In just four years since its inception, Three Graces London has become a go-to brand for beach-and-more summer dresses that billow beautifully around the body in a breeze (while thankfully covering more of it than the original Canova sculpture). Until now, founder Catherine Johnson has worked only in solid shades and occasional stripes, but this month sees her entering new territory thanks to a capsule collaboration with fashion icon Zandra Rhodes (from £535, launching piecemeal over the coming fortnight).
Rhodes loved the idea when Johnson approached her, though it took six months to perfect a print to their mutual satisfaction: a reworking of a beautifully handpainted banana-leaf motif from a late-1970s Mexican-inspired collection by Rhodes. The print has been worked in different ways for the collection of silk and fine cotton pieces: spectacularly oversized, filling the skirt of a maxi dress; appearing as a magnified border print; or flatteringly graduated from shoulder and hemline towards the waist, where small motifs are scattered like falling feathers. Another take puts more feather-like motifs in a circular frame reminiscent of a dream catcher, with a background of Rhodes’ signature squiggle print.
The designs will be available in limited quantities at Matchesfashion.com, Net-a-Porter and Harvey Nichols. Matchesfashion.com, which started stocking the brand a couple of seasons ago, has chosen five dress styles, including the beautiful butterfly-sleeved 1970s boho-luxe Gabrielle (£980) in soft red silk; the dramatic kimono-style silk Francile (£1,650) in shades from creamy nude and powder pink to pale terracotta; and the gloriously summery, sleeveless and full-skirted Solaine, in a bold green print (£535) on fine cream cotton. Any one of them would bridge the gap between summer occasion dressing and the chicest beach resortwear.
Both parties are delighted with the results, and more designs and prints are planned. “It’s been fabulous to interpret my Banana Leaf print on these beautiful, wearable dresses and see the prints enhancing them,” says Rhodes. “It’s all any designer could ask for, and it celebrates my 50 years as a creative.”