James Kelly @ Freemason’s Hall
‘I Can See Only Oxygen’
Ignoring gender norms, James Kelly has created a unique AW16 collection that has pushed traditional tailoring to the ambiguous. Kelly fused together sportswear fabrics such as nylon with different heavier wools normally used in tailored menswear to create pieces that offer exaggerated silhouettes; forming dresses into jackets and jackets into dresses. The collection was dark and haunting using a primarily black colour palette. Kelly counts his two main inspirations for this collection to be artist Francis Bacon and photographer August Sanders and you can see the influence in the way Kelly mutated his garments as to distort them from traditional conformities into something unusual using a ‘Baconised’ cut and paste technique; the show’s hair and make up added more to the Bacon effect. You can also see how inspiration was drawn from August Sander’s black-and-white photography capturing the essence of life in the 1920s and 1930s in Kelly’s presentation and set choice.
Words and photography by Malak El Sawi
Éthologie by Jasper Garvida @ Foundation Bar
‘To live without hope is to cease to live’
Sharply dressed ladies with wispy crimped hair strutted down the catwalk at this intimate venue in metallic patterned bomber jackets, sequinned dresses and structured knits with bulging collars. Garvida’s AW16 collection was inspired by Russian Constructivism