Romanian/Canadian designer Cristina Sabaiduc likes to “explore alternative materials and concepts in fashion”, and yesterday’s digital presentation held true to her experimental ethos.

The film was made in collaboration with Timid from AoC, and the textiles are in collaboration with Jo Holland, filmed using a Red Epic cameria, photo paper and light to lend a raw and romantic feel to the digital screen, and the theme of the old colliding with the new carries over into the clothes. This is a collection with its roots in the earth but its spirit (often literally) in the clouds.

Set in the lush mellowness of an English wood, the clothes flash in sunny yellows, grass greens and rose reds as parkour model Shirley Darlington floats, jumps and drops between the sunlit branches like a human seed pod. Cuts are super-feminine and fabrics are tactile and multi-textured, fusing woven, sheer and reflective panels to airy, fantastical effect. But despite the romance, these are clothes made for movement, not for posing; and the sharp, digitally-enhanced prints remind us that this forest princess is a strong, modern woman, not a wistful sprite.

This collection, for all the artistry of its presentation, looks eminently wearable. Those printed tops would prove easy staples with jeans, and the fluid silk trousers look perfect for summertime lounging.

Sabaiduc has set out her stall with this fusion of strength and delicacy, which is both fresh and palatable. It feels more like a beginning than a complete vision, but we look forward to seeing how she’ll develop in seasons to come.

Words Leonie Benaiah

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