As someone who bought the boys’ first few collections way back when the words social & media being used together meant journos ensconced in a cocktail bar, I’ve long wondered why Ren Pearce and Andrew Fionda stopped showing. Their successful Designers at Debenhams range has kept them in the public eye but really, this duo have so much to give and have just shown London for the first time since 1995 what they’re made of – elegance in scores, bias, draping, fluting, and incredibly sculptured nipped-in waists and cut to a swathe evening pants. Wow! Move over Alice Temperely and Amanda Wakeley. Pearce Fionda are back and right on form, showing the world that Britain can do Red-Carpet glamour worthy of Hollywood. This was hot as Hades.
The show’s pace was slow and tempered, all the better to see the swish and sway of floor sweeping gownage that dripped with drama. A satin backed crepe, draped front dress exposed a jewelled bust while tulle net flowed from the thighs. Black and white is the designers’ staple colour and they worked this to extreme but tempered fabrics with contrast – shiny satin versus a punched effect in trousers that were one of a kind. Citing the 1920s to the 1950s as their inspiration , when women were women and martinis were drunk at 5’. I could do that all over. And work these dresses and evening tuxedos. There were flashes of colour in Ecclesiastical purple paired with ivory, and chartreuse- a drop-dead, slash bias, chartreuse gown with slit fluted sleeves and a lace front had me at ‘Hello’. I’ve just met the dress of my dreams.
Pearce Fionda rolled out exquisite tailoring for evening with slash fronts, nipped shoulders, peplum backs, flowing georgette, mesh and embroidery as well as the bias cuts in satin and velvet. There was work in them thar’ gowns.
The duo’s statement was the focus on back detailing, showing that a lady should be noticed entering and leaving a room – Sharp tight peplum jackets, crochet tops that were wholly backless, corsage details at the back of the neck on sheer black georgette, drapes that flowed from sleeves, flashing two tone colour, satin draped to the lower back and netting that showed the derriere, Pearce Fionda made this the new erogenous zone. A zone that will surely catapult them to Hollywood and beyond. And rightly so. Even the shoes were designed in collaboration with Manolo Blahnik. What more could a woman want?
Pearce Fionda showed that they could walk the walk as well as talk the talk. Just don’t go disappearing on us again.