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Show Report

Show Report: Meadham Kirchhoff S/S 15

by Harriet Walker on 17 September 2014

Harriet Walker reports on the Meadham Kirchhoff S/S 15 show.

Harriet Walker reports on the Meadham Kirchhoff S/S 15 show.

If there were any doubt that Edward Meadham and Benjamin Kirchhoff veered toward the anti-establishnent way of thinking, a quick glance through their show notes today was enough to confirm it. Where their 'love' list contained Viv Albertine, their hates numbered Thatcher, Charles Saatchi and white van men. A certain luxury goods conglomerate is a four-letter word to them too.

Their collection celebrated the riotously alt culture that once defined London, both as a city and a fashion scene, and which has all but disappeared from view unless you search for it. But Meadham Kirchhoff did: they put the call out for street casting, and bleach-haired bipartisans of all shapes and sizes answered it.

They were dressed in what looked at first like refuse and salvage: jackets made from laundry bag plastic raffia, sweeping coats and trailing dresses formed of old city stripe shirts sewn together; latex, rubber, cheap polyester and scraggy fake fur.

Commercial isn't a word that sits well with this label, but this collection was made up of pieces - while the head to toe look was extreme (an extreme celebration of diversity, gender blending and tolerance), there were garments, such as two sheer bomber jackets, that would fly out a shop too, given the right sort of customer.

But this being Meadham Kirchhoff, it was finished to atelier standards. One blanket coat, made from terry towelling, was a clean cut as any you'd find on Savile Row. Neon pink latex was zipped and fringed immaculately, despite the difficulties of working in this material. And polyester dresses in black had extra swag and volume from concealed tucks and layers - their shape was at once elegant and soignee despite their origins and banality, just like the models themselves. Another dress was equipped with dozens of performance-gear pull cords so its shape and undulations could be altered.

It's this sort of attention to detail that allows Meadham Kirchhoff their irreverence. The quality and concept of their work wins out, as good if not better than many more restrained contemporaries. That's what wins over their sceptics - the rest of us don't need to be wooed, but we're glad all the same that someone's still making a bit of a noise in London.

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