1. by Alexander Fury .

    Giles Deacon

    Googly-eyes affixed to invites? A giant Pac-Man ghost in luminous pink at the entrance and yellow dots from the cult eighties arcade game snaking around the venue? All the signs indicated that the Giles show would be so, so wrong. Right? Wrong. Giles Deacon's collection was one of the best he has ever shown, and the arcade-inspired irreverence was a huge part of it.

    Humour has always been an essential ingredient of this label's appeal: the women who buy Giles' carefully-crafted gowns do so because they come with a little edge, a knowing wink, a nudge of irony. Sometimes this has been a nudge too far, but sometimes - like tonight - the balance is perfect. Pac-Man was, indeed, the starting-point, but as always with Giles, the trip he takes throws up multilayered references that could only have originated from his fertile mind. Accordingly, thinking about pop culture directed Giles to Pop Art, resulting in multi-spot prints reminiscent of Warhol and a touch of S&M by way of Allen Jones. Warhol too surrendered the pastel camo, which alongside fetishistic shoes, leather-brimmed caps and fabulous, brutal Swarovski-crystal encrusted bullets added to a tough-chic appeal, underlined by quilted erogenous zones, zips and an assured use of leather. After all, Pac-Man was at war (of sorts) with those ghosts. The way Giles addressed, readdressed and most importantly dressed this theme was truly inspired, from the surreal comedy of metallic Pac-Man and Ghost helmets worn with stunning evening gowns, to subtle choices of colour and detail that gave those all-important winks to the concept. When a series of firm wool-jersey dresses bipped out in the colourways of Pac-Man ghosts Shadow, Speedy, Bashful and Pokey, you didn't need to Wikipedia the reference to know they were marvellous.

    There were shades of his sublimely confident early-noughties outings for Bottega Veneta in the bright primaries, graphic perspex earrings and tough biker touches, but Giles has never toyed so deftly with these ideas before. Thrown into the heady mix, amongst others, were patent, PVC, satin, laser-cut silk flowers, body-armour, tailored tyvek, zibeline capes, contrast fins popping at already-popped shoulderlines. It was nigh-on impossible to chart all the textures, colours and details crammed into the clothes that whizzed so fluidly and effortlessly by. What this rich equation all added up to was a parade of some of the most assured, witty and creative clothes we have seen this season to date.

