Grown Up Glam Rock. Hillier Bartley AW19

What can you expect from Hillier Bartley for autumn-winter 2019? Stunning tailoring that’s Savile Row quality, but with a twist (think double-breasted houndstooth suit punked up with a zipper across the waist and matching pants in origami pleat). A smart clash of fashion references, from Kansai Yamamoto (look at the prints inspired with his work) to the bold New Romantics’ movement from 70s London. And brilliant eveningwear that spans from a gorgeous line-up of tailoring to a V-neck maxi-lenght gown in red (worn over a purple turtleneck – love this colour palette). Luella Bartley and Katie Hillier keep the vision of their brand consistent, yet at the same exciting. While Luella works closely with the clothes, Katie does the accessories. Look at the trapeze-shaped “cassette” bags – they look elegant, but sharp, grown-up, but glam. Just like the collection itself.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

That Woman. Hillier Bartley Resort 2019

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What’s Hillier Bartley like for resort 2019? Well, it’s definitely not about one aesthetic or any central idea. Luella Bartley and Katie Hillier chose to play with their signatures (chic loungewear, for instance) this season, adding some very unexpected twists to the collection. Distorted, Saville-Row-esque tailoring styled with thick turtlenecks or coming in emerald silk; equally deconstructed shirts with, what it seems, clashed double sleeves; tie-dyed, high-rise pants. The enormously big taffeta bows on pencil skirts and strapless tops had something of fancy nightclubbing, straight out of the 80s, just like the latex pussy-bow piece. Oh, and of course that suit. “We call it the Brexit—or the anti-Brexit—suit,” said Bartley. “I don’t know where it came from, but it felt right”. Accessories, that are largely Hillier’s job, span from the classic bunny clutch (in new colours) to boxy Cassette, a bag injected with lovely, vintage feeling.

Conclusion: what’s most fascinating about Hillier Bartley – the brand exists for few seasons now – is that the designers created a distinct look that can’t be mistaken with any other brand. You look and you know it’s the Hillier Bartley woman – mature, kind of mysterious, but not taking herself too seriously. She can go for both, a cocktail in the new posh spot, or sip beer in an old school pub.

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Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Experimental Dandy. Hillier Bartley SS18

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Sometimes, even the most costly production of a fashion show can’t be compared to one single look coming straight out of a silent look-book. In this case, I mean Hillier Bartley‘s beige tuxedo look. The jacket with shoulder-pads was slightly misshaped, giving it a cool, nonchalant manner; the pants were cropped and given a semi-Banana silhouette to keep it equally dandy. Styled with white socks and matching-colour pointy-toe shoes, that might be one of the best (and most striking in its actual simplicity) looks I’ve seen this season.

Katie Hillier and Luella Bartley have introduced their woman as a refined, but off-beat persona, few seasons ago – the story goes on, but this time in incredibly tempting shades of lilac, saucy red and dripping liquid gold. Zebra-patterned velvet frocks and handbags with lots of fringes were another clue of Bartley and Hillier’s love for a decadent kind of chic. The designers, known for rather loosely-fitted garments, seemed to be experimental about the forms of garments in their new collection – that’s why, they topped blazers and pants with fishnet to see how the silhouettes change and evolve. The effect? Bold.

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Collage by Edward Kanarecki.