History threads its way back

19.09.44: FASHION HAS always been cyclical but even dedicated followers were taken aback by the extent of nostalgia in Violetta Torer-Bell's latest collection, launched yesterday at London's Dome.

In keeping with the arts and crafts revival sweeping through England, the 25-year-old designer from Manchester has made intelligent use of natural materials such as silk, cotton and wool, which are now becoming scarce.

Cotton and raw silk are used in their finest and sheerest forms, sandwiched between layers of microfibre to create sumptuous yet light-as-air fabrics in keeping with the current vogue for opulence. Torer-Bell has fused the look of antique embossing and embroidery with modern production techniques.

The designer, who has made her reputation with quintessentially English designs, said: "I have delved into the historical periods of English heritage for my inspiration.

"Everything from Regency to the Raj has had an influence on this collection." RD

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