LONDON FASHION WEEK/ — The Eighties via old-school films Blade Runner and Tron; computer games and arcades, the buzz of pinball machines, their primary-bright graphics; the allure of the power suit, the even greater allure of its neon-bold colours; and that perfect kind of awkward style: in a collection that is nostalgic to the era, Roberta Einer rekindles the best bits of the Eighties to create her own updated take, one that comes imbued with a renewed glamour for autumn/winter 2018.
The maximalist luxury ready-to-wear designer finds her inspiration in the life of the woman she saw as coming through at the time, stepping into her life for 24 hours and traversing her wardrobe: from from a puffer jacket to go and grab the milk in, to bright shiny Swarovski crystals and sequins – always a Roberta Einer favourite – to easy pyjama styles, pinstripes, power dressing and party dresses. Chunky knits of thick yarn make for mum-and-dad sweaters with a naïve charm; while hoodies, T-shirts and bombers feature retro graphics taken from her own family photo album of the time: Einer’s mother and father posing in holiday snaps make for sweet motifs which, personal to the designer, also possess a relatable memory-lane quality. There also come her recurring signatures, the bomber jacket – now boasting computer-graphic ornamentation for patchwork detail – and sequins. Here rendered in flashy flourishes for floral clusters on pinstripe dresses that make for a throwback to the office-wear trope of the time.
Three standout silhouettes underpin the season: Roberta Einer takes on the power suit with shapely skirts and new ostentation; draped party dresses bunch and gather at the hip and come in sassy-shimmery shades; and there are asymmetric flared and textured dresses, their cable knit running out across the body at different directions in a flattering contour. Colours throughout are high-shine, bold and bright, Eighties-centric with Bridget Riley monochrome to be found too.
This is the third season that Einer has collaborated with Swarovski to show off her textile ingenuity in 3D floral cutout pieces and the iridescent sew-on crystals used in dégradé fashion on oversized blazers. Her team up with Vans shoes, too, continues for cool and collectible sneakers; while autumn/winter 2018 also marks the launch of a brand-new collaboration with jewellery brand URIBE. A mix of pretty-but-awkward ear cuffs, earrings and chokers that can be stacked up the way you want with different floral charm and Swarovski crystal combinations.
Luxury Womenswear designer Roberta Einer moved from her hometown of Tallinn, Estonia to London to study on the prestigious fashion courses at Central Saint Martins and the University of Westminster. During her studies she completed internships with Mary Katrantzou and Alexander McQueen, before moving to Paris upon graduation to assist at Balmain for a year where she continued to develop her craft.
Establishing her label upon her return to London, the Roberta Einer brand is now in its sixth season creating experimental, luxury womenswear which focuses on textiles and working with traditional couture techniques. Playful embellishments and hand-embroidery decorate specially sourced fabrics to create her daring more-is-more, feminine aesthetic.
Named as One to Watch by NEWGEN in December 2015, in April 2016 Roberta Einer was selected as a winner of Saks’ inaugural Emerging Designer Showcase competition. Her innovative designs have been featured in the likes of American Vogue, Teen Vogue, Dazed & Confused, HUNGER and i-D Magazine.
By: Jessica Bumpus
Photos by Juliette Cassidy