Aminaka Wilmont S/S 2012 by Gemma Sheldrake
The title Changeling on the poster-sized invitation to Aminaka Wilmont’s show – the last womenswear show in the BFC show space at Somerset House during this London Fashion Week’s season – already prepared me, cost before actually seeing the collection, illness for some allusions to legends and folklore. Of course the designers behind the Aminaka Wilmont, Maki Aminaka Löfvander and Marcus Wilmont have a wealth of such otherworldly inspiration to draw from their Swedish, Japanese and Danish cultural backgrounds.
Aminaka Wilmont S/S 2012 by Kristina Vasiljeva
The first thing that struck me when the show begun was the way the models had their hair styled with a mid-parting and straight bands of hair placed hanging in front of their ears, which immediately reminded me of Neyriti’s hairstyle in the movie Avatar.
Aminaka Willmont S/S 2012 by Gemma Sheldrake
Interestingly, afterwards I read that Aminaka Wilmont were partly inspired for their Spring Summer 2012 collection by Ori Gersht’s photographs of dark landscapes and high mountains which look very much like Pandora’s Hallelujah Mountains in Avatar. The dove grey tones we saw in a lot of the outfits evoked the colour of karst limestone formations found in some of Gersht’s work and on the chinese Huang Shan Mountains which inspired the Hallelujah Mountains.
Perhaps following this line of thought, the designers had placed white orchids – which often grow under geological conditions such as those described above – on the front row seats while the pure white colour, and innocence of the flower was reflected in a number of simple white chiffon dresses.
Aminaka Wilmont S/S 2012 by Vasare Nar
Violets and shades of brown dominated in abstract floral prints where again one could see Ori Gersht’s influence. Jersey assymetrical dresses featured cut out panels and custom-made Merve Tuna shoes came in mermaid blues and greens that alluded to creatures of an ambiguous identity. I really enjoyed the chain vial necklaces that contained something which looked like a magic potion in various bright colours.
In line with this ambiguity of the theme of the Changeling was also the duality expressed through the use of leather in the jackets versus sheer chiffon in the dresses and skirts as well as through some bottom halves that were pants-length versus long trains hanging at the back. Indeed here I should add that I felt one should really own an otherworldly pair of legs or simply be a fairy to be able to sport some of the shorter pieces…
Of course the most beautiful and startling contrast was between the masculine/aggressive and feminine which was revealed in the final pieces in the collection; floral printed body armour pieces with 3D flower forms sewn onto them as if the armour was blossoming. Intriguingly the designers cite as an inspiration ‘the Hayflick effect’ or limit – which is the number of times a normal cell population will divide before it stops – and I thought that at times the models looked, walked and had an expression on their faces, especially at the end when they all walked together in a huddle, like they were hopefull warriors or amazons – perhaps determined to survive in a world where the cells do not have that many more times left to divide?
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