London Fashion Week Roundup: Day One
London Fashion Week has begun in a bejeweled flurry of C-list celebrities, overdressed middle-aged men and hyper-inflated egos. So you don't have to deal with any of that nonsense, we'll be going down every day to cover the shows that we think matter the most. Here's what happened on the first day.
ANTONI & ALISON
Antoni & Alison kicked everything off, starting their show with a three-minute pre-recorded monologue, containing phrases like "The last 25 years of our brand have been the greatest show on Earth in slow motion," and "We know we're highly influential." Thanks for letting us know, guys, but unfortunately there's a rule about people who say stuff like that out loud.
To everyone's amusement, the ever-indignant pit photographers booed their way through the second half of what sounded increasingly like a disclaimer, then the models teetered out, all in dresses, because dresses were, apparently, the “right thing to do”. In my brief experience of Fashion Week, there have only been a couple of moments where I've suddenly become overwhelmed with despair. The sad procession of wastrels with vertebrae-like spider bites and hair lifted straight off the “hot chicks” from Dude Where’s My Car had that exact effect nailed.
The dresses were fine, the T-shirt sleeves and knee-high slits worked well, but the whole collection was dogged by a sense of self-repression. The (I’m so sorry for using this word) quirkiest bits of print and colour worked the best, despite a staunch assertion in the opening dialogue that “we are chic; we are arty, we are not quirky”. Well, that’s a shame, because now you’re just boring. But happy 25th anniversary!
The smaller, school-charity-fashion-show runways have always weirded me out. How they're tucked away like an afterthought, nestled in some corner of Somerset House, where the room is small and cramped enough to smell the models' pre-show throw-up. The Eudon Choi presentation didn't have that feel, though. Everything was light, open and relaxed, which reflected every bit of the summery vibez intrinsic to the collection. Some of the outfits definitely looked like Mondrian was given a Chanel budget and license to design BA's next range of flight attendant uniforms, but everything else came together well. The white coat/white dress combo was my personal favourite, like a wearable version of one of those egg chairs, but not laughably lame.
Ciccone is Madonna's little brother, Christopher Ciccone. After being an artist, dancer, best-selling author and film director, he obviously realised how lazy and unaccomplished that repertoire sounded, so has designed a line of footwear for men, women and kids – AKA, everyone in the world. That's if everyone in the world digs the kind of loud, colourful brogues you'd see Fearne Cotton wearing at a rockabilly festival.
This is probably a total fashion world faux-pas, but the words that sprung to mind as I watched the PPQ show last night were "Club Monaco". You know Club Monaco, right? It's like Banana Republic – the kind of beige stuff your mum bulk buys when she goes to the States every 12 years. So, PPQ was like Club Monaco meets Barbarella meets Annie Hall, set to a soundtrack that can only be described as non-descript club bangers. Models with roll necks and floaty, printed silks best suited to Pacha Ibiza swanned down a catwalk swarming with it-girls sporting GHD wavy hair.
Round, white sunglasses and candy-pink lipstick brought everything up to date and was a welcome change from the "dramatic eye" monotony of the Somerset House pack. I just wish they hadn't overbooked the show to the extent that the queue was still snaking around the block after the lights had gone up. Boohoo for those guys, but I guess Fashion Week takes no victims.
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