No location other than Elms Lesters Painting Rooms, off London’s Denmark St, could have been more appropriate to showcase fall-winter trends as glossed on by Relative MO brands. The high ceilings and multi-coloured walls of the gallery were the ideal background for an orgy of artsy references – an unashamed melting-pot of styles, ranging from abstract expressionism to impressionism, expressionism, néo-kitsch, Bloomsbury group and everything in between.
Two words: blobs and prints. Fantasies of colours and textures run unbounded, even on apparently idiosyncratic materials such as leather or fur. The colours are whether garish (Expressionism) or toned down (late nineteenth-century Britain), the prints deliriously break the fronteer between second and third dimension, bringing trompes-l’oeil back in fashion. Florals become psychedelic for our digital era, jewelry is pop (Maria-Francesca Pepe), shoes are surreal (Charlotte Olympia), clutches flirt with Art Nouveau lines. Erdem tops it all by playing folk Pollock.
Fine art being fashion’s inspiration is no news, nor is a dress being considered a canvas, yet such a quantity of out-of-the-atelier pieces was astonishing. It also means that things that were deemed old fashioned are now returning: heavier knits, kitsch motifs, thicker fabrics, bejewelled embroideries and even ‘ugly’ combinations of colours. Matched with 3D and digital achievements, even curtain-dresses and châlet fashion can have a new life. Plastic and vinyl are back and taken as seriously as leather; above all, there is an element of wit that can be found on every display. Minimalism stays strong too, with reassuring black and grey peeping from the hangers now and then.
While some painterly effects can seem childish or overused here or there, two names reign: on one hand Giles and his collection that reads like an ode to both Arte Povera and Nouveau Réalisme (Alberto Burri, Piero Manzoni and Yves Klein come in mind), on the other hand the undisputed queen of prints, Mary Katrantzou, with her postmodern cream unicorns on architectural follies of any kind. Her 3D ‘pencils’ and oversized geometries belong to videogame design as much as fashion, and are not without reminding us of trippy 90′s games backgrounds… fashion can be a non-sense fantasy world, kids.
Featured: Giles, Mary Katrantzou, Maria-Francesca Pepe, Orla Kiely, Gianvito Rossi, Erdem, A. F. Vandervorst, Charlotte Olympia, Amanda Wakeley, Frankie Morello, Designers Remix, Bionda Castana, Alice+Olivia, Camilla and Marc, Bolzoni & Walsh, Emma Cook, Jade Jagger, Matthew Williamson, James Long, Preen, Willow, Tabitha Simmons, Bimba & Lola
Thanks to Relative MO.
Photos Isa Jakob3 April 2012 1 Comment