There’s always something special about a Porter Grey collection.  Sisters Kristen and Alexandra O’Neill create looks that are young, yet somehow timeless.

Their Spring/Summer 2012 presentation at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week was no exception.  It was inspired by shared childhood memories.  Alexandra told me, “when Kristen and I were little, we used to share a bedroom together, and our bedroom was covered in chintz.  We had chintz wallpaper, chintz bedding, chintz curtains, chintz everything.”  Then Kirsten chimes in with, “chintz lampshades!”

Yes, the sisters do complete each other’s sentences, but they have a very individual sense of style that comes together just in time to design their collections.  “I think we try to do classic, American sportswear pieces that appeal to both myself and Ali,” says Kristen.  “We always try to design with ourselves in mind, but we both have very different aesthetics.  So we know that, if we can make each other happy with the collections, then we’ve really accomplished something.”

For Spring/Summer 2012, they accomplished a breezy, eclectic look that is young, but not too girly.  There were soft yet tailored looks in an array of summer colors like geranium and oyster.  Just when you felt it might float away, out stepped an edgy, perforated leather dress or a wrap skirt.

It was, according to Alexandra, “a semi-nude palate with fresh pops of color.”  But they wanted to add a little something special, and that came in the form of a beaded mini, and sequins.

The makeup, by Jose Rivera for Sephora, perfectly matched their memories, something a lady might wear to a 1950’s garden party.  “The key feature for the look is the brow,” Jose told me.  “It’s a little on the bold side, think Audrey Hepburn but updated for today.”

Crepe played a big part in the collection, in the form of a beautiful blazer.  But there were rompers, shorts, capris and light, airy tops. One stand-out was a perfectly tailored trench in a deep navy. In a Porter Grey collection, you can sense the sisters share a true passion for this line, and the woman who wears it.

It’s a show I truly look forward to, always pretty, and at this time of year, a real reminder that Spring will be here again soon, and we’ll all have something to wear.

Photography: Anton Brookes

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