Yasmina Dexter and I sat in the back of the cinema at The Painting Rooms Presentation hosted by the Royal Society of the Arts at Durham House, as her film in collaboration with photographer Antonio Mingot played on a loop in front of us. Two minutes prior, Justine Fairgrieve of The Wolves London said “You’ve got to meet Yasmina – the art director of the film. She’s part of the Preen DNA”. What ensued was an enlightening and fun chat about fashion, textiles, robots, art direction, travelling and DJ’ing.
Yasmina starting working with the Preen team in 2000, headed by Justin Thornton and Thea Bregazzi, Yasmina, firstly in the Preen shop in Portobello Road, then on production of the collections, before working on soundtracks for the shows and eventually sales. Fast forward to 2017 and Yasmina is an Art Director working with a number of clients, most recently LN-CC, defining her work through artistic collaborations involving film, music and fashion. Like me, she’s fascinated by robots, so maybe they’ll enter her creative mix at some point too.
She tells me of her reservations about fashion per se, but her “love of products”. She loves everyday clothes that are real and work hard. Clothes that are better than the ones that came before them. We ponder truly ‘innovative fashion’ and discuss technical textiles – agreeing that smart textiles will lead the way, ahead of silhouettes, in ‘new’ fashion of the future. After discussing the huge potential of textiles to revolutionise fashion we segue back into the film which launches the Pre-Fall 17 collection for Preen Line, the fun little sister of Preen by Thornton Bregazzi.
“Justin’s brief was dance and rave”, said Yasmina. “That was it – an open brief, really” she explains. That allowed her to do what she wanted, relishing the fact that she and Justin know each other so well that he lets her do her own thing. The venue was an industrial space in Dalston and the subject was artist and go-go dancer, . Our conversation diverts to Yasmina DJ’ing at Mona in Tasmania and me sucking up a telling-off for never having been there (I’m Australian).
It’s these kind of collaborations and creative collectives that underpin so much of what is presented at London Fashion Week. The credit sheets are filled with creatives contributing to ambitious and passion-filled teams pulling all-nighters on restricted budgets, making work that punches way above its weight.
Yasmina and Antonio’s film leaves me wanting to boil wash my tracksuit and hit the stairs. How about you? More patient than me? Keep an eye out for the Pre-Fall 17 collection on the Preen Line Store .
I’m off to put on a hot wash.