Runway Report: Preen

How do you follow up a collection centered around Kurt Cobain? A line inspired by Jimi Hendrix, naturally. For spring, Preen designers Justin Thornton and Thea Bregazzi delivered billowy frilled and ruffled cocktail frocks in homage to that other gone-before-his-time musician. Easy Rider and Africa also played an instrumental role, with sexy, sharp-edged biker-style lacing snaking down slouchy black trousers, gold-toothed zippers putting a punk stamp on gauzy dresses, and spiraled cutouts replicating tribal body paint. It was Preen's signature rocker chic, but, as always, completely elegant and beautiful. "It's very sexy clothing, but very masculine, so we'll have tough hair that is romantic in the back," Aveda's Eugene Souleiman dished backstage. Post-show, co-designer Justin Thornton fielded congratulations and explained his decision to not walk out onstage. "It just felt wrong," he said, citing the absence of his partner Thea Bregazzi, who is weeks away from giving birth in London. "It almost felt like I would be trying to hog all the glory, and she worked just as hard on it." Even if Bregazzi wasn't in attendance, the style was.

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