Our Unravelled project gave me a rather unfair advantage at the Louise Goldin show, and one I am unaccustomed too. Confident I knew pretty much exactly what I would be seeing on the runway after six months of painstaking preparation on Louise's part, and hours of documentary footage on ours, I settled back to enjoy a show of (ironically) already well-worn favourites. I was dead wrong. Even without an insider's perspective, the Goldin show was a stomping white-knuckle ride of a statement, a blinding flash of futurism in a season well-rinsed with retro. Goldin's inspirations were zoomorphic architecture and transformers - the latter, yes, robots in disguise, and the more obscure former technical terminology for buildings with animalistic architectural elements: wings, spines, scales and bony, amorphous protrusions. Abstract maybe, but the influences were there - check the chunky, geodesic shapes forming firm (but not unyielding) shapes around the models' bodies like a marriage of man and nature, and clothes fully kitted and knitted with robotic technical detailing. Working with fur house Saga and moulded leather specialists Whitaker Malem, Goldin expanded and deepened her range, adding soft leather and fur to her tactile knits. But rather than create separate garments, Goldin integrated the materials into her worked textile: leather panels snaked up and down knitted, crystal-encrusted bodysuits or sat in tough, angular shapes over ribbed mini-dresses in lurex-flecked chenille, while graded fox popped on the shoulder of monochrome knit dresses like the armoured shoulderblades of Optimus Prime. Her knits were naturally consummate: combining cashmere, wool, lurex, chenille and nylon in a deep, dark palette of midnight blue, violet, jade green and overridingly, predominantly, but never two-dimensionally black. The shocking, stunning thing about the collection as a whole was just how much Goldin had pushed herself and her designs to the very limit, in the process bumping this entire collection up a notch in terms of influence, technical wizardry and pure, unadulterated and utterly inspired innovation. Way back when in December last year, Louise said that she didn't want a load of robots coming down the catwalk. She got her wish. Instead, what emerged was probably the best collection she has ever created, and certainly the highlight of London Fashion Week.
The Goldin show was a stomping white-knuckle ride of a statement, a blinding flash of futurism in a season well-rinsed with retro.