Guest post by Caner Daywood
Not to sound like one of my screen ideals, Carrie Bradshaw, who waxed on about ‘Vogue’ being her Mecca (circa Season 4 just in case) but for any fashionista from London the idea of finally going to London Fashion Week is akin to Charlie finding the last golden ticket and going to see Willy Wonka.
London Fashion Week (LFW) is truly unique to the others in as much as the sense of abandon and the fearless rebellion of the designers is much more at the fore and much more celebrated here. For me fashion has been one of my greatest comforts ever since I was about 4 when my father placed my first metallic gold bow tie around my neck combined with a ¾ length wool-combi Dior jacket from Harrods. So being invited to go to LFW and view a series of collections was something I leaped at – fashionably of course.
The collections I saw were captured in fashion films in courtyard of Somerset House and showcased pieces from Cristina Sabaiduc, Martina Spetlova and Jayne Piersons’ SS13 lines. The whole environment in the cinema was quaint, modern and crammed full of models dispersed amongst a myriad of uber-chic, uber-stylised fashionettes. How lovely.
After a slightly late start – it is fashion after all, so to be ‘fashionably late’ is actually quite vogue – the first fashion film began and I managed to wedge on my 3D sunnies for Cristina Sabaiduc’s The Meeting Place. Cristina’s film…. well to say it was pretty obscure is slightly downplaying it. I ADORE more abstract art, like I even watched that horridly indulgent Melancholia film and am constantly pressed to watch Bergman, but the rolling film of girls randomly fluttering their eyelashes didn’t tell me loads about the culture of Sabaiduc’s brand or even anything about the clothes. However, when the clothes did appear I partially understood what Sabaiduc was aiming for with her ‘exploration of dualities’ as the combination of urban surroundings with the natural colour palette of the clothes was evident and strong. The clothes seemed very loose, almost free in their tactile quality of light and fabric, but the psychedelic nature of the film, made in collaboration with artist Jo Holland, left me (and the guy besides me who said, ‘Was that weird or just me?’) wondering if the art had any true meaning and more to the point if I cared.
The next film instalment, BRAVE by Jayne Pierson, was much more up my alley, in terms of the styling by Danielle Rees and Pierson’s design. Just before the film I was lucky enough to grab a few minutes with Jayne Pierson where she told me about her inspiration for the show loosely based on The Brave New World and Shakespeare’s The Tempest and the contrast between the inner self and the familiar experiences leading back to home. Pierson’s film was far more accessible than Sabaiduc’s and the fashion was more alluring to my own style palate as her high-end fashion shimmered across the screen in a cut-scene where the child (or more accurately Jayne’s own child) transforms into a beautiful laser-cut clad, Alexander McQueen-esque warrior with the matching McQueen-esque AW12 visor to boot. What a fashion spectacle to behold! Pierson’s vision for the film was very natural and ethereal and the clothes echoed this in their purity of colour and intricate design. Her models and the collection itself represented bravery and strength with back-combed manes and helmet-like visors which gave the impression of a modern-day, angelic Valkyrie. Pierson is not new to this fashion game and it shows. Her idea of ‘surreal harmony’ in fashion is both enticing and irresistible to the style veterans amongst us who would wear her pieces with pride, like say Daphne Guinness (who Pierson told me she likes as well) or even me – yes I could rock those visors with an everyday outfit and feel Pierson’s ‘mystical-future aura’ anytime.
The final showcase in the series was by Martina Spetlova whose collection consisted of energetic lines and a unique use of woven leather, which made her looks seem the most ‘ready-to-wear’ of all three. Spetlova’s film was much more linear and obvious too with no arty gimmick it was just gorgeous patchworked or pleated fabrics captured brilliantly by a floating camera with bursts of block colours. Spetlova’s collection was vibrant in terms of colour usage with deep greens and strong reds interpolated with intricate laser-cut pleating which I likened to other designs seen from Krizia or Peter Pilloto and also alludes to the oriental trend that is huge right now. Spetlova’s two looks she displayed after the film, beyond being easy to wear (I would die for a pair of those over-sized shorts) and exciting in their fashion-forward quality, underlined the talent and serious potential longevity of Spetlova’s fashion career.
So, I came and I conquered London Fashion Week and it was everything and more than what I expected, from the beautiful creativity of the collections and designers to my wonderful goody bag. Although I often feel slightly alien-like and ostracised for my individual style by the ‘Topshop/Highstreet-clone’ massive that pervades society – that day I wore a rabbit/fox combi gilet and Etro bow tie – at LFW I felt like I belonged in this universe of sci-fi visors and lasercut pleats. And that is what the best fashion offers us all.
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