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Show Report

Show Report: Claire Barrow S/S 16 Womenswear

by Lucy Norris on 21 September 2015

Lucy Norris reports on the Claire Barrow S/S 16 womenswear show.

Lucy Norris reports on the Claire Barrow S/S 16 womenswear show.

One couldn't help think that Daryl Hannah was going to jump out of Claire Barrow's mise en scene and perform some deadly move on us all. Like discarded puppets from a dystopian future, we were hunting out replicants - amongst a set of mechanical toys - in Ridley Scott's Bladerunner.

Mannequin hands were held by models, some of them used these hands to intermittently clash a symbol or beat a drum - as if they were clockwork nobodies. The collection theme 'Broken Machines' was based on the Ballardian nightmare of what could come if we lose ourselves to technology. Being a sci-fi sadist, I often daydream about the ever-increasing intelligence of the IBM Watson, and how auto-drive Facebook cabs could be careering us all off cliffs by 2030. Barrow was the preacher, and I was the choir.

The collection had an air of the Vivienne Westwood Witches collection, from A/W 83, where she collaborated with the ancient magic of Keith Haring’s illustrations. Like graffiti on a cave wall of our future-past, hand drawn illustrations on knitted jumpsuits and DIY ensembles were punk-apocalyptic. Barrow wanted to engage with the narrative around what we might have left once our love affair with tech ends. This collection made me want to buy a top with drawing of a saxophone on it - I didn't see that one coming. 

A poignant collection, this designer's craft combined with her art for social story telling, was thought provoking, raw and ravishing. Satin layered dresses tapped into her love for the sensual heirloom, whilst the incredible soundscape – directed by Owen Pratt - added to the on point ominous mood.

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