    Recent comments

    1. bamia
      16:03 17 Sep 2008
      I must say, I really disagree with this reading of the collection. Did nobody else feel the pacman theme to be pure gimmickry that bore no discernible relationship with the design of the garments? I fail to see what made this stand out at all, especially next to Christopher Kanes's lapidary experimentations in lightweight fabric which proved uncompromisingly novel. Kane's silhouette was undoubtedly the strongest thing seen in London this season. This on the other hand was a typical Giles botch that didn't really know where it was going. Tonally he's all over the place and yes, I'd even go so far to say that some of these dresses were actually rather boring. After Marios Schwab's hagiography yesterday, was it really necessary to write another for Giles?
    2. GalileosUniverse
      17:51 17 Sep 2008
      PIC> 2007/12/fashion-writ...
      By Suzy Menkes
      Published: September 17, 2008
      What do "Planet of the Apes" and Pac-Man have to do with fashion? Answer: They are both inspirations from two powerful designers at London Fashion Week.
      When Christopher Kane interspersed a gutsy show of scalloped dresses with a massive monkey printed across the breast of one top, he brought all the youthful energy and fun of London style to the catwalk.
      And Giles Deacon stirred his boyhood fascination with video games into his particular couture glamour, bringing the techno-savvy of the modern world to high fashion.
      On Wednesday, Richard Nicoll melded early 1990s minimalism with stark concepts from the late '50s, creating another version of the graphic shapes and vivid colors that are leading the spring/summer 2009 London fashion season.
      The Christopher Kane look has been formed in just two years: fresh, young and containing a bubbly enthusiasm that spilled over the collection as circles of fabric were cut out like petals. They were created in fabrics as disparate as grass-green leather or fluttering silk.
      After a previous foray into the 1970s, introducing a long, soft silhouette, Kane moved both forward - but not far - and way back. The current collection swung between the pre-history of "The Flinstones" and the '70s/'80s period.
      "There is a slightly '70s twinge with sexy Raquel Welch, Tarzan and Jane and monkeys from 'Planet of the Apes,"' said Kane, who opened his collection with a cheeky mix of an animal print top and a skirt breaking in waves of scallops over the thighs. By the time the simian image appeared as a monkey stretched across a top, the mood was set: sly sexuality, a sense of fun - and beautifully crafted clothes.
      The show could be described as one-note - but Kane's skill and charm is that he can riff on variations, tossing off plays on color, like a sunshine yellow top with a pink chiffon skirt, or solidity and lightness, when the scallop effects morphed from leather to organza with rivulets of marabou creating a snowy geometry.
      And just when you thought it was time for a new idea, dresses worked with geometric tracery of stitching arrived. With so much imagination and skill in execution, Kane looks like a designer who will go far.
      The sculpted silhouettes and molded materials that are the core of the Giles image bonded perfectly with the cyberspace world of Pac-Man - and literally so when the fabric treatment turned a trio of slender, colorful bonded jersey dresses from classic to hyper-modern.
      Backstage, Deacon explained the inspiration for the patterns that brought such vivid color and design energy to his runway.
      "I was looking at all the graphic artists of the 1990s - Mark Farrow, Ben Kelly, Peter Saville," said Deacon, 39, who had looked at videos of what he called his era, while Pac-Man went further back to his teenage years.
      The result was a mix of sporty energy (including mesh athletic tops) and outfits cut in bold silhouettes. They were sculpted away from the body or streamlined into slim shapes. The surfaces were then splashed with color, as in a lineup of orange, red, turquoise, yellow and pink dresses, or with the graphic prints of splashy flowers. To soften the big-brush effects, decorative details included necklets of feathers. In sharp contrast were occasional space-age helmets.
      There is still a sense in Deacon's work that a glass wall separates the clothes from the body but in this accomplished show, the designer proved that his couture take on fashion can have a modern, even futuristic edge.
    3. GalileosUniverse
      07:15 18 Sep 2008
      I hope you had time to read it ! ... digest it and come to your senses , you see in such matters the opinions that really count in the real world are published in the best journals and fashion magazines across the world .... your personal opinion about what you personally think is of ABSOLUTE NO IMPORTANCE to no one , 'capito' ? .
      I know plenty of your sort and thanks God they never manage to make any impact in this world .... unless that is to be silly, very foolsih, abusive towards their fellow humans , and to think that they can bully anyone they may consider ' inferior ' in intellect by abusing public forums and hiding cowardly in their 'safety' of total anonymity .... but such 'people ' in the real world , FORTUNATELY, never make it to the real top or manage to become of any relevance at all ........ because in the end PEOPLE aren't that stupid ! .
      Isn't that great that real and true artists like Nick Knight have the opportunity to share his good fortunes and space with those who are talented and are eager to go through such difficulties in order to be positively creative and give us humans the pleasure to enjoy their CONSTRUCTIVE CREATIVITY ! .
      God bless good Nick Knight and the wonderful and most civilised and our very own darling Suzy Menkes ! .......those are the people that count and not the frustrated BAMIAS of this world riding on their mighty and terribly slow donkeys !.......LOL !!
      No we aren't talking about a MYTH , we are talking about LEGENDS of FASHION !
      Have a good journey and a pleasant life .... and if you are that 'intelligent' you perfectly know is far to short to waste in being resentful, bitter and destructive .
      PS> Smile you are on candid camera ! ... just a saying by the way no reference to any one in particular !
  2. by Alexander Fury .

    The Walk Through at Giles Deacon

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  3. by Alexander Fury .

    The Walk Through at Fashion East: Natascha Stolle

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  4. by Alexander Fury .

    Fashion East: David David

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  5. by Alexander Fury .

