Thursday’s press day marathon began at Celine for the fourth of Ivana Omazic’s collections. Rich tropical hues broke out against a predominantly black and white palette in duchesse satin trenches and waspy-waist dresses, enlivened by photographic prints from renowned Japanese photographer Mika Ninagawa. Perhaps sticking a little strictly on occasion to some of the more recherché codes of bourgeois dressing favoured by many a Hedge Fund girl around Piccadilly - bouclé coat panelling, lots of leather (ostrich this season) and even a tad gratuitous with the exotic fourrure, this is a collection with a definitive objective and one that it will no doubt fulfil.
Then it was McQueen’s Accessories preview, a sight that had me in aesthetically-induced rapture for the best part of an hour. The strange, intoxicating blend of Grecian bagatelle and biological curiosity – winged goddess figurine heels and beautiful ophidian leather strap arrangements - were offset by some equally dark touches including a black croc bag encased with articulated gold plate armour. Necromancy, paganism, ancient weaponry, McQueen’s execution of visionary materialism just gets better and better. His unique interpolations between ancient and popular culture are seamless and were carried faithfully into menswear where there were the likes of clear PVC shoes and burnished metal sequined slippers to be found.
Christian Louboutin’s trip last season into the Valley of the Dolls with his pill-shaped clutches was followed up with more pop art camp with hot pink graffiti knee highs appearing as one of the headlining acts. The ‘Mondrianana’ wedges were fun and would look terrific in an Almodovar movie. There was plenty of diversity and enough sparkles too.
Lastly a friendly reception at AI where Claire Tough’s second Black Dot line was revealed as a great feat of textural exploration. Twisted yarns, scalloping and double sided weft and warp knits in greys and blacks offered a more muted alternative to the bricolage pieces belonging to her own eponymous line. Marios Schwab’s anatomically explicit coats and painstakingly constructed hexagonal panelling, which I hadn’t realised are all hand-mitred on the inside, was a real joy to see up close at last, not to mention a tireless work of patience.