Bubblegum pink ballgowns with elastoplast-prints, sugared-almond satin high-tops worn with polkadot chiffon showgirl frocks, and Veruschka closing the show in an ostrich-feather mohican. Giles Deacon was well and truly back in London for S/S 2011, ironically showing a collection wholly worthy of a Paris catwalk.
But that's the key word - ironically. Giles' sense of quirky humour is quintessentially British, and although his work is undoubtedly now worthy of a Paris catwalk, London suits him far better. This season illustrated that perfectly, meshing together disparate references, pop colour and a hefty dose of kitsch to create a truly stand-out collection. Backstage I shouted 'Vargas Pin-Ups!' at Stephen Jones, who responded 'meets Club kids!' And there you have the mix. There were also slithers of that Seventies mood that seems to be infectious this season, in this case the Seventies revival of the Forties, revived again.
If that sounds confusing and overly-referential, it wasn't - it made for a show that not only held together thematically, but can be easily broken into chic, wearable pieces. Polkadot chiffons sliced into billowing pleated skirts and fitted corset-tops felt like flirty reclamations of Vargas girl attire, likewise curvy cocktail dresses in the Ossie Clark mould, sometimes pepped up with cartoonish prints that also wound their way into multicoloured funky Fair Isles. Evening unleashed Giles' favourite overblown ballgowns, although this time they had a lightness and sophistication that has sometimes evaded him, while sinuous crêpe frocks in shades of pale pink and chocolate overlaid with pearls and frothed with feathers looked ready to transition straight to Hollywood red carpets.
Giles' great grand homecoming was always guaranteed to be a crowd-pleaser - his is a homegrown talent much beloved by Brits, and for the supermodel-spotters you just don't see a stellar line-up of Agyness Deyn, Coco Rocha, Karolina Kurkova, Stella Tennant and the mythical Veruschka on London catwalks (in fact, you don't see that incredible litany of legends on any catwalks). But the cheers that greeted the close of Deacon's show must have been thoroughly satisfying for him. They were entirely about the clothes.