rebel girl, you are the queen of my world: marques’almeida spring/summer 17
"So, where are your M'A girls walking to this year?" I asked Paulo Almeida, one half of Marques'Almeida backstage, before the shiny, fluffy, sexy, frilly pick 'n' mix of dreams that was their spring/summer 17 show. "Well that depends on you guys! We look at the way you wear our clothes and the things you do, the things you post on Instagram; we're kind of stalkers. I mean, if one of our girls is wearing a baroque top and we find it cool, then we're inspired by it. Or if another one of you is telling us about punk music, then we're inspired by it." This season, I had the honor of returning to M'A's catwalk, a proud member of Paulo and Marta's gang of friends. Along with their business partner and M'A family member Rita, the duo have assembled a brilliant team that have helped them craft one of London's most vibrant labels — one that has gone on to win the LVMH prize.
Lining up in the garden of the Truman Brewery, ready for the show to start and to walk the yellow carpet in a pair of very Rihanna-eqsque thigh-high denim boots, complete with signature M'A heel, I chatted to Marta: "Well, we started with the first look…" she explained to me as I searched for a theme in the lineup, gesturing towards M'A's intern Cat, poised to open the show with pink hair and a football tee with red Renaissance-style tulle sleeves under a floral negligee. Metallic gold boots completed the look, encapsulating a feeling of grungy meets girly meets Barbarella throughout the collection. "Basically, we really like the fact that our girls can be tomboys but also love the color pink," added Marta. Working outwards from that point, they designed items individually without thinking too much about styling until the last minute. So, I suggested, it's kind of thrown together in the way that hair stylist Duffy crafted the thrown-up in a messy bun hair? Kind of 'Marie Antoinette gone skating'? "Yes! Exactly."
With silky, holey Courtney Love slips, brocade looks evolved from previous seasons, Beetlejuice stripes and tulle sleeves-turned-gloves, the collection was a heady cocktail of colors and cuts. As ever, their raw hem denim signature was present, as were the metallics found on bags, this time across most of the footwear. Fear and Loathing tinted sunglasses gave some of the rebel girls rosy outlooks for the duration, while giant silver hoop earrings brought extra attitude.
"I think I wanna take you home. I wanna try on your clothes," sang Kathleen Hanna as Bikini Kill's "Rebel Girl" poured out of the speakers, articulating exactly how everyone at the show felt about Marques'Almeida in that moment. It was perfect. They had succeeded in creating the dream wardrobe for their dream rebel girl. They understand exactly what we want.
Want to hear what team M'A heard as they dreamed up this collection?
"I guess everything makes kind of sense except for Vivaldi, which was a random instinct impulse that we had when we were designing the collection and ended up being completely crucial to the way we see and understand it!" Marta tells i-D. "It's so amazing to hear it next to 'Rebel Girl' by Bikini Kill :)" From Bjork to Frank Ocean, Vivaldi to Bikini Kill, this is a snapshot of the musical inspiration behind M'A SS17:
Text Frankie Dunn