What is a 'Fast' woman? Well, to our grandmothers' generation, 'fast' was a pejorative term, applied to those females of questionable moral integrity who would go to bed with a G.I. for a packet of nylons or a fresh pound of suet. Today, however, a 'Fast' woman is a product of one of the most feted young designers, fresh from Central Saint Martins and already picked up by Joan Burnstein's taste-making boutique Browns (of Galliano graduation stockist fame, don't you know).
His M.A. collection a year ago set the tone for Autumn/Winter 2009 and his first on -schedule outing: tight and taut knit bandage frocks, violently short, with slashed and laddered openwork detailing snaking through their sylph-like shapes. This season, he toned down the colour (previously eye-popping) to black, pale flesh and the occasional flash of burnt umber - however, the latter autumnal hue was Fast's only concession to seasonal variance. Fast evidently only envisages his knitwear kitting out the hottest and most hedonistic, where looking cool, rather than keeping warm, is a constant priority even in arctic winters. Thus models with greased-back, sweat-soaked hair, coral lips and kohled eyes were shrink-wrapped into the tightest and most-flesh baring of knits, suctioned against thin aerobicised bodies and sliced off at mid-crotch. The lucky ones got solid garments, albeit brief - less fortunate were those clad in corrugated bands of cable-knit attached at irregular intervals, revealing more flesh than they concealed. Firm swaddled dresses recalled King Of Cling Azzedine Alaia's eighties experiments in anti-stretch and Herve Leger's elasticised mummy-frocks - frankly, both references thoroughly tainted with more than a hint of the long shadow of Christopher Kane. Granted, this is what Fast has also become known for, but rather than accelerating his aesthetic into the future, Fast seemed stuck in his established aesthetic rut. Fast's knitwear makes no pretense at appeal to the cable-knit cardigan crowd - salable separates were certainly not on the menu - but at the same time it was difficult to imagine any of these clothes having a life outside of this admittedly emphatic catwalk and styling statement.