If nothing else, so far we've ascertained that next season's woman is hard - I've used that adjective at least a dozen times in barely four days, and it's not lazy journalism. Marios Schwab took an uncharacteristically literal slant to this for his Autumn/Winter collection, taking inspiration from igneous rock formations and mineral metamorphosis. After all, what is harder than a diamond? Hence his signature hugging grosgrain dresses, conventionally body-con at first glance but actually sliced open as if ruptured by volcanic fissures with precious shards of crystal emerging from within. Crusted with crystal and strapped into taut, tight and ferociously sharp shapes, these dresses raised the bar for aggressive dressing next season - being stuck between a rock and a hard place never looked quite so good. Other dresses echoed this theme of expansion and contraction, layering multiple versions of a single gown, expanded at hip and shoulder and contracted at waist. These dimensional plays were echoed in the show invite, a pair of 3-D specs. But of course, Schwab would never let that one lie dormant. His next trick was scarlet and cyan blurred prints across those tight dresses, slightly migrane-inducing until viewed through the glasses when the prints popped, blurred and mesmerised with perspective games. The dresses themselves were raised and shaped into plates and peplums jutting fin-like from poitrine and posterior. Accessorised with diamond and titanium jewels, Schwab's girls next season are tough, focused and brutal. These were the outstanding success stories - less thrilling were the swathed fabric dresses in acid-brights, with fitted gowns emerging from the fabric masses. The shapes were interesting, the execution outstanding, but other than their 3-D lens shades, they seemed to have little to do with the rest of the collection. Ditto the final two exits: gonk fur coats in searing red and eye-popping blue that did nothing to add to Schwab's strong vision.
The shapes were interesting, the execution outstanding, but they seemed to have little to do with the rest of the collection.