David Longshaw at VFS Paris Showroom

For many designers, inspiration comes from an external source; a piece of architecture, a painting or perhaps a particular person or ‘muse’, but for womenswear designer, David Longshaw, this is not the case... Interestingly David utilises his boundless skills in writing and illustration to create quirky and original short stories as inspiration behind his collections. A few days ago I was fortunate enough to talk to the man himself to discover the story behind his designs for SS ‘11. He told me the tale of a group of youths who break into a stately home. After entering the house, the groups’ initial intentions of theft are soon dismissed after they become distracted and fascinated by a display of period costumes: ‘They start to dress up and the fun soon begins’ explains David.

Ruffles, pleats, feathers, ornate fabric manipulation, and other features you would expect to find upon period attire are all present in David’s SS ‘11 collection. A key colour palette consisting of a light ivory, powder blue and pastel purple is captured on a combination of simple silk camis, tightly fitting mini skirts and wispy summer dresses. Original drawings from the inspirational narrative are also used to create signature prints that are placed onto garments, adding an element of humour and quirk to David’s designs. My personal favourite; an illustration of a stereotypical ‘chav’ bulldog printed onto a beautifully delicate loose ivory dress, creates a wonderfully ironic juxtaposition of ideas.

For accessories this season, David has yet again teamed up with womenswear and jewellery designer, Kirsty Ward, who too has taken the fashion world by storm at late. In keeping with the collection’s theme and soft pastel palette, as well as her own signature style, kirsty has created sets of statement neck pieces complete with fabric ruffs, glass crystals and bullion fringing.

Sarah Barlow

View David's SS 11 collection at the Vauxhall Fashion Scout Paris Showroom at 10-12 rue des Coutures Saint-Gervais, 75003, Paris Today!