Dear Shaded Viewers and Diane,
The idea of a departure, be it radical or subtle, from the canonical textbook of luxury, is something young designers are toying with – due perhaps to politics, perhaps to morals, or the system’s own staleness. Few though, have come to the core of the issue quite as much as Paula Gerbase in her latest collection for 1205. You’ve got to know your craft, hers being textiles, in order to willingly forgo the finest, turn instead to those usually scorned, and beautify them. A series of gauzy, pearly loose separated were crafted from the kind of waterproof organza that when you rub a fingernail over it, as we did with the swatches that were left for this purpose on our seats, the fabric whistles. There was a sheer and spongy polyamide mesh, worn almost defiantly with cotton slippers, and he warmer tone of a coppery polyester, silver-lined, looking just like silk. Its fulvous, suffused shine is said to have been “inspired by the pyrite-lit fires of ancient prehistoric hearths”: indeed, a quasi-primeval undercurrent balances the designer’s ultramodern experiments, when a unapologetic artificial cloth features alongside woven footwear, or a milky, cosy shearling coat. But pyrite is in that note the operative word, with the mineral’s misleading lustre as a theme to ground the collection further. Commonly known as fool’s gold, pyrite can look as plausibly precious as a polyester that simulates silk. Still, the sulphide has an elegance all of its own, and it shows itself in the surreal precision of the structures, cubes or multifaceted crystals, that pyrite grows into in its natural state. They’re geometries that Paula, who cut her teeth in Savile Row, is able to translate almost effortlessly into tailored casuals. Flat panels, slight slits, soft corners and slanting hems, gathered pleats and folds that could have been ironed and sewn in place, except for how they look almost seamless – semiprecious and crystallised.