Knitwear for summer always seems something of a misnomer, but of all the knitting talents on the London Fashion Week schedule, Mark Fast is arguably the most suited to warmer climes - and the least likely to run up a cozy cable-knit cardigan. Fast's frocks are ferociously short and sharp - and if their sex appeal doesn't make your eyes water, their pricetags will. Last winter, Fast was criticised by some for the crotch-skimming hemlines of his racy dresses, and the diaphanous natures of others spelling summer rather than winter. Understandably, for S/S 2010 Fast didn't need to change the latter: his open-gauge fishnet made a concerted reappearance, snaking across hips, shoulders and midriffs in ever-more-complex doily patterns, part lacework part laddered tight. This is of course his speciality, but somehow these familiar new season's offerings already seemed old hat (he has been doing it since his graduation show). Fast kicked it up a notch with a new focus on decorating his basic sucked-in silhouette, embellishing its spare curves with pearls, beaded strips and circles of suede and leather applied like jabots across the front of minidresses. Egypt was the inspiration behind all this - cue mummy-tight frocks, froths of tassels like grass skirts and hues of bleached desert sand, lapiz blue and eau de nil. If it all sounds a bit Azzedine Alaïa in his early nineties Tina Turner days, the comparison isn't entirely unwarranted - and a young buck like Fast couldn't hope for a better aesthetic mate. While there was admittedly too much of the old (the laddering needs a rest next season, surely), the new was exciting enough to guarantee his star for next season. The only question mark now hangs over just how Fast can produce such intricately-worked pieces without his prices rocketing as high as his hemlines.
Fast kicked it up a notch with a new focus on decorating his basic sucked-in silhouette, embellishing its spare curves with pearls, beaded strips and circles of suede and leather applied like jabots across the front of minidresses.