London Fashion Week is going strong 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 second day.
SISTER BY SIBLING
Sister By Sibling kicked Saturday off with pure day-glo grandma vibes, in an homage to the late Poly Styrene, singer of X-Ray Spex, who was an early champion of the whole granny-clothing thing. But she was doing it, like, waaay before it was cool, OK? Grandma shone through in the first few looks; knitwear embellished with a 3D, hand-stitched floral print, and sportswear-inspired dresses covered in the pensioner print of choice: toile. You know, the one that usually depicts some quaint, ye olde scene of people sowing seeds, or something. Only, this time – and get this – the SIBLING print depicted London's rioters smashing up shops and setting fire to cars. Edgy, daring, vaguely relevant – that's what fashion's all about.
On the whole, though, the collection was one of the stronger ones so far this year. The leopard print outfit was amazing and the pink, pom-pom headwear reminded me of Fag Fighters, a fictitious gang of gay guys who all wear neon pink balaclavas knitted by one of their grandmas, which has to be a positive thing.
Maarten Van Der Horst
Fashion East is never not amazing – if Lulu Kennedy and her team curated the whole of LFW, it might actually be an event you looked forward to, rather than an exercise in resisting suicide. The Maarten Van Der Horst show started 40 minutes late, but that was fine, because it meant I could stand in line for nearly an hour, listening to neurotic fashion interns worry out-loud about super important stuff, like if their sunglasses were just a bit too oversized for this season, which is normally how I like to spend my Saturday mornings anyway.
As to be expected, the show was great. Pretty much everything was full print; the designs consisting of snippets of Staples packaging and Tesco's carrier bags. People will probably claim that it's a postmodern take on consumerist culture – appropriating it into high fashion and juxtaposing it with blah, bah, blah – but I reckon Maarten just did it because he thought it looked good. And he was right.
The two other designers featured showed their collections in presentations, where models stand awkwardly on a podium and pout at anyone with a camera. A disorientating remix of "212" fused with "Once In a Lifetime" soundtracked Ryan Lo's show, which could have ruined everything if it didn't gel so perfectly with the stand-out collection of the day: all deconstructed, candy-floss glitter frocks for damaged prom queens who make Prozac withdrawal look glamorous.
Claire Barrow is the woman behind those incredible, hand-painted leather jackets that everyone's been crazy about for the last few years. The presentation, following her graduate show in May, featured all the other clothing that isn't a leather jacket – i.e. tops, skirts, trousers, shirts, etc. – covered in prints of Claire's paintings about drinking alcohol. Why break a winning formula, eh? Chris Eubank was swanning around in an expensive suit, which made little to no sense to anyone there, and the press release came with a zine filled with Claire's illustrations, which definitely beats every single pot of hair gel and "Moisturiser For a Real Man" I've ever picked up at these things.
Antipodium is just so Australian. Depending on how much of your life you waste trawling the dark corners of the fashion blogosphere, you may or may not know what I mean. Which is that, as far as I’m concerned, Australian fashion consists of truckloads of asymmetric chiffon, super sleek hair (sometimes wet-look, if it’s an "edgy" one) and hard accessories like, oh yeah, the detachable PVC collars that trotted down the runway at Antipodium.
Not that that’s necessarily always a bad thing; the clean lines of the Patrick Bateman-esque transparent mackintosh and pastel biker jackets were totally acceptable. It’s just, after the inspired collections from brands like Ryan Lo and Sister by Sibling, another runway of super clean, girly separates feels a bit out of touch. Ten extra points for the free bar and majority of not-dickheads in attendance, though. Photos by Coco Capitan
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