With the next five days involving a vast array of high-profile, home-grown and international talent, today was powered by young designers that promise to change the course of the fashion world.
Day one is done, and it served up a commanding set of shows that has left us wanting more. It’s time to roll out the welcome mat, because this fashion race has only just begun.
Funded by the NEWGEN initiative – a scheme that supports emerging designers and has boosted the careers of Christopher Kane, J W Anderson and Alexander McQueen to name a few – Malone stuck to his signature bright, geometric prints and unusual garment shapes.
The foundation for the idea behind all his designs is women, who were central to the young talent’s collection. He started out by exploring the exoticism of 1930s showgirls. Here, dancing costumes were bought to the fore with asymmetric dresses and trousers slashed to expose the flesh of a model’s single arm or leg.
A weird contrast, but what centred the entire collection was his refreshing approach to designing wearable and sustainable clothes for women. As well as using a fabric called Lyocell (made from the bark of eucalyptus trees) on duster coats and halterneck dresses, he also worked with a community of women in India on handwoven fabrics made using natural dyes.
This time round the designer duo, Catherine Teatum and Rob Jones, used their collection to pay homage to Natasha Baker, a GB Paralympic dressage eleven-time gold medallist known as the “Horse Whisperer.”
While the clothes of course were a hot topic – think feminine draping, fine merino knits, shift dresses and cut-out sleeves – the real distractor here was the brand’s use of two visibly disabled models. While model Kelly Knox featured for the second time wearing a blue silk gown, the other stormed the runway in a moss-coloured ribbed dress that showcased her prosthetic leg.
“Our goal with #thebody is to explore and breakdown the idea of us and them, and to champion the idea that what we think of a ‘whole’ or ‘perfect’ is open to interpretation, deconstruction and ultimately reformation,” the designers wrote on Instagram earlier this week.
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