#SuzyLFW: Duro Olowu - Opposites Attract

Duro Olowu is a one-man band - a designer who interacts with his customers and therefore understands their needs and desires. To hear him describing how he gives a dress a little lift at the waist and cuts the skirt on the bias so that it falls oh-so-lightly, is to understand how his collection comes into place each season.

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Luis Monteiro

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For Autumn/Winter 2017 the clothes are colourful and energetic, the bold patterns, as always, more geometric than pretty, frilly or girly.

For the designer himself, it all starts with the fabrics, mostly his own developments. They are usually striking, without shouting above the voice of the client. Mixes of colour in the same pattern is one of the designer's strengths.

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"It is as effective as completely mixing the prints - it's like playing with the eye," he explained.

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I enjoyed being in this masterclass listening to the master explaining how the story of his design is in its geometry - graphic dots in not-quite-clashing colours. Those spots might be mixed with checks, or the squares as a basic grid with flowers smothered on top for a striking cape.

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Luis Monteiro

Ah, the cape! Duro made that shape - rounded at the shoulders and cut snugly to the body - a cornerstone of his collection, believing that it can be part of a two-piece outfit. That did not, however, suggest that the outer garment matched what was underneath.

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Luis Monteiro

The opposite was true, for Duro works in contrasts the way that another designer might carefully blend shades and patterns together.

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Luis Monteiro

"On the contrary one does not have to go with the other - if you wore a cape with white cropped pants, it would also be kind of cool as well," he explained.

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Luis Monteiro

The individuality of pattern is the most obvious element that makes the Duro Olowu collection out on its own. The clothes are not quirky, rather elegant and measured. And it is a rare pleasure to find a thoughtful designer who can bring individuality to his eager followers.

Vogue

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