Happy to balance things out after the mega hype of the Katrantzou/Fast shows, we headed across the water to the Royal Festival Hall for Blow Presents, a subdivision of their LFW schedule showcasing 4 new and more experimental projects. The crowd was an odd mix of east-end fashion kids and startled day trippers who just happened to stumble across the event, a nice way to encounter what followed.
The show was opened by Charlie Le Mindu, hair dresser by trade but dedicated envelope pusher in practice with a spectacle of hair art sculpture it served as a visual thrill and a 3D business card, taking his final bow along side a model with a fantastical shiny sliver and black giant Eiffel tower headpiece to a roar of applause from the audience.
Lina Osterman’s models paraded the catwalk to the sound of a live rock drummer, in a very now slightly 90s punk/grunge/industrial collection. A colour palette of Navy and black highlighted with white and minimalist tailored jackets and coats brought the sophistication while the strappy bondage bits, studded panels and deconstructed fine knit jumpers stuck with the narrative of past collections and kept her followers happy.
GemmaSlack’s dramatic New wave punk/60s faux modern inspired collection consisted of leather knickers, sheet metal skirts, bolted metal bodices metal saucer neck pieces and hats. Must have had some serious 3-D workshop skills to craft this collection. Fun and clever but was it more craft than fashion.
Iris van Herpen was the star of the show with what can only be described as AMAZING embellishment and fabric manipulation. Heavily pleated leather, rubber and fabric twisted and contorted in to swirling organic sea like creatures wrapping them selves around the shoulders, necks and arms creating an organic but sharp look. The sheer amount of work to control these fabric and make it wearable must be immense and time consuming so it will be interesting to see who does a diffusion of this. Garments were expertly sculpted giving the silhouette a new futuristic Gothic sophistication. There is texture everywhere for S/S 10 but Iris van Herpens offerings are surely a line drawn in the sand.