'Origami outerspace army' is not a sentence you expect to hear uttered at a fashion show, least of all by the talent behind the designs. But Louise Goldin is no ordinary fashion designer - both in London, and on a world stage. It's easy to harp on about how Goldin crafts her own fabrics, spending weeks - even months - holed up in a hellhole near Rimni, programming computers to knit the textile she requires to realise her dreams. But there isn't a sentence that can express quite how dedicated she is to her work, and the lengths she will go to to make her ideas a reality. It's better to let the work speak for itself.
For Autumn/Winter 2010, Goldin cottoned on to the military trend that has cropped up everywhere else. But banish all ideas of sexy 'Seargent Benjamin' stereotypes or clever twists on knitted camo. Goldin was dressing her woman for war, morphing her into something fusing feminine empowerment with a weapon of mass destruction. Her first model hit the catwalk like a cruise missile, clad in a complex geometric structure of knitted olive-green with Swarovski crystals outlining glittering contours. Abstracting away from the body further than ever before, Goldin crafted a series of bold experiments in stiffened shape, each one more ambitious and fully-realised than the last. I saw Mugler and Montana in those arching, architectonic shapes - Goldin was looking at the ilk of Cardin and Capucci, but both sources sent her in a similar direction - to boldly go where no knit has gone before.
Those were the editorial pieces - it's difficult to imagine many people manoeuvring themselves around in her quilt and cable-knit carapaces, however fabulous. But when Goldin reigned in her instincts to abstract and followed a clean, almost severe and incredibly strong asymmetric line, it suddenly looked real. Slanting peplums sliced across the body to pop out at one hip, waists were cinched with fabulous leather and crystal corset-belts, thick cording padded out limbs, and utility-detail cargo pockets and ammo round cartridge-pleats bristled on short, knit jackets. These were the details that you began not only to admire, but to covet - and it was easy to break apart this collection into must-have military knit jackets, leggings and stand-out fox-strewn parkas, cleverly making Goldin's polyhedral shapes utterly wearable. Likewise, by reigning in the palette to teal, black and a very, very specific forest-green (it took two days to handpaint the leather to the exact shade the exacting Goldin required) alongside slices of brilliant azure, red and marigold, it suddenly made perfect sense, left outerspace and entered the very real world.