When a blast of hard, cranked-up rock music and a burst of dry ice opened the Giles show, you had a feeling you were in for one of his rougher, tougher tumbles of a collection. Giles Deacon is a master of marrying street with chic, a punkish edge with haute couture: or maybe that should be c'uture, as his deceptively refined garments have a sharp, savage bite. This season was no exception, and with everyone turning to the more brutal, Giles decided to push it a notch further, as he is wont to do. The opening strapless grey wool dresses, hitting the knee and one with an oversized flying saucer of leather cartwheel conjured up many a monochrome snap of Barbara Goalen or Bettina at their arch, arched and chillingly haute best. The addition of hefty knit mittens, frothed with fur, and studded protrusions poking through the frocks of course hinted at what was to come: chaos in couture, or maybe Jacques Fath goes to Danceteria. Those classic, polished postwar shapes - lines A, H and Y respectively - were rendered in harsh materials, festooned in studs and hung with hardware for a night out on some distinctly dodgy tiles. Strapless satin evening gowns in pale steel-grey, mushroom and taupe were scissored open with pinking shears, then mounted on transparent silk tulle with ends left raw, others simply rendered inside-out, exposed seams unravelling wildly. Hems were chewed up and spat out in thick felted wool, one dress applied with squares of tough tortoiseshell, somewhat postmodern punk paillettes. The late great Stephen Sprouse was obviously an influence, not only in his own combo of the raw and refined, but in graffito-splattered neon duchesse-satin dresses and Pop/Op dual-coloured bullet designs used for graphic prints and intricate jacquards. What it all meant was anyone's guess really, and for every inspired, wearable and desirable outfit there was (unfortunately) another one (or two) that fell somewhat flat in a mishmash of styles that, experience proved, could easily be as dissonant as the progrock soundtrack.
The late great Stephen Sprouse was obviously an influence, not only in his own combo of the raw and refined, but in graffito-splattered neon duchesse-satin dresses and Pop/Op dual-coloured bullet designs.