- Sunday, 18 September 2011
- Written by Beatrix Zwart
The sun shone over Somerset House as London Fashion Week open its doors for the Spring/Summer 2012 shows. In keeping with tradition Paul Costelloe opened London Fashion Week with a ready-to-wear collection featuring slate and stone sleek suits, coupled with bright floral dresses and aquatic turquoise eye-shadow to match (see previous post for backstage).
Over at The Old Sorting Office, preparations were well under way for the off schedules shows. Illuminated under a corridor of hanging light bulbs, Jena Theo presented ‘Fantale’ for SS12. Inspired by the ‘femme fantale’ in film noir, sheer silk twills in sepia and soft grey separates rubbed shoulders with denim ensembles. In the main BFC tent, Bora Aksu’s ‘The Unknown’ collection, a pictorial narrative based on Edwardian French love letters unfolded as models in opulent cocktail dresses took centre stage. A plethora of georgette blouses with crush glass beaded collars, tailored trousers and tulle jackets evoked the story’s romanticism. Krystof Strozyna at Vauxhall Fashion Scout also played with light soft draped fabrics in the form of candy pink dresses and mini skirts, nude blouses and winged shift dress in navy and violet, with bodycon style panelled dresses creating linear shapes. The Royal Opera House dazzled in multi-colour Aztec sequins, jazzy prints, stripes and polka dots as design Duo Sass & Bide sent models down the catwalk in acid yellow, electric blue and vibrant orange Grecian dresses, maxi skirts, tailored suits, vest tops and minis. Livening up an already bright first day, the crowd weren’t the only ones expressing their joy at the end of this colourful show, indeed there were lots of hugs from the design duo’s children at the end (aaah). As the day turned to night, ‘Power Prints’ Basso & Brook’s SS12 collection was far from dark. Adopting the phrase “it’s the darkness that gives birth to the light” (anon), Basso & Brooke’s SS12 collection marked a subtle yet significant shift in the duo’s modus operandi. Their trademark technologically advanced digital prints, elegant tailoring and modern yet classic designs have been re-mastered. Graphic artists and print master, Bruno Basso juxtaposed hard edge foliage with distorted shapes creating a ‘tropical constructivism’ on maxi and short dresses. In contrast, design partner, Chris Brooke the garment architect, found new freedom on an excursion into drapery, referred to as the ‘l’exploration de l’atelier’ (a studio exploration). Transforming flat graphics into deft drapes and printed trompe l’oeil effects for spatial play, Brooke’s complex construction techniques created juxtaposed shapes in the form of tailored jackets with lengthened lapels. The feel of the collection however remained true to the duo’s roots as effortless simplicity and elegant flowing silhouettes resonated.
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