What I love about Bartley is that she always pushes the limits. Her clothes are provocative and a bit quirky. There is something fresh and a little off beat about Luella. Though her vision is eclectic, her clothes are wearable.
Since launching her line in 1999, the London-based designer has been creating effortless street-chic season after season. Her eternal muse is the rebel British “It” girl who can’t help but be adorable in her button-down shirts tucked into skintight jeans or layered under striped sweaters. Bartley mixes themes with élan: punk motorcycle jackets with gingham skirts; little black dresses with pearls for polka dots; preppy navy, red, and white. She also has an incredible accessories lineup of beautiful leather bags and shoes.
Last Monday, the "princess of pop-punk style", made her London Fashion Week comeback, showing her Spring 2008 collection, which she described as "cartoon chic."
Models came out in mod trouser suits emblazoned with Batman motifs, and Batman and Robin masks. Bartley used micro-floral prints, embellished with sequins for flirty dresses, short-sleeved shirts worn with high-waisted "cheeky-shorts" and tutu-skirts over tulle petticoats, all accessorised with multi-coloured, patent ankle-boots and platform shoes. The flower-power idea extended to lashings of fake plastic flowers that were appliquéd on to mini prom-frocks in taffeta, worn with matching capes. I imagined myself dancing around in these whimsical ensembles.
The newest collection is also inspired by Thora Birch's geeky shabby chic character in the cult movie Ghost World. This is the second collection in a row where Luella has tossed around the geek chic theme; however, as geeky as Luella tries to be, she always manages to churn out the kind of clothes that cool girls want to wear.