    The Walk Through at Fashion East: Louise Gray

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    The success of Lulu Kennedy's Fashion East over the past few years cannot be overstated - a clutch of her former proteges now form the hot tickets of every twenty-first century London Fashion Week, while two have already flown the nest to further electrify New York and Paris. Kennedy's imprimatur holds real weight, and this season it was bestowed upon newcomer Natascha Stolle, David David and Louise Gray. First up was Stolle, a graduate of Central Saint Martin's MA and former design assistant at Peter Jensen - who, gentleman that he is, sat front-row at his first fashion show as spectator to cheer her on. Stolle's MA collection was only shown in March, and accordingly she wisely decided to refine the ideas and techniques originally proposed in that show: namely a porcelain applique applied to fabric, reminiscent of crocodile more than any conventional needleworking technique. Her collection was for girls who wished they were sluts at school (her words, not mine), with super high-waist skirts and trousers, Jerry Hall hair and lashings of red lipstick. Think Melanie Griffiths in Working Girl and you get the idea. While she is still somewhat under Jensen's shadow ( a ruffle-print screamed of his influence) this was a offering with distinct future promise. David Saunders opted to show a film rather than conventionally present a collection (of course an approach SHOWstudio can much appreciate). His short was bright, chirpy and above all happy, a riot of graphic print playing out like an early-Nineties music video with pieces that are basic enough but zing with fresh, vibrant energy in primaries and pastels. To close we had Louise Gray - and it was third time lucky, without a doubt. Despite beautiful tailoring and interesting approaches to colour and decoration, some of her applications in the past have appeared slightly heavy and a little too infantile for comfort (or for sales). This season, Gray sharpened her game, offering a collection that was harder, tougher, sexier and more sophisticated. There was an industrial - even brutalist - feel in her use of metal and chain-mail, appliqued once more to dresses in her signature style, but this time to dresses pulled closer (but not too close) to the body. The sexiness was the unexpected element and Gray seemed to have really worked to make her clothes appeal to a grown-up woman with money to spend on something truly original for the evening. She is more than ready to strike it alone.

  6. by Alexander Fury .

    The Walk Through at Nathan Jenden

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    Nathan Jenden's collection was an odd, odd mix. Titled 'I WANT CANDY', it was nevertheless no bubblegum ode to pretty-pretty. In fact, it was difficult to discern exactly what the show was about: opening with a vivid satsuma-orange draped crepe dress, then whizzing through bustled suit jackets, flounced derriere-groping mermaid skirts and ombre shades of lurex in the first three outfits alone. There were touches of the Indian Maharini in hot-pink and lime figured guipure lace and fussy jewel-encrusted jackets: albeit Maharini via Gianfranco Ferre, or even Jean-Louis Scherrer circa 1987. Eighties pop couture seemed a major reference point, and a blast of Wham! (which did crack a smile on my face) heralded the arrival of eveningwear. Perhaps Jenden has been examining the archives of Patrick Kelly, or Christian Lacroix's period at Jean Patou, dressing eighties nouveaux riches in the fashion equivalent of a Jeff Koons while the economy teetered on the brink of collapse. How little times have changed. That said, Lacroix never threw up outfits like Jenden's organza rosette dress (resembling nothing else than flattended cocktail umbrellas), or another number apparently encrusted with boiled sweets. Of his postmodern follies at Patou, Lacroix stated 'everyone had forgotten Patou, so I had to shout for attention'. With his patron (saint) Diane von Furstenberg front row and the eyes of fashion's elite firmly focussed, I'm not sure what Jenden's reasoning was.

  7. by Alexander Fury .

    Roksanda Ilincic

    One of her models may have taken a tumble in her tricky bronze platform sandals - frankly, in a season of beyond super-elevated heels, it was only a matter of time - but this was the only stumble in Roksanda Ilincic's refined S/S 2009 show. This collection was seemingly inspired by brittle pre-war bridal couture shows - a rather specific speculation I admit, but how else to account for the Miss Havisham-esque tulle veiling draping and training evening dresses and Illincic's consistent used of dusty, faded corsages to decorate her silken gowns? That was the bridal element; the pre-war part came from her subtle, soft use of slippery satins in deftly draped and swathed gowns slithering against the figure. Ilincic has played with similar shapes, but this collection was deft, light and lovely as the ostrich-feathers pepping up the bodice of a delicate couple of organza and tulle frocks. The use of fabric and delicate decoration were reminiscent of the work of Madeline Vionnet and Jeanne Lanvin - important, perhaps, that both were women, and similarly Ilincic understands how women wish to dress when it comes to the evening. Pastels have smothered the spring collections en masse, but Illincic used less conventional tonal variations to give her looks an edge: taupe, mushroom, a bruised beige, a sickly lilac combined with stronger mauves and rich purple in a palette that whispered of femininity without being sickly sweet. Similarly, to contrast the precision of her couture inspiration, Ilincic continued to play with her methods of deconstruction -occasionally, on these more delicate fabrics, the wafting loose threads begged for a pair of shears, but that is truly splitting hairs. This collection was quite simply, quite thoroughly and quite unashamedly lovely, in a way that so few designers are willing to be but in a way so many women wish they were.


