Mother of Pearl's AmyPowney and Maia Norman's decision to start producing resort collections was a good idea and is undoubtedly music to the ears of the cult following the brand has steadily gained. Unlike many other brands, Powney has managed to master the delicate balancing act of allowing customers to feel relaxed in the belief that the collections will always feature their signature elements, whilst also ensuring that there are enough new elements to keep our appetites satisfied.
The signature sportswear elements were there especially on a boxy grey parka with a contrasting pink leather hood, purple jogging pants and floral printed running sweaters. As expected, silhouettes were a focal point with Powney experimenting with peplums on tops and floor length dresses in a way that made a statement but without being fussy; and as always, they all came in the best quality fabrics. Peplums were everywhere for S/S12 but here they were not frilly and overly feminine. Instead they oozed an effortless, no-fuss feeling that they are quickly becoming synonymous with.
The new element came from their designer collaboration. Last season they teamed up with Fred Tomaselli on those hugely successfully bird prints but this time they worked with Gary Hume to incorporate his bold floral prints throughout.
One Monday back in January I spent the morning with Amy Powney, Head Designer at Mother of Pearl. Rather than meeting in a fancy restaurant or hotel in Central London, which is often the case, Powney invited me to the brand's studio based in the middle of East London's bustling creative scene. The team were in the middle of preparing for their A/W 2012 collection but were kind enough to devote their morning to talk me through the brand and transport me into the Mother of Pearl world; and I can safely confirm that that world is not a bad place to be. The team are uncompromisingly enthusiastic and passionate about what they do and it's infectious.
Whilst you may be unfamiliar with the brand now, give it a year or so and that will change. The company has actually been around for several years but it is only now that things have really come together. Teams have come and gone and the aesthetic has changed several times so it was only four seasons ago when Powney was appointed as head designer that things began to change. This fact isn't something they shy away from. In fact, Powney was pretty frank when asked about it. "People in the industry take fashion very seriously so if you've seen a brand through several different phases, people move on and lose interest. It has taken time to get people to come back and see it but I finally feel like it's at a good point and people can see that it's a good concept." It's the brand's present carnation that has helped win them a legion of fans and become on of the industry's best kept secrets. And while MOP, as the team call it, was established by Maia Norman who continues to serve as creative director, it is Amy who has managed to articulate her easy sports wear vision.