by Alexander Fury .

Giles Deacon

Ms Pac-Man

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.


  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 !