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  8. by Alexander Fury .

    The Walk Through at Danielle Scutt

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    Vulgarity. To many it's a dirty word, but Danielle Scutt has made it her leitmotif. This collection was Scutt's return to the schedule after last season's look-book - always a rather limp substitue for the flash and dazzle of a runway show, but luckily showcasing a fine collection of tough grey marl, checked velvet and fringed and draped chiffon scarves. Scarves again formed a huge part of this collection: indeed they were almost a key inspiration, not only knotted around necks and heads but with scarf-like billowing panels and bandana-print silk crafted into evening gowns. This was all fruit of Scutt's recent trip to Las Vegas, and indeed the collection was a somewhat idiosyncratic take on an Americana Dream, with a stand-out New Mexican colour scheme of chartreuse and bright, Arizona desert-sand orange. Red red lips and silk-wrapped matriarch manes conjoured up moneyed images of seventies Palm Beach bitches, while the hoop earrings, snakeskin shoes and cut-out swimsuits suggested lot lizards on a truckstop prowl. Denim is both a staple of US workwear and one of Scutt's areas of expertise (witness her recent sell-out Topshop range) and accordingly the selection in the collection was interesting, playful and attractive. In part, that was the problem: apart from the odd touch of kitsch in Apache Indian worry-beads applied to fringes, print images of Betty Boop and standout swimwear and catsuits (contradictory Scutt stalwarts), there was nothing all that bad-taste about this show. And when you can do bad taste as shockingly well as Scutt, more's the pity.

  9. by Alexander Fury .

    The Walk Through at Erdem

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    Opposites seem to attract: on the London Fashion Week schedule at least. By contrast to Danielle Scutt, Erdem would never knowingly offer anything vulgar - his delicate, floral festooned dresses are the stuff little girls' dreams are made of, and big girls too, judging by the number of guests sporting his printed winter offerings. This season offered more florals: on each seat with a freshly-cut flower, and prints of the same appeared across pastel satin and silk moire cocktail dresses and long chiffon evening gowns. The faded shades of the print and muted, blurred visuals were reminiscent of Monet and Renoir, and the show had a similar dreamlike quality. The other big story was lace, again floral, tiered and softly ruffled in shade of clotted cream, eau-de-nil and rose-beige and cut into long dresses and pretty blouses. Some of the long, slightly-seventies shapes and piecrust pleats had shades of the much overlooked Brit couturier John Bates - not to mention Margot Ledbetter - and the couture feel was emphasised by a live pianist tinkling away at a white baby grand. Although Scutt's show was miles away in theme and result, both her label and Erdem have legions of committed fans and are certainly an acquired taste. This was a mite too sweet for my palette, but judging by the audiable sighs delight from the female members of the audience, boys are evidently not its target.

  10. by Alexander Fury .

    The Party!

    As yesterday marked the end of our Future Tense project, we figured the best way to go out would be with a bang. Or rather, with a bash. Celebrating the launch of Hywel Davies' book '100 New Fashion Designers' along with the film season's finale, SHOWstudio, Laurence King and Diesel threw a party at Diesel HQ in King's Cross. With striking and innovative set design by Alun Davies and our Future Tense films projected across the crowd (including contributors Todd Lynn, Petar Petrov and the Felder Felder sisters to name but a few), the 7pm-til-9pm party was still raging when I departed at 10pm. As all the best shindigs do...


    1. dromedary
      17:05 19 Sep 2008
      I love the Future Tense Project. I've only just managed to view all the films and i think they are brilliant
  11. Recent comments

    1. NestorOsuna
      14:20 28 Sep 2008
      I think that Gareth Pug is making noise and that is the most important thing in him!!!!
    2. benjeffes
      14:54 28 Sep 2008
      Hopefully ill be doing the music for this...
  12. by Alexander Fury .


    Evidently, Gareth Pugh's invite wasn't just an exercise in clever graphicism: his entire S/S 2009 collection, from two-toned wedge shoes to laser-cut eyelashes, was rendered in black and white. Or more precisely, light and dark. In a venue flooded with light, thanks to an uncompromising installation of fluorescent tubes, his models themselves were turned into excercises in illumination and shade The front of every outfit was white, the back black, neatly split down the side. This was the clever glue that Pugh used to tie together disparate influences within the collection, which on the whole seemed to be the court of Elizabeth I circa the year 3000. Oversized Shakespearean ruffs and ruffle-fronted doublets stepped out alongside stiffened and quilted body-armour, part King Arthur, part fencing school, part Star Wars. There were even shades of the Sydney Opera House in the arching, achitectonic shapes of stiffened lips of fabric reticulated around the body like some form of futuristic insect's thorax. As you can see, it's difficult to run through all the themes and images that Pugh's collection touched on, although it did revist - and revise - many a theme he's shown in London. He's done monochrome, abstracted shape, overblown ruffs, interlocking leather applique like a cross between sequins and fish-scales - but as befits his Paris debut, they were all ripe to be shown again. New were signs of his aesthetic softening slightly for the real world and even nodding to the idea of the Spring season. Witness leggings reflecting those exoskeletal protrusions in soft rivulets of cloth, jackets executed in both his trademark warrior-woman armour and lightweight silk, flowing wool dirndl-length coats and ruffled chiffon blouses (yes! Chiffon at Pugh!). While these were certainly brave and new for Pugh, what was really interesting was the finesse with which all of these clothes were executed - the fright-club make-up was gone, as were the jokey Tranny catwalk appearances, dodgy sex-shop shoes and occasional bodged seam. In their place was a coherent, cohesive and (dare we say it) commercial collection that still managed to make the hair on your neck stand to attention. Isn't that just what we come to Paris for?

    Recent comments

    1. GalileosUniverse
      19:06 27 Sep 2008
      Looks absolutely out of this world ! ... sublime !
    2. marian
      11:47 28 Sep 2008
      i think alex has done a really fab job with his show reviews. I have enjoyed his fair and educated opinions. go alex! whop!
  13. by Alexander Fury .


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    I felt I really should show my face before beginning today's coverage!

  14. by Alexander Fury .


    A perpetual cause of consternation for me is fashion's reliance on lateness - which more often than not leads to me sitting cold-arsed on a wall outside of the venue waiting for everyone else to catch up (usually including the designer). Alas, if today's Rick Owens show taught me anything, it's that if a venue is (hideously) oversubscribed then regardless of how early you are, the door can still be slammed in your face. Credit where credit's due, the doors to the Ecole des Beaux-Arts are nicer than most.

  15. by Alexander Fury .

    PARIS FASHION WEEK: A F Vandevorst

    A F Vandevorst wanted to talk about one thing: sex. In every permuation and persuasion, it siffused their collection, with acres of slit silk charmeuse, chantilly lace insertation, tights stitched with seams up the back and outlining shadows of suspender-belts and garter, and heels so high the models had to be helped off the runway. Maybe it was the idea of wartime rendezvous on the battlefield that got Vandevorst going this season: worked into all that blatent sex-appeal there was a distinct feel of the forties, specifically Utility workers and front-line nurses. Perhaps evocative of Vandevorst's 'Red Cross' logo, looks emerged trailing hospital-gown ties down the front and back, rendered in oh-so-NHS shades of scrub-green, institutional orange and freshly bleached white. But these were no clinical, cynical wares. There were touches of bubbling Belle de Jour sexual repression in peter-pan collared blouses, slit open down the front and re-fastened with trailing cotton ribbons, and in the profusion of deshabille lace for underwear and outerwear. The big, shagged-out hair, exaggerated red lips and (frankly sensational) soundtrack of kitsch Franglais pop had more than a hint of Emmanuelle - although equally, those lips were ever-evocative of Crawford, panstick and Arden's Love That Red. If it all sounds a bit 'Carry on Doctor', it wasn't. Sexy nurses, strict secretaries, coquettes and nymphettes all managed to make appearances as inspiration with a knowing wink as opposed to a sly leer.

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