lfw fall/winter 17, day three: mm6, av robertson, preen, and phoebe english
Here's what we saw at Sunday's fall/winter 17 shows in London.
MM6 took us back to reality this season. The label's LFW presentation revealed the work that goes into creation, offering a little glimpse behind the curtain of how a show gets made. Guests were greeted by a stylist styling, a pattern cutter cutting patterns, and a print designer designing prints. It gave new meaning to the idea of deconstruction put forward by founder Martin back in the day. As John Galliano reinvents the house's mainline offering in his own imaginative vision, MM6 continues to revisit the Margiela archives. The team might play with a duvet coat, or turn a classic item on its head with an unexpected fabric. The collection had an arched eyebrow and a sense of playful humor: phone chargers became belts, a string of luxurious pearls was used as a clasp on a velvet dress, and a plastic cup was transformed into the heel of a boot.
Text Felix Petty
For her third LFW showcase, Marc Jacobs-approved AV Robertson took her trademark "casual couture" to a parallel universe — a convergence of real and fantasy that took place in futuristic "Secret Garden" setting of the young Mancunian's creating. The silhouettes were wearable and clean cut — from oversized sweatshirts to appliquéd dresses — and supplemented this time with Swarovski embellishments reminiscent of something from a George Melias film: lunar and other-worldy, off-kilter and iridescent. You want the moon? Just say the word and AV Robinson will throw a lasso around it and pull it down.
Text Matthew Whitehouse
On Sunday evening, Phoebe English invited us to worship at the church of feminine power and nature. The designer presented a collection of eight 'characters' — "women as symbols of strength and resilience" — among glorious foliage at the resplendent Fitzrovia Chapel. The spectacular gold atrium of the chapel was reflected in Courage: a jacket and cropped wide-leg pant suit look. Gold strips of tinsel were woven together and encased in sheer black chiffon, and the offering was topped with a crown of gold leaves.
Models posing as the Three Graces wore intricately cut shirting under layers of twisted and tucked white netting. They were not tied-up, but tied together with shimmering fabric woven through their hair, standing together to represent Unity. The word was painted in silver across their faces. Tyranny was represented by a red, pleated pantsuit; Voice, by a blue workman style jacket and jeans look in gauze. Blue lipstick by makeup artist Inge Grognard was spread out across the model's face. "Tyranny oppresses. Fear divides. Apathy rests. Voice calls. Courage braves. Unity binds. Repair cures. Hope reigns," the show notes declared, concluding, "Me. You. Them. US."
Text Charlotte Gush
Lights, camera, club kids. Inspired by the colorful characters of the Blitz club era, Preen's fall/winter 17 collection was a love letter to the New Romantics. Think exaggerated cavalier blouses, loose pantaloons, and smudged Leigh Bowery-esque makeup. The palette was mostly composed of harsh blacks countered by vibrant blocks of jewel-like color and floral prints mixed in with whole sequin looks. Elsewhere, there were references to the Suffragettes, with corsets, leg of lamb sleeves, and Edwardian-style coats in tweed and colorful shearling — all of which were inspired by the work of Christina Broom, the first female press photographer in Britain who documented some of the first women's marches in London. While the Blitz club kids of the 80s and those brave Suffragettes aren't the most natural bedfellows, it was their shared use of clothes as a form of political statement — the club kids as a form of escapism from the harsh economical Thatcherite climate and the Suffragettes as part of their campaign for the right to vote — which makes this collection so poignant. In these turbulent times, creativity can save the day.
Text Tish Weinstock