LOS ANGELES, OCTOBER 17, 2017
by ALEXIS BRUNSWICK
For Sue Stemp—known for a career that has spanned stints at Alexander McQueen, Tocca, and Daryl K—her time in Los Angeles has yielded a new direction in design. For Spring ’18, the designer has continued to evolve her brand of new-school femininity. She headed a bit further up the California coast with a collection that took reference from Oncle Yanco, a beguiling 1967 documentary set on a houseboat in Sausalito. The Bay Area blues, intoxicating streams of light, and hypnotic skies all fueled Stemp’s latest contemporary outing, imbued with the same homespun detail and delicate femininity that set St. Roche apart in a field so often overwrought with manufactured ingenuity.
But Stemp’s homage to California is reflective of her love affair with her own left-coast life—and the clothes mimic her contentment. Flouncy ruffle hems, delicate pintucks, and soft asymmetry were sweet but not saccharine, while a zigzag embroidery—Stemp’s clever play on the racing stripe—infused a cheeky sporty element as a counterpoint. A yarn-dyed, allover-stripe take on pajama dressing played well with exceedingly feminine broderie anglaise, micro-floral prints on cotton voile, and a corded embroidery on handwoven khaddar. And, as has become her custom, Stemp remains dedicated to conscious clothing and construction, working with responsibly chosen natural fabrics for Spring, which felt particularly apt for the languid scene that was set.