No doubt this is a very special edition of London Fashion Week since it marks 25 years of British fashion.
This means that the British media are currently pumping the event up as a celebration of style, rather than just an event to try and resurrect an industry in crisis.The major faux pas in this celebration of style was obviously Mayor Boris Johnson, a rather unlikely style icon, but the perfect sponsor for the big crowds of hypocrites that hang around assorted fashion events.
Style was restored soon thanks to a very special event entitled “Headonism”, curated by legendary milliner Stephen Jones.
J. Smith Esquire, Little Shilpa, Noel Stewart, Piers Atkinson and Soren Bach who showcased five couture pieces from their forthcoming S/S10 collection.
Sitting around a moving tableau created by artistic director Michael Howells, models wore rather flamboyant showpieces while a classically arranged version of Joy Division’s "Love Will Tear Us Apart" played in the background.
It was a rather unusual and bizarre event, the sort of stuff that can only work in London.
Paul Costelloe reinterpreted classically stylish clothes in a modern key.
While the first dresses and trouser suits played with the timeless brown/white dichotomy, as the catwalk progressed there was more emphasis around the shoulders that became well sculpted and rigid and transformed into robotic wings.
Menswear was less interesting, though Costelloe successfully transferred in his men’s jackets the sculpted shoulders he used in his designs for women.
Young designer Eun Jeung mainly focused on two colours, white and silver, in her collection, creating the perfect wardrobe for a space age woman.
The presentation also didn’t do her justice as her talent stands in the details and it is quite difficult if you’re just sitting in the audience spotting intricate beaded embroideries or origami-like folds and pleats.
Maybe Jeung should have taken a lesson in frill control from Emilio de la Morena.
The rest of the collection was rather sensible and sculpturally interesting with fabric elements swirling around the body, over-imposed layers of chiffon opening up like fans and interesting inky prints or bondage dresses built using different straps of fabrics, that contrasted one with the other.
de la Morena mentioned Eduardo Chillida’s works among his inspirations, but I guess the main link between the designer and the artist stood more in a shared respect for their materials of choice, be it fabric, metal or granite.
Bora Aksu is still struggling to find a balance between Amazons and romantic women, though he is as usual showing an interesting research into materials.
For his Spring/Summer collection Aksu fused on post-modernist and Victorian influences.
Rock’n’roll jackets with beaded lapels will easily be among the best selling items from this collection, but the most interesting pieces were ivory lace shirts, skirts and men's like trousers.
There was actually a sense of gothic decadence in Aksu's lace dresses: black abstract motifs seemed to be over-imposed on the dresses or creeping over the models’ legs and bodies, giving them a disturbing Alexander McQueen-like touch.
Sass & Bide’s catwalk started on an optical note, with black and white motifs printed on trousers and jackets, but, as things progressed, the duo moved on to explore opulent influences Cleopatra-style with long and short dresses characterised by intricate beadwork and also gold sequinned harem pants (avoid them unless you’re a regular at Poiret’s fancy parties…). As a whole the collection was acceptable, but quite often slightly repetitive.
Maki Aminaka Löfvander and Marcus Wilmont's first designs were characterised by an earthy palette. Sea blue prints were soon introduced, transforming the models into mermaids.
almost modern interpretations of revengeful maenads, with broken bird wings decorating their hair and corsets made of leather fringes wrapped up around their bodies.It looks like also at London Fashion Week, designers are sharing Rodarte’s view of strong women, creating collections for Amazons rather than ordinary women.
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