"The beauty of fashion, is the way it can transport the wearer to a different time and place", says Three Graces’ founder, Catherine Johnson.
Just like looking at a painting or listening to a song, to put on a dress can be to enter another world, or play a new part – shrugging off the mundanities of everyday life and summoning a sense of wanderlust.
“Clothes have an undeniable emotional power – they can act as a gateway”, says Catherine. “Our Summer 20 collection tries to distill that feeling. It’s all about freedom in spirit, mood and imagination.”
This season, safari-tinged separates and sunset colours hint at adventure, whilst an array of ultra-easy dresses, lighter weight cottons and relaxed silhouettes invite the wearer on a voyage of escapism.
A melting pot of exotic inspiration – Yves Saint Laurent’s Saharienne phase, trailblazing Amazonian ’60s supermodel Veruschka, Kristen Scott Thomas playing an androgynous-chic desert explorer in Anthony Minghella’s epic romance, The English Patient - produces a kind of uncomplicated glamour; simple, natural, empowered, sensual, timeless.
With our horizons narrowed, living vicariously through our wardrobes has never felt more valid than it does right now. Read on to discover the joys of sartorial distraction, with a little help from Three Graces’ new Summer 20 collection.
Feel the heat of the desert - no passport required
Bask in the delicious warmth that radiates from sun-baked shades of spicy terracotta and rich ochre - punctuated with invigorating pops of preserved lemon yellow.
“This yellow is my happy colour. It’s an instant spirit-lifter.”
Master utilitarian chic with Saharienne separates
Utilitarian styling - patch pockets, pleat fronted slacks, khaki linen co-ords and safari-tinged separates - subtly borrows from male codes of dress.
“Whenever I wear a mannish look, I find it incredibly empowering. Whether you style it with converse or sandals, you own the show.”
Make the shirtdress your one-stop summer wardrobe solution
Continuing the boy/girl balance, a compelling case is made this season for the versatility of the shirtdress. It’s celebrated in all its forms – from the classic, neatly fitted Fallon to the crisp, collarless Peppa.
“Cotton gauze and cotton poplin fabrics feel luxuriously cool against your skin – making these dresses ideal companions to summer days in the city.”
Let the sunshine in with painterly prints
Suggesting the spontaneous brushstrokes of a Fauvist painter, this season’s abstract Ikat print provides summery daubs of peony pink and tangerine across a series of new linen styles.
Created by digitalising an ikat weave crafted on a hand loom, the print has a hazy quality. “The hand-spun element of this design shines through. The effect is very different to someone starting out on a computer screen – there’s no hard edges,” says Catherine. “And linen is such an easy fabric to wear. It doesn’t feel at all precious or fussy.”
Upgrade your LBD with a sultry summer twist
Crafted from pure linen and fine cotton gauze, the Bonita and the Carlotta capture Three Graces’ signature sense of effortless elegance – with every detail thoughtfully designed to keep you cool, calm and collected in the heat.
“The little black linen dress is an essential component of any woman’s summer wardrobe. Putting one on is a real treat - it instantly transforms your mood; making you feel poised, but also perfectly comfortable.”
Be transported to blissful beachside bohemia
In homage to a liberated spirit, a looser, freer silhouette is ushered in this season, delineated in natural, airy fibres.
Crinkle cotton voile lends gossamer-light texture to the Tallie Jumpsuit and August Kaftan; offering the wearer a gateway to bohemian beachfronts.
“Cut from the highest-quality fabric, these relaxed silhouettes are forgiving and unrestrictive, but still offer just the right amount of structure to stay chic and considered.”