It was catwalk chaos at the On|Off venue @ Victoria House ahead of the 4-star show on Friday night; at 19h20, the models were still doing the runway rehersal in their Uggs in full view of the guests at the head of the queue. As usual, there was a scrum for seats, with no real system in the queue, VIPs pushing their way in and PRs screaming at everyone for not doing it right. However, we all got in in the end, and the lights dimmed for the show to begin…
Against a beautiful backdrop wall of digital rain drops, first up was Samantha Cole‘s all-white space invasion collection. Samantha Cole is a British label whose shown on both sides of the Atlantic and been featured in magazines like Schön, Couture and Black Beauty, and was awarded Best Womenswear SS09 during NY Fashion Week 09. The pieces were structured big bad statement mini-dresses with amazing bubble skirts, cowl necks and square shoulders. The textures were just beautiful, and made the material nice and stiff to allow for crazy shapes. The models’ long hair was tied round their necks to create funny futuristic helmet shapes – and the Undeground winklepicker shoes that made things fresh and a nice change from ubitiquitous catwalk high heels, kind of allowing the dresses to speak for themselves without needing the extra height. There was definitely an 80s and thoroughly modern twist on the 60s original of utopia costumes. Check out http://www.samanthacolelondon.co.uk/index.htm for more deets and cool pics.
Next, the Barcelona brand Txwell Miras showed her collection of the powerful black distopia following its all-pure precursor. The models heads were bandaged in black and with the mile high biker stilettoes, made great clean silhouetes for draping and layers that still stayed super-chic and sophisticated, with jackets and dresses all making interesting shapes on the top halves. The textures were layered too; leather was mixed with wools and jerseys in amongst the fabulous shapes that would make any of us killer biker queens. See www.txellmiras.eu for more.
Declaring themselves anti-skinny jeans for men, Mr + Mr‘s menswear was swaggering hip-hop inspired stuff – baggy shapes and Reeboks, with some tie-around judo-like belts. But again, there was far more than first met the eye to simple shapes – leather was a big feature, from pants with a turtle neck to all-in-ones to this sexy bow-tie and dungaree combo. There was more bow-tie madness, this time in furry bear-costume type affairs, and one furry number was open to reveal almost surreal chiselled abs on one male model. Yummy bear! Prize for hottest one on the runway split between him and the bad-ass eyepatch boy who walked first.
Last, knitwear desinger Derek Lawlor fresh from the MA course at St Martin’s (he graduated last March) showed another slick collection using his “unique lace cord technique using wax cord to create organic sculptural shapes on tight fitting cashmere dresses”; the cords made amazing shapes on otherwise tightfitting body-hugging shapes, whether that was to add a bit of extra shape on the edge of a skirt or shoulders of a top, making intricate, breath-taking detail down the front of a frock or mreating a kind of new, stiff fabric for capes and skirts. See http://dereklawlor.com/ for more.