We are giving you another few months to take our breath away... Polimoda x ASVOFF are asking you to submit a film with the brief, one of the 6 themes: HUMAN BODY (Body), URBAN SPACE (Space) , IMAGINATION )Imagery), WRITING (Calligraphy), CREATION (Craft), CLOTHING (Dress) - 1-3 minutes.
Think about it, construct it, submit it...MARCH 31 DEADLINE
For my childhood drawings, I remember being able to choose from a massive selection of blue crayons, although it’s certainly much more so now in my memory than it actually was. They were the relics of my mum’s geology degree, for which she had hand-drawn, years before, a map of the diverse deepness of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Titled IMMERSE, Christopher Raeburn winter collection features a similar variety of shades, all distilled in multiple textures and fabrics to seemingly echo such depths: from an opening periwinkle cape with side poppers to signature military hues like a muted navy or air force blue, from the faux fur collar in seaweed green to a silvery, swirling pattern of tiny sharks, Raeburn’s seasonal mascot, on the gentle ripples of a silk jumpsuit. All of these were noticeably brightened with the re-use of original orange panels and fluorescent details from a recycled life raft in his REMADE line, together with anoraks and pea coats crafted from what were once naval blankets and uniforms. If the survivalist leanings of contemporary menswear have long been welcomed by most, many womenswear designers still fall prey to the allure of a more traditional, way more unpractical, feminine prettiness. Not Raeburn though - after a soundscape of crashing waves, recalling that of Leviathan a bit, welcomes us to the show, his models walk gracefully down the runway in their rucksacks and beanies and sensible gumboots, and the staples of a new elegance make themselves known: it’s clear that if they’re heading to the sea, it’s not to laze sunbathing in their bikinis.
“Men would pay $200 for me, and here you are turning down a freebie. You could get a perfectly good dishwasher for that” scowls Jane Fonda in her superb Oscar-winning performance as call girl Bree Daniels, in the 1971 psychological crime Klute. Bree’s smoky voice and her lewd advice purr down the line, from a time when phone calls still went by wire, as a background for Ashish Gupta’s foxy winter show: with an invitation looking enough like a credit card that someone saw it fit to write down a note “You need to know / This is not a real credit card” as it came in the mail, a narrative of sex and money, or lack thereof, could be guessed before the first model even walked in. Although as she did, in a hooded patchwork of faux fur, lacy knickers and tight-high lipstick-slick red boots, perfect to walk on anyone so inclined, there were still a few gasps at how literally Ashish chose to perform his theme. Forget the teases, hints and innuendos of fashion past: female sexual freedom, in 2015, allows women to dress up as provocatively as they please. And with SEX spelled in large-scale pearls, and sequinned lingerie worn on its own under camouflage parkas, it’s clear that according to Ashish at least, they please to do so very much indeed. It’s the kind of look your neighbours would be shocked by – although it would be worth it, if only for you to address them as Bree does: “Tell me, Klute. Did we get you a little? Huh? Just a little bit? Us city folk? The sin, the glitter, the wickedness? Huh?”.
A handful of seasons have passed since their Fashion East days, and Marques’ Almeida have flowered with enviable speed. Cradled, indeed, by the newfound appreciation of denim they nonetheless are largely responsible for, and perhaps also due to a timely collaboration with TOPSHOP allowing the label to dress that carefree youth they seem to have in mind, Marques’ Almeida has already reached the status of a school of thought: enough so that if you dig out those loose pair of jeans in your closet since 1997 and rip them up artfully a bit, your fashion friends may say “That’s very Marques’ Almeida of you”. Showing at the TOPSHOP venue in Tate Britain, the designer duo’s winter collection was a skilfully balanced clash between their own disobedient sensibilities and the heady giddiness of expansion. Brocades, most of all, were the seasonal pièce de résistance, linked to their signature indigo looks with charmingly tousled silhouettes and hairstyles, as well as similar treatments: like their denim, raw edges let the golden wefts float loose, in a curiously asymmetrical fil coupé effect. Tinfoil metallics also featured plenty, especially in the footwear and rumpled bags paired with warmly coloured monochrome ensembles. She might have treated herself to some sparkles and a few Swarovski along the way, Marta Marques and Paulo Almeida could be saying, but this girl hasn’t lost her defiance: and wears it all together incredibly well.
It was raining cats and dogs on Sunday night, as we made our way towards the Pam Hogg show, and London glistened as this city does in the stormy weather, radiant and beaming as if dressed in latex. Ladies and gentlemen in platform heels trod carefully in-between the puddles all around Freemasons’ Hall, with their arms flailing slightly for balance: anticipating, by chance, the mood of a collection they were yet to see, that led us into the perilous depths of a sinfully Dantesque selva oscura. “Come out of the garden baby” sings David Bowie in the background, and the first one who does is Lily - daughter of Melanie Blatt from the girl group All Saints, here in her catwalk début - as Little Red Riding Hood in swishy ruby silk. Blossoms, thorns and twigs and what was also possibly once a crow follow throughout the show, suitably titled Diamond Dogs and Demons, as do flared capes in glossy black or shades of tinfoil, all personally hand cut and sewn by Pam herself. Her signature sheer catsuits were joined by some re-imagined equestrian looks in studded suede or ample tulle underskirts. A promising disciple, NEWGEN recipient Molly Goddard admired them from the front row, few seats away from Stephen Jones and Bishi, with Nick Cave and Noel Fielding just across on the opposite side.
Childhood memories in a box: a tiny plastic hourglass filled with pink sand, missing tassels redrawn by hand and small toys from Kinder Surprise replacing the original, long vanished wooden pawns. Nowadays the laboriously organized pleasure of only truly hardcore fans (I hear you, Steven), board games were not so long ago a reliable presence in every household’s pantry. What might come across to today’s youth as almost inexplicably boring was then a matter of endurance and resilience, of logic and chance. A sentimental look back, however, was nothing like what Peter Pilotto and Christopher De Vos had in mind when drafting their winter 2015 collection, which finds its feet in the palette and labyrinthine motives of Snakes and Ladders, Captain’s Mistress and Ludo, and features chromed cabochon buttons that could be lucky keepsakes from a memorable Pinball game – but ends up reaching further, in a much more timely fashion: with sensible outerwear in wool or brushed jacquard, the duo’s signature trim silhouettes, precious embroideries and appliques and classy milky hues, all steadied on sturdy orange heels by faithful collaborator Nicholas Kirkwood.