The long wall was a soft pink, with raw wood shapes forming abstract patterns. But the mesmerising, continuous music of pianist-composer Lubomyr Melnyk was the real backdrop — in sound — to the show of Roksanda Ilincic. The composition was titled Beyond Romance and that summed up the spirit of the designer's collection.
The Serbian/British designer's clothes are not sexy in a clichéd way to appeal to men, but they have a tactile quality that makes them attractive — from a russet coat over blush pink trousers to a copper satin dress.
In some of her previous collections Roksanda has worked with oversize silhouettes that seemed to drown a frame even as willowy as her own. But the volume for Spring/Summer 2017 was controlled, so that a silken dress in cappuccino brown flowed into a purple edge.
Behind the collection was a sophisticated view of female needs and desires. With so many British designers working on short skirts and little dresses, Roksanda draws a bigger and bolder picture. So a Prince of Wales check trouser suit with cropped jacket and twin lines at the side of each leg can face off against a dress with an arty pattern splattered across its white surface.
Art may be at the heart of this collection of splashy pieces, but by playing with colour, fabric and texture, the designer rarely goes too far in letting the clothes overtake the woman, except perhaps for awkward patches of white feathers.
Like so many female designers, Roksanda is inspired primarily by her own fashion needs and desires. But, like the music, it has a powerful pull.