islands in the 1960s and 1970s.

There are also echoes of intellectuals, bohemians and orientalists of earlier eras who went to Tangiers and other places where east meets west, where today meets yesterday and where time stands still.