A disclaimer: this is not a snarky bite at London Fashion Week and its disciples. It is not, at least consciously, an aping of hipster bibles, including Vice. Fasten your proverbial seat belts
When I attended London Fashion Week in September, I had a lovely time. What’s not to like about lounging around a sun-soaked Somerset House, smoking a roll-up and having your photo taken? Perhaps I was naïve, but I couldn’t believe it when a friend rolled his eyes at my childish enthusiasm. This season, it took just six hours for the wool to be rudely pulled from my eyes.
At one forty-five on Saturday I arrived at Freemason’s Hall for a show schedule to begin at two thirty. While I admit I was overcautious, I didn’t want to miss it. Forty-five minutes would give me ample time, right? Wrong. What I had failed to appreciate is that every other Tom, Dick & Harry had an invitation to this show too, and if everyone in the world has a ticket, then no one has a ticket. There’s a bit of philosophy for you. So despite almost an hour’s queue, as it was running typically late, I didn’t get in.
I didn’t want to be too dismissive, so whilst waiting for the next show, scheduled for four thirty, my friend and I went for a quick breeze around Somerset House. It must be noted that this friend was the star of the show, getting papped left, right and centre.
The second show on my schedule was Belle Sauvage, brainchild of London designers Virginia Ferreira and Chris Neuman. As a quick point of direction, Belle Sauvage should be pronounced as if you are auditioning for Channel 4’s Made in Chelsea. Otherwise you’re pronouncing it wrong. I hope I don’t sound too flippant when I say that while there were some positives, the collection didn’t sound my bell.
The show began with some nice and trendy house music. Fantastic, and to be expected. Within ten seconds, before a model was in sight, it transcended into aggressive, loud Hudson Mohawke-esque trap. The only explanation can be that the man in charge of EQing the music must have been deaf. We are talking louder than a nightclub loud, and I wasn’t even near a speaker.
Bring on the models. The first few looks were quite appealing, with a strong Versace influence, predominantly monochromatic colour palette and punctuated with gold prints. All great. But then the looks began to turn me off, becoming weirder and more garish. Whilst I appreciated the satirical implication of juxtaposing consumer pop products with religious iconography, and the message it gives off of our society as a bunch of capitalist, product-obsessed drones, I feel this is a comparison better made on paper.
There were dressed imitating the iconic ‘Parental Advisory’ stickers, prints incorporating chains and lipstick, and a plethora of biblical iconography. Although I was a fan of the core colour scheme and general fit of the clothes, I felt that the overly employed risqué image was tarnishing. Before you think I’ve missed the point, to describe these pieces as art would be to describe my bank account as full – a lie.
As I hadn’t been feeling too well during the day, I was unable to attend any evening shows. This was disappointing as I was secretly praying for a saving grace, or at least a silver lining to reverse my opinion of the day.
I remember when I was getting dressed to go to Central London and thinking that maybe this was a bit silly. The whole concept of chucking on your finest clobber, getting ready as if you were about to hit the town, and then realising what you’re doing, just didn’t feel genuine. I found it hard to take myself seriously. But maybe that’s the problem.