After last season's show, Mark Fast has single-handedly managed to spark something of a media frenzy around his use of plus-size women. Whether you're cynical about his motives (read: stunt) for putting curvy girls on his catwalk, or fully supportive of the size statement Mr Fast is making, there's no denying the young Canadian designer's got the whole world watching.
As such, the Topshop show space was full to capacity and then some this afternoon (thank God nobody shouted fire), and it was with baited breath that the fashion press waited to see what trick Fast would pull out the bag for Autumn/Winter 2010. So when a finely knitted, loose fitting kaftan-like creation came floating down the catwalk, followed by a wine coloured suede skater skirt, those ready for a change in Fast's direction were pleasantly surprised. However, it soon became apparent that we had been lured into a false sense of security as cobweb dress upon cobweb dress came strutting towards us.
Given all the press attention Fast has received of late, you can't blame the man for sticking to his guns and showing the body conscious pieces he has become (in) famous for. Especially in woeful financial times such as these. But for those already familiar with Fast's work, a move away from the status quo would have perhaps been refreshing.
That said, Fast is undoubtedly good at what he does. Working on couture principles, each and every piece is unique and knitted on domestic machines in his London atelier. This season, we had an array of varying vibrant hues to choose from: baby pink, burgundy, tomato red, burnt orange, nude and navy blue. The new, welcome, additions to the collection included laddered dresses ending in softly pleated satin skirts and asymmetric thigh skimming frocks. Showing before Mary Katrantzou, it is inevitable that a direct comparison will be made between the two designers. Sadly for Mark, the day belonged to Mary.