Marques’Almeida AW20 was an ode to feminine youth
From Euphoria references to bourgeois dresses, the Portuguese duo explored what it means to be a young woman today.
Photography Mitchell Sams
Ephemeral as it is, there are few sources of inspiration in fashion as enduring as youth. It’s a given, then, that London’s young talents should be particularly keen on riffing on the theme, but few approach it with quite the same nuance as Marques’Almeida. Since becoming the second-ever brand to take home the coveted LVMH Prize back in 2015, they’ve established themselves as purveyors of effortlessly experimental clothes that convey the experience of being and becoming a young woman in this day and age -- with all the fun, flirtatiousness, vulnerability and ambition that entails.
For AW20, the pair continued developing their staple bricolage of contemporary silhouettes flecked with memories and references from the past. Prefaced in the show notes by a quote from Rue Bennett, Zendaya’s lead character in Euphoria, the collection mirrored the show’s exploration of the full spectrum of feminine youth.
A bourgeois, mother’s-little-darling energy emanated from a coquette-ish black wool dress, with broad bands of gently ruffled satin at the hem and cloche sleeves -- rather than pearls around her neck, she wore a chunky, utilitarian chain, offering an expectedly M’A dash of subtly subversive grunge. A bias-cut satin dress leant a similar debutante-ish air, with an inflection of modern sexiness given by a circular cut-out at the hip.
Bold watercolour graphics and graffiti-ish prints lent a rebellious spirit, seen on everything from a crew-necked jacket to trousers to an asymmetrically-hemmed pleated dress, sported by i-D’s very own Frankie Dunn. You could almost imagine these pieces being what the M’A muse might slip on after sneaking out of the house past midnight for a clandestine rave, her older sister’s borrowed ID in hand. Her bolshy confidence was only enhanced by the puffs of richly-hued, thick-pile shearling that peppered the parade.
The boldness of this season’s M’A girl was, however, underscored by a quiet vulnerability, an endearing sense of innocence. Oversized proportions -- whether in hoodies, pieces in signature treated denim, or dresses in iridescent silk jacquards and ribbed knits -- brought the image of a daughter dressing up in her mother’s clothes to mind, looking in the mirror and assuredly imagining the woman she’ll one day grow up to be. No matter her age in numbers, the M’A girl will always be young at heart.