Katherine Hooker’s new art-inspired dresses

The British designer’s three fresh offerings are strictly limited edition

Katherine Hooker washed habotai silk dress with a flared skirt, £645
Katherine Hooker washed habotai silk dress with a flared skirt, £645

The fashion season may be almost over but summer goes on, and most of us are not organised enough to start stocking our winter wardrobes yet. For those inevitable August weddings or last-minute holiday dinner invitations, however, British-American designer Katherine Hooker has just launched a small range of go-anywhere, simple silk dresses with an intriguing story.

Katherine Hooker washed habotai silk dress with an inverted-pleat skirt, £645
Katherine Hooker washed habotai silk dress with an inverted-pleat skirt, £645
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Hooker’s mother, she says, led a bohemian lifestyle, much of it in Africa and the Middle East, and while being a talented amateur painter, looking after four children kept her from ever dreaming that she could turn her art into a career. Going through some of her mother’s work, Hooker discovered a bold, floral still life that she felt would adapt into a strong print and work well in pale impressionist-style colours. Focusing on a few motifs that she enlarged and printed on soft, washed habotai silk, the designer has created three dresses (£645 each) in easy, understated shapes that let the print do the talking.

One of the styles also comes in pale neutral
One of the styles also comes in pale neutral
Katherine Hooker washed habotai silk shirt, £345
Katherine Hooker washed habotai silk shirt, £345

A short-sleeved, knee-length style with an inverted-pleat skirt is the most tailored and comes in pink, red or pale neutral, while another version has a softly flared skirt and is available in red only. The most relaxed style, with a softy gathered scoop neck, elasticated waist and elbow-length sleeves, is in red or pink and would work beautifully for autumn over a high-necked sweater. There is also a slim, long-sleeved shirt (£345) in red or pink.

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The made-to-order range is strictly limited edition and will be available only at Hooker’s west London shop and through her website. And while this particular project is a one-off, it may not be Hooker’s last to draw on this new-found source of inspiration. “I also have a brother and sister who paint,” she says. “Both are talented but have very different styles. It would be interesting to take elements of their work and see what they suggest to me in terms of shape and colour.”

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