With a background in couture design, Melissa Jane Somerset is far from the conventional South African designer. Choosing to step away from the demands of a haute couture line to create ready to wear fashion line Somerset Jane, Melissa has brought the attention to innovation in construction and silhouette and married it with the practicality of ready to wear, creating clothes that expand the possibilities of every day formal wear.
Her spring 16 collection shown at the 2016 South African Fashion Week summer showcase is quite literally breath taking, but not for all the usual reasons. If we were asked to name an international label that Somerset Jane’s collection closely rivals, it would be Mary Jane and Ashley Olsen’s The Row. The designer uses a muted palate, grey tweeds, black and white cotton and tan khakis to create a collection of modern day staples centered around the general idea of knotting.
By using simple techniques as layering and knotting, Somerset updates many of our wardrobe staples. A simple waist knot draws the eye to the thinnest part of her layered skrouser jumpsuit. There are also skrouser pants created in this way. Draped curved hem jackets layer over a sleeveless capri jumpsuit. A blousy chiffon jacket with wrist ties dress up an excellently cut slit dress in navy. Even Somerset’s ordinary pieces are cut in such a way that they demand attention while blending seamlessly into any wardrobe. There is so much to rave about; the construction, the minimalism, the eye for form and silhouette. It is all so subtle, but so impressive.
The new Somerset Jane collection is a triumph because it is a cache of clothes that any woman can truly wear.
Photo Credit: safashionweek.co.za