I took a cautious trip down to the Averard Hotel, Lancaster Gate; cautious, because British weather…
I was like a Meerkat in rain, sincerely speaking; optimism was the mode, escapism was in the destination, Sunday I was a spectator, Friday before, the unsuspected model.
Deteriorating decadence, remnants of English Baroque architecture which once served as an ad interim abode for the affluent and well to do; seemingly fit to house the MA graduate collections from the Royal College of Arts.The essence was unquestionably post modern. Floor to ceiling windows granted a cloudless spot light on a very conscious new school of thought and communication in Design. Fashionably ironic, mind the pun (!)
I wasn’t quite sure whether there were echoes of defeat and defiance in the hallways of the eerily abandoned hotel-now-used-as-art space, but whatever it was it provoked a titillating notion of creative equilibrium.
What I appreciated the most about this experience was how students were given agency as designers to dynamically present their fashion narratives. Through spoken word, performance art and dance, guests were able to see the garments in motion on catwalk, interacting through presentation and as still life on display.
Reflecting on the month prior, standing mute as model during fittings ( and as a former student in Fashion Design ) I was left baffled by my misfortune – not being schooled by the likes of RCA’s Head of Fashion, Zowie Broach!?
“This world of ‘what is fashion’. That’s phenomenal. When you think about it, you have an absolute responsibility to not be safe, you have a responsibility to forge forward. But experiment is so not the right word for it. It’s about having that kind of ability to be brave, honest, and truthful…” Z . Broach
Oh, where did life go wrong? While I trail off into pointless lamentation, I hope you find pleasure in the galleries below of my 8 Favourite Designers.
Supriya Lele • Fashion Womens Knitwear
Super sexy, super sultry, super slick. Juxtaposed cuts and folds of malleable geometry. Pastel palettes, royal reds, gold quadrilaterals, wide slits of extreme exposure, translucent covers, fishnets and a dozen roses. “He loves me… He loves me not?” Nonchalant carnalities and lipstick Feminism, surrounded but not obstructed by glass.
Oskana Anilionyte• Fashion Womenswear
This collection Fluid’Sense, represented the relationship between the body, form, function and liquid based materials as second skins…
Nature, nurture and the fluid in between, acetate snapshots of human profiles; scenes of Milla Jovovich in Gaultier costume ( Fifth Element ) spring to mind… Cyan, orange and lilac, melted moments of tranquil; an exquisite, transonic liquid stillness. Science and high fashion; no fiction.
Marco Baitella – Footwear Installation
Wooden platforms, resin heels, opaque and transparent straps. Petals, plastic, not plastic petals God forbid! Botanical pressing, and a side note bottle of Eau de toilette/ Parfum or Cologne; the delicately scattered potpourri below left me forgetful…
Avantgarde Romanesque military footwear; rooted in Florence, a Rebirthof design through a journey of self awareness, art, music and the human senses. Classically encapsulating the beauty in nature.
Luke Stevens• Fashion Menswear
Deconstructing, reconstructing and reexamining banalities – tin, foil and foam, what for, where and why? Spaceships on Earth or scraps of imagination? Provocative, salient and peculiar. Sportswear or causal wear, good for summer wear- lightweight in nature, in depth rumination under the sun, or rather rotating around it, in the Solar system, still inside the Milky way galaxy…
Common practice or just the fate of the modern human on Earth?
Lisa McConniffe • Accessories Designer
A staircase leading up to a landing of fluorescent fuchsia, haloing a neon framed clutch and a court heel, clouded in a pop pink and orange ombre plaster mold. Acrylic, metal, rubber and plastic retrospective designs that persuade you to cease misprizing those slightly misguided futuristic trends of the 80’s. Need, want, got to have it! Summer time commands it! Got to be Quintessentially Kitsch!
Jessica Deacon • Womens Knitwear
A quick retreat into adolescence exploring identities, existence and environments. BUZZWORDS: Carefree, playtime, after school, ice cream van, screwballs, lemon sorbet, multicoloured gimp bracelets, skip balls, plastic chocker necklace, rhinestones, skating, Hollywood Bowl, UCI cinema, arcade; a very naughty childhood, Noughties would have it. A happiness that was hand selected in Walworth’s Pick n Mix. God save McQueen’s oversized knits. Smocked dresses and confusingly calf length everything, drop shoulder shrug sweaters and midi skirts. BECAUSE we were sooo FETCH! Let it live!
Hyung Oh• Fashion Women’s Knitwear
A collection of opposites, refined and balanced in it’s whimsically passive nature.
Sherbet, pastel and lime greens, complemented by light, deep and dusty greys.
Thick ribbed knits securely patch-worked together with dainty layers of Cashmere, Mohair and rows of Swarovski beading. Spiralling flat head pins snatched large wasted pants together on a biased fold. The almost invisibly connecting fabrics, almost didn’t make sense, like they almost might separate or tear but wont, don’t and didn’t – much like our childhood memories. A fantastical and masterfully crafted collection inspired by a lifetime in story, time, space and nostalgia – bright, bold and beautiful moments between consistently dull repetitive streams of recollection.
Mao Tsen Chang • Fashion Womenswear Knitwear
Intricate laser cut wooden horns, crowning mannequins wrapped in layers of faux fur, polyester, yarns and cotton, creating voluminous coats of an anthropomorphic nature. Rethinking animal rights and the fur industry by switching and exploring the roles and relationship between animals and humans. Because politics is life and we all need our rights ;).
Till next time…