Emma Cook, throughout her long career, has undoubtedly demonstrated that she is one of the most influential designers when it comes to designing a season’s look. Of course, being a fashion designer, it might be argued that she is only doing her job.
However, it has rarely been the function of an individual London designer to lead the way. Milan and Paris can usually be counted to dictate the mood six months down the line, while London is more about idiosyncratic and individual expression. Cook is in the admirable position of laying claim to both.
Cook’s tribute to the Twenties line is a signature of the designer’s style. This season, she is not alone in retro bandwagon. She is in company of the highest calibre, with two international superstars of the fashion world. Balenciaga’s outstanding outfits, as shown in Paris, had noticeable tiers and dropped waists. The nod to the Twenties was also apparent in the Summer Silhouette collection of Marc Jacobs.
Interestingly, at Balenciaga this year, light was a central theme, with an emphasis on the interplay between light and the surface of garments. A similar idea also pervaded Prada, where shining gold was the hero of the Spring/Summer collection.
If status-driven, elaborate and dazzling clothes are the norm for the season, Cook’s designs has always been noted for their personal flavor and their homespun aspect. While the top-tier fashion designers and the fashion powerhouses might have employed the finest ateliers of the world, Cook’s is a small business and she relies on a handful of assistants and her own extraordinary powers of craftsmanship.