[Images via Style.com]
In high school, attempting to be a prom queen, punk, preppy schoolgirl, and junior cadet simultaneously would result in a supremely confused adolescence. Yet in her Fall-Winter 2009 collection, Luella Bartley proves that when it comes to clothes, these stereotypes can be synthesized into a super-chic and completely harmonious hybrid. The collection’s color palette is limited, consisting primarily of blacks, grays, and browns, but Bartley makes sure to use at least two of the three colors in each garment, which, along with eye-catching gold buttons, zippers, and hook-and-eye clasps, makes her suits, skirts, and dresses anything but basic. The variety of materials in the collection also adds to its interest, with individual outfits incorporating wool, satin, chiffon, leather, and quilted and carpetbag fabrics. All in all, the collection was defined by its military-inspired symmetry (especially in the placement of buttons and pockets), its charming schoolgirl details (think Peter Pan collars, pleated skirts, blazers, and book bags), and of course, its edgy, British punk-rocker elements such as zippers, plaids, and buckled straps. I’d say Luella’s achieved the perfect mixture of sugar and spice—and that pigtails have never looked so badass.