ASCENO's designer duo Lauren Leask and Poppy Sexton-Wainwright have developed chic yet comfortable swim, sleep and loungewear pieces that are designed for today's modern woman on-the-go. Each season the collections are refreshingly versatile, blurring the lines between ready-to-wear, and most importantly, that they can take you from day and night, city and beach.
"The ASCENO woman strives to be her best self. It isn't about being overtly sexy or overtly made up. It is about being relaxed and comfortable in her own skin. She doesn't try to be anything she isn't and in the process, manages to look impeccably stylish while remaining effortless' says Poppy who perfectly sums up the brand's core values: a collection of essentials worn everywhere in a woman's life.
For the labels Resort/SS19 collection, its signatures include rich tones, bold stripes and laidback silhouettes. This season the palette is far from traditional, and is refreshed with tones of bottle green, dusty pinks and mustard yellows. "The colour choices are always what makes the collection. We landed on really rich, natural tones with bright bursts of colour" says Lauren.
Similarly, the core of each collection always includes a bold stripe. "Stripes are key to our DNA and always pulls our collections together. The Stripe is the coherent line running through everything that we do" explains Poppy. For Resort/SS19 the classic stripe receives a jolt of colour that has been reworked in the most vibrant tones, making the collection at once confident and subtly feminine.
This season, the designers have played with luxe fabrics and timeless silhouettes. From sandwashed silk loungewear, to relaxed cotton linen and textured swimwear. The shapes are slightly oversized and beautifully draped to skim the body. As the collections start to bridge the gap even further between loungewear and ready-to-wear, the designers have introduced new shapes and styles. "We find ourselves designing into new shapes to fill voids in our new wardrobes. This season the new linen trousers and top are the ultimate chic outfit to globetrotting. Everything is fluid and laid-back. Comfort is key" says Lauren.
An essential theme for every ASCENO collection is travel focusing on sought-after destinations. This season, the designers chose the distant desert realms and romantic splendour of Morocco. " The Resort 19 campaign was shot in Morocco. The team flew into Marrakesh and travelling a few hours into the Agafay desert at the foot of the Atlas mountains. This landscape provided the perfect backdrop for the shoot, the olive and terracotta tones sat perfectly against the pink clay walls and red sands." says Poppy.
Morocco was a place that Lauren and Poppy wanted to explore and share with the ASCENO customer. They have rounded up a selection of boutique hotel stays for the ultimate North African hideaway.
1. El Fenn
Striking the perfect balance between old and new lies El Fenn (el-fenn.com). A collection of old riads, renovated by Vanessa Branson (sister of Sir Richard), El Fenn boasts three marble pools, palm-filled courtyards decorated with woven lanterns, jewel-coloured velvet sofas and contrasting tiled floors. Despite vibrant shades of pomegranate pink, saffron and azure blue throughout, the contemporary property emanates a soothing sense of calm. A rooftop terrace overlook the city- complete with Berber tends, large cacti and striped daybeds - provides peaceful respite from the bustle, while the bedrooms, with 17ft-high ceilings, standalone bathtubs and four-poster beds only add to the serene environment.
2. L'Hotel Marrakech
A converted 19th century palace, the place had fallen into disrepair until Brit designer Jasper Conran happened upon it; this is his first foray into the hotel world after dreaming about owning one since he was a kid. Yet it doesn't really feel like a hotel, more like the exquisite home of a wealthy collector with impeccable taste. Dotted with the designer's personal collection of art and antiques, but still manages to feel modern and pared-back.
The Designer's Edit
Relaxed silhouettes and vibrant tones are at the heart of this collection. "The easiness of the collection lends perfectly to the desert heat. I'm wearing the oversized linens in olive and whites. The textured swim in olive and yellow for poolside afternoons" says Lauren on her favourite pieces.
Poppy also shares her edit, 'For laid-back lounging our multi stripe silk pyjamas, and for warm evenings the olive dense line off the shoulder dress. The wide leg yellow silk trouser paired with a bikini top and slides, perfect for a cocktail at sunset."