The atmosphere was so peaceful at the Maiyet show that the hurried and flurried fashion crowd sank into the seats to enjoy the setting by architect David Adjaye, who created a canopy out of 10,000 metres of ribbon.
Add the gentle music of Brooklyn-based composer Bryce Dessner and the scene was set for this company, which has succeeded in doing good while making fine clothes.
The knitwear told an exemplary story: a thick, fringed tunic with black and white woven checks, the woollens sustainably sourced from Bolivian and Peruvian cashmere goat-herders.
Maiyet’s founders, Kristy Caylor and Paul van Zyl, have strived – and succeeded – to avoid making this a do-good brand for so-called “pity purchasing”. Their clothes and accessories are luxury products, all first rate in design and make.
Yet there was something half-hearted about this collection’s embrace of Scotland. (Hence the knitwear focus.)
The Scottish architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh was an inspiration for Kristy. “He was an architect and an artist and he created these beautiful floral motifs, combined with linear patterns, both Art Nouveau and Modernist,” she said, adding that the cliffs and rolling hills of Scotland also influenced the collection. The designer used well the artist’s flat roses and geometric tropes as subtle decoration.
The show never seemed to find the rough wildness of the Highlands, but it offered appealing clothes.