Didn’t I say I was going to be fair to all the highly commendable contestants of the Mango Fashion Competition (sorry for harping on about this but I can’t get my head aorund the 300,000 euros up for grabs and await eagerly to see who’s up for next year’s prize….). If you’re a Hyeres-competition follower, you’ll know that Swash (a design duo Sarah and Toshio who graduated from CSM) won the grand prize and the 1,2,3 prize in 2004. My first real experience of Swash was a pair of printed shorts from the SS07 Mythologies collection which I bought at a sample sale. They always seem to get lots of compliments and I suspect that’s because they tap into the inner child in people with the ballooning shape and storybook print. They pretty much sum up the aesthetic of Swash which is ‘accessible prettiness’, as in they put beautiful, fairytale-like concepts on shapes that are not at all intimidating. Simple dresses, shirts and loose shorts are the mainstay shapes and whilst you have stunning printed pieces, you’ll also have plain separates to balance it all out.
Their SS08 collection called ‘A Chain Tale’ explores the oft-used motif of the chain. Ok, so you think you may have seen enough chain prints from both designers and the high street but there’s a new found whimsy that Swash have tapped into, with their interpretations of the chain print. Once again, they’ve managed to combine an element of sportswear/casualwear with the rucksacks and shorts with the handpainted prints to create that ‘accessible prettiness’. They also seem to have incorporated more interesting shapes especially with the exaggerated capped sleeves and jutting out elbows.
Their showroom space in Paris also reflected the collection well…
They have also added shoes to the collection with these multi=strapped tan heels.
The pretty, the odd and the functional all rolled into one….