Saturday, 21 May 2011

LFW Day 4/5: Burberry, Giles, Meadham Kirchhoff, Ashish

In a nod to the swinging sixties, Christopher Bailey dubbed Burberry Prorsum's A/W 11/12 show the 'Jean Shrimpton Collection' - presenting a strikingly beautiful and classic display of trenches (natch), structured wool coats and cropped capes with exaggerated gun flaps, leather piping details, rain shields and oversized lapels. There were bright block colour wool plaids with bell sleeves which embraced current colour trends for tangerine and powder blue (more colour for winter, huzzah!) and fur came in sculptural forms - most notably in combinations of tight leather sleeves with fur trims.
The more classic camel and khaki hues we associate with Burberry were also present, as were dalmation fur hats (not so Burberry?) which adorned the luxe outerwear. Cable-knit also made an appearance in the form of jumpers with cropped fur sleeves and also on a white, wool silk trench.
The usual Burberry glitterati were seated on the frow, including Alexa Chung,Douglas BoothAnna Wintour and US actresses Kate Bosworth and Rachel Bilson also rocked up sending the paps into a frenzy.  And across town in Piccadilly Circus, a crowd gathered to watch the show on the giant billboard screens (a first for any LFW catwalk show) sans music though; and at the same time hundreds of thousands watched from the live stream at home (or work, naughty!).
But the only place to experience the spectacular was in that tent in Kensington Gardens, where Bailey's cool mix of modernity and British heritage with quirky twists, culminated in a breathtaking finale of faux snow falling on the catwalk as models strutted out wearing wellington boots (cute) and see-through mini trenches with black piping. After such a bleak winter, most of us didn't want to see the snow again...but that sprinkling of white power actually made everyone break into a smile. Even Anna Wintour.
Giles Deacon’s show at the Royal Courts of Justice – was a complete move away from his S/S 11 collection which featured clashing neon and fun, bold patterned jumpers. This season, disciplinarian Giles presented a Victorian inspired collection, with a slight nod to the 'female hysteria lurking beneath'.
It was a celebration of a coveted female silhouette -the perfect hourglass figure - with corseted shapes dominating, such as buttoned up high-neck dresses, fitted and full skirts, cinched in waists, fitted jackets and high-waisted trousers - all in a monochrome palette.
There were some injections of colour in the form of teal satin maxi dresses, and oversized long wooly cream jumpers roped off with skinny leather belts. Cocktail dresses and ball gowns were adorned with black Swarovski crystals and cream or black mohair, feather and lace embellishments.  Accessories included large hair bows and ribbon-laced boots.
Think "The Whicker Man", M. Night Shyamalan's "The Village", "Children of the Corn" and "Little Red Riding Hood" all thrown together, add Hitchcock's 'Psycho' (including the shower-seen screecher) and you have Meadham Kirchhoff's A/W 11/12 show which was genuinely both amazing and chilling to watch at the same time.
Continuing on the theme of art installation - an 'epitaph' to their last show featuring crosses, candles and flowers was placed in the centre of the catwalk  - MK presented a spectacular show which saw models marching out together en mass to the end of the catwalk and back - set to the creepy horror film music score, in under five minutes flat.
From what I could see as the models whipped past me, the gist was intricate and intrigue - with a black, white and red colour palette, over almost folklorish-like clothing (think Hansel and Gretel, or a Russian doll) some boucle textures, slouchy socks teamed with kitten heels, black pinafores with cream blouses, cardi-jackets in red fleece, blood-red leggings, knickerbockers and scary witchy-poo hats worn over plaits (the girls, obv).
As fast as it whizzed past, it was one of my favourite collections this season, and well worth the hour long wait!
If your idea of fashion is clothes with holes, rips and safety pins holding everything together, then consider yourself on fashion's A-list. Ashish Gupta brought grunge, and derelict chic to his A/W 11/12 collection with a nod to the recession with dishevelled jumpers emblazoned with the slogans 'Hard Times’ and ‘Holy Crap’ - how apt.
Deliberately unkempt models strutted slovenly down the catwalk, visibly chewing gum, sans make-up with hair that needed a good brush - all for effect of course. The theme was 'God Save The Queen' Brit punk chic meets grunge meets plaid, with a huge splash of shimmering sequins, which appeared throughout the collection on mini dresses in patchwork mixes of blue, green, purple, red and yellow, Union Jack print jumpers and boxer shorts, multi-coloured cardi-jackets and mini-skirts with fringed hems and large pearl button embellishments, and a black and white pinstripe suit.
Skeletal prints on black sequinned baggy trousers and cropped tops, baggy stripe shirts teamed with dishevelled holey jumpers, ripped jeans and a distressed denim jacket covered in safety pins (I WANT!) also made an appearance; as did cobweb motifs painted on tights which were worn with houndstooth DM boots and platform shoes.
Overall it was an eclectic, colourful and wearable collection (if you like making a statement that is) drawing model Amber Rose and singer Paloma Faith to the frow - and with all the Union Jack symbology, it was a fitting way to end London Fashion Week....well, the womenswear shows anyway.


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