“We started setting up at 9am but our youngest daughter woke us at 6.15am” laughs Justin, one half of the designer duo Preen Bregazzi as he grabs a graphic orange belt to nip in the waist of an intricate printed flowly summer dress. We’re behind the scenes in a huge London warehouse loft for the making of their latest Preen Line Collection lookbook. Surrounding us are four rails of simply beautiful clothes – think cute flippy skirts, loosely cropped sweaters and silky shorts - that makes us want to book a one-way ticket to Marrakech ASAP. Since its debut in spring/ summer 2008 the sister line to their main collection has become a huge world wide success, with women of all ages turning to it for affordable easy to wear pieces that work all year round. As the models pause in between shots for hair and make-up touch ups we grab Justin to find out just what the latest collection is all about…
What exactly is a lookbook?
We don’t do a show for Preen Line so the lookbook is our way of presenting the collection. It’s a good tool to put out there on social media and on websites. It’s a really useful thing because if you have great images of the collection it makes people understand it more and how to wear it.
What was the collection inspired by?
We visited Morocco and Egypt recently so there’s a Moorish architecture influence throughout the collection. You can see this a lot in the prints but there’s an element of sportswear there too with the flashes of coloured stripes and the styling with the sporty socks.
How does Preen Line differ to your mainline?
We see it as the same woman who buys the main collection but it’s more her everyday or weekend wardrobe. The age group really varies because women nowadays dress so differently to how they used to. We try to have within the collection pieces that people will actually live in, like a really easy pair of trousers, great knitwear plus loads of summer dresses in really great viscoses and silk georgettes. We do a lot of cute little skirts that are fun and flirty but we’ll also do them in a longer version. We offer the same sort of look for different body shapes and sizes. Plus the way we have done the prints in the collection is while they have a correlation they also mix and match.
And we spy denim too?
Yes we started introducing denim to Preen Line with the resort collection last season and we will continue to do so with every resort collection. Everyone wears denim and it’s in everyone’s wardrobe but I think it’s important to us we can offer something different to what people are used to buying. We really want to get into it but in our own way so for this collection we’ve done pieces that are almost like a denim version of the Moorish tile. We’re not trying to compete with all the amazing jeans brands out there, we’re just trying to give our take on it.
Does the mainline collection influence it in anyway?
What generally happens with the resort collection is we take the pieces from the last show that we really liked or that were the most successful and we inject a new vibe into them. We also start experimenting with things we might do for the show so it’s almost like a crossover collection but we really focus it at our customer. It has more of a commercial brief in a way, we’re really thinking of the woman on the street whilst with the show we’ll have sixty per cent that are really great pieces for people to buy and then forty per cent that’s a bit more aspirational or special. We sell everything that goes down the runway but some of the more extreme pieces might change slightly in production, like they might become longer or we might add a sleeve.
You’ve worked with the photographer Ash Reynolds before. What do you like about his style?
We’ve worked with him about four times now. His style has a real natural feel to. It’s got a little bit of rawness and a gritty romance that is really great with the collection. We love to work with photographers that have a cool aesthetic, that’s not so stylized. Ash has got a natural beauty to what he does.
Can you sum up the mood of the photographs you’ve shot?
There’s a lovely raw feel to them. The space we’re shooting in adds an almost urban feel to the collection. We picked really great, young fresh new girls and you can imagine them living here. It’s like they’re friends hanging out. They’re the girl gang everyone wants to be in. Even though they all have a different look you can imagine them all being mates.
What do you love most about making the lookbook?
I love seeing it come to life on the models. It’s similar to the show, it’s like a culmination of seeing the collection come together and this is the end result. We work on everything - like even the type of paper and we really play with ideas. Like sometimes we’ll do really massive ones or use different textured papers within the book or foldouts or a newspaper style. It makes it a nice thing for people to have and to keep.
I find the editing of the pictures quite hard because there are often loads of great ones and we can only have one of each. But that’s a good complaint to have!
Check out some of the finished shots below and visit Preen.eu for more
By: Chloe Mac Donnell