Over the last year, designer Lisa Perry has been spending more and more time in the Côte d’Azur—the blue-drenched region in southern France famous for inspiring artists with its unparalleled beauty. “Just walking in the footsteps of these incredible artists is inspiring,” explains Perry. The specific spark for her FW17 collection came after a visit to The Maeght Foundation in the stunning coastal town of St Paul de Vence. The Foundation is home to many examples of Spanish artist Joan Miró’s work, ranging from works on paper to sculptures, which instantly drew Perry’s eye.
“When I went there and saw these happy, goofy images by Miró, I suddenly knew what I wanted to do next. I just desperately needed to smile, and I wanted to make other people smile too,” says Perry, who began working on the collection during a particularly tumultuous time politically. While her love of minimalism was at the core of many of her previous collections—including last season’s pastel palette and geometric prints—this collection embraces a quirkier, more playful feel thanks to the custom, Miró-inspired prints that appear throughout.
The phrase “Je suis heureuse”—”I am happy”—also appears on T-shirts and sweaters. “I am hopeful that even when things feel tough, we can try to be happy—and if fashion can help, fantastic!” Perry also notes that it would be almost impossible not to smile when walking behind one of the collection’s leather bombers with multicolored appliqués inspired by Miró on the back.
As for the silhouettes, there’s a mix of familiar Lisa Perry shapes like shifts, as well as some pieces that explore newer territory. “A lot of the dresses are very reminiscent of styles that you’d see Twiggy wearing in the ‘60s, especially the baby doll shapes. Then, the PJ set takes it into a more modern silhouette.” At the end of the day, for Perry, it’s about looking chic but being comfortable. “I love the A-line, wool cocktail gown with pockets. It’s so comfortable and such a simple statement of elegance that goes back to my mantra that less is more.”
Other cheerful elements of the collection include a pink feather theme, like the below shift dress and jacket (launching later this month). “I love the pink feathers,” admits Perry. “They’re just another way to make people smile.”