Meadham Kirchhoff know how to put on a good show. Cohesion is at the root of it. Everything, from the tickets to the smell to the setting, must reflect their chosen mood. For Autumn/Winter 2013 this was a heady mix of degeneracy and finery. You could call it elegant dilapidation.
Androgynous models curled up together amongst overflowing black bin bags, each trussed up like a homeless male Miss Havisham. Historical menswear classics like the frock coat and Breton striped tee shirt were clashed with anti-fashion items like sports socks and gauche costume jewellery. To add to the sense of unpredictability and contrast, girlish elements were offset by grimmer touches – so sweet broderie anglaise had been crafting with burned holes, while decorative bows hung loose and low as if borrowed from a discarded present. This was artfully confused trans-century fashion. A real melting pot of references that came together in a clash of dark and light, and opulence and decay. Given the duo’s penchant for critique the rotting glamour could have been a comment on the state of the industry. But it’s more likely that they simply chose to do as they pleased – the collection was, after all, emphatically named, ‘Please!’ – and simply plucked from the many musical and artistic references that inform their work.
A fair few seasons ago, after the duo had abandoned their early minimalism, critics would have disputed the longevity of Meadham Kirchhoff. Was it all surface no substance? Just high jinks without the consideration and calm that comes with building a brand. Well, the pair have done a good job of proving their worth. With each collection their theatrics and fantasies increase and we wonder if they’ll have anywhere new to take us next time. This majestically melancholy presentation proves that, roughly ten years in, their journey is still only just beginning.