For this catwalk show I found myself sat one person apart from the infamous London Fashion Week performance artist Pandemonia. I’m not very good at spotting fashion celebrities (I can to my shame point out someone from Made in Chelsea, even if I cannot name them) but she does rather stand out from the crowd (literally, complete with blow up wig she’s immensely tall). I was playing it cool so I didn’t ask for a picture; as if it’s completely normal to sit next to a giant inflatable Barbie doll. An illusion I have now shattered by going on about it here. The four designers, along with another three contributing to a showcase Campari reception the next day, were over from the Ukraine, part of a growing trend for international designers to show their wares at London Fashion Week.
The first designer up was Anna Kolomoets (above), with a kitsch collection featuring plenty of shiny, glossy and fluffy textures. I quite enjoyed the playfulness of it, especially the love heart fake fur mini skirt and the curved flaps on a dress that resembled giant petals. The music cut out suddenly during the catwalk and no attempt was made to carry on, so everyone sat in stunned silence before we skipped straight on to the next designer.
Yasya Minochkina started out on a much more utilitarian vibe, with sculpted checks in muted colours and peasant-ish flared ra-ra skirts. There was only a hint of colour in shiny shoes until the arrival of a bizarre electric blue and maroon velvet dress. With zip pockets. Really. I liked the final black dress, with a show stopping ankle flare that made great shapes as it flowed down the catwalk. Thankfully not actually show stopping this time.
Ooh look, there’s me on the right – and Pandemonia on the left.
With Iulila Paskal we were back on slightly more familiar territory, with the use of laser cut metallic leather of the kind that has been popular in recent seasons. I liked the combination of sharp tailoring and cut out designs in geometric and organic shapes. The models wore padded headbands in matching shimmery colours, giving them a bit of a Statue of Liberty look. This was matched with the slightly wispy bed-head hair that was the rule for the whole show.
Anna October was the real star of the show though, featured in the Fashion Scout exhibition and highlighted in various publications over the weekend. You can see why too: the full skirted dresses constructed from tinsel-y slimline chevron patterns were especially memorable, and the use of silver a genuine marriage of classic and futuristic references that worked. The combination of ‘tradition’ and ‘modern tailoring’ is an overstated fashion cliché, but I think some of these pieces walked that line elegantly. I wasn’t entirely sure about the oversized jumper of layered glitter, but I guess you can’t please everyone all of the time.
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