In with one and out with the other. London Fashion Week proved to be another rainy affair, all of which I am too familiar with. It couldn’t be anymore ironic as it is pouring down outside just as I am typing this. But as per usual, the show must go on and perhaps the calling for heavy rain was only the beginning for something dark, magical and surrealist.
If you consider where Fashion sits today, then Topshop Unique is more relevant than ever in this Digital Age. Mash-up. Mix and match. Individualism. Choices. Gone were the days of wearing solely one brand or one distinct style. And who better to understand the current generation than Topshop who also sells to the masses? There were references to the Seventies, Grunge, Punk…all of which are still relevant to the now. Most of all, there was an attitude in the styling and within the garments that was so resonant with being British. It was so clear that this was a collection finding life through the wearer themselves. Personal style. Attitude. Topshop Unique is unique for a reason. This show is theirs and yours.
It’s difficult sometimes to discuss cut when concerning anything print, but it is an area that shouldn’t be undermined. Just as Minimalism is honed on the basis of shape and cut, print-led collections have a difficulty on the other side of the spectrum to almost re-invent cut, and in most cases, symmetry. Whenever cut is employed within print, it’s as disguise, as play, as Art on the body. The print has to be showed off so the cut can’t be too over-the-top otherwise that’d be overkill but Mary K knows how to get the balance right.
Mary Katrantzou went Pop! this season with references to Andy Warhol and Great Americana (cowboys anyone?) which was adequately appropriate considering the current elections going on. Hearts, stars and butterflies were re-occuring motifs throughout offered in prints, appliqués or cut-outs which produced a new kind of fun. If that wasn’t enough, leather was added to the palette providing another dimension – the bad gal. Things aren’t so sweet after all.
The appliquéd leather jacket in particular, was the stand-out piece for me. Admittedly, I am not a fan of animal print, and the thought of it being combined with leather could have easily become tacky. But somehow this worked.
Of course, some of the underlying questions were how ‘Prada’ or ‘Miu Miu’ this collection was, which left some of the audience uncomfortable since it was not the type of show they signed up for. Whether this is a new transition of Mary Katrantzou, we will have to see in seasons to come.
I purposely left Mr McQueen’s brand and legacy last to be discussed as it is other-worldly. I can’t possibly talk about it in the same realm as other designers (sorry, not sorry). But one thing for sure, Alexander McQueen himself would be proud. Another thing that is also for sure? Alexander McQueen is what dreams are made of…literally.
Sarah Burton had Wonderland in mind, fairytales of the good and the bad that was so reminiscent of a Dali painting. The only difference being that this was actually reality, or was it? There was the pocket watch motif, butterflies, eyes, the unicorn and many more – all gloriously depicted upon leather, organza, tulle, chiffon and masculine tailoring fabrics through one application or another. It was everything that had embodied Alexander McQueen’s work and that will continue to do so.
It was surrealist at its best. A dream that perhaps, was better left undisturbed.
Dream-State vs. Reality
Note: All images courtesy of Indigital.tv via Style, Vogue and BoF