by Alexander Fury .

Clothes maketh the man (and woman...)

Viktor and Rolf rocks
Cerebral musing from A/W 09 Raf Simons

Where in all this are the clothes, you may well ask? Without the single image capture of the conventional photographic shoot, Liu Wen and Jean Sebastian are quite literally always on camera, making SHOWstudio's usual point, shoot and run cameraphone reportage nigh-on impossible. However, with all action happening on set I took the time to run upstairs and rifle through the designer-packed rails. As a subtle indication of how the eventual film may turn out, both Jonathan and Simon have opted for almost entirely black-and-white fashion selections - but unlike the clothing palette, the range of designers is by no means limited. While the ideas behind the shoot (the monochrome imagery of Marlene Dietrich films and photographs of resolutely grey medieval masonry) suggest the colour palette, the technicalities of the shots themselves demand somewhat hard and graphic silhouettes (after all, they have to be strong when seen through that chiarascuro scrim of lace). Jonathan turned to Maison Martin Margiela for a nude-backed, black-fronted and box-shouldered evening creation that, when seated on our vermillion brocade chaise, looks like nothing short of a modern Ingres painting. Equally, Simon Foxton turned to masters of graphic silhouettes such as Rick Owens, Raf Simons and (once again!) Margiela. On the back of an A/W show dedicated to classical statuary, the not-so-classic lumps and bumps protruding from Viktor & Rolf's chicly-conceptual granite-grey wool coat promise strong and uncompromising visuals, and draw an obvious allusion (for me at least) with the unfinished works of Rodin, where photographically-defined faces and body-parts emerge from abstract masses of marble. By contrast, Raf Simon's offerings for winter played with absolute classicism of form, but in abstracting suits, trenches and trousers into composite parts (ocasionally inlaid with sinister shards of mirror) the conventional became conceptual. Simon's Simons includes two pairs of these rather extraordinary reworked Doc Martens (a collaboration with the air-ware sole originators) - one in buckled gunmetal, and the above laced beauties in glistening gilt.