Love — magnificent, maddening, messy — lay at the root of today’s Osman collection. Conceived in homage to Frida Kahlo, the show notes opened with a love-letter she’d once penned to Diego Rivera, setting things up for overt art flourishes like the glittering branch embellishments that streaked down floor-length gowns and whirled round dramatic capes, and the vast brushstroke sweeps of cerulean, poppy and sunshine yellow that were daubed across pristine white separates.
In reality, though, the aesthetic leant far more closely to Spain than to Kahlo’s Mexican roots, from the stark, bare-boned Lorca tree that overshadowed the runway to the strict, hyper-precise tailoring that opened the show — a fiercely linear language that recalled Diana Rigg’s iconic contessa costumes in On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. Masculine two-piece suits, sculpted ruffles, stiff gaucho hats and starkly graphic frocks echoed Balenciaga’s near-religious pursuit of perfect form. Broad, glossy cinches drew visual focus to the waistline throughout, wrapped and clasped in place with outsize serrated buckles. Flashes of pistachio green and blush pink and handkerchief-hemmed lace shifted the palette further still, moving away from surrealist clarity towards the collection’s tender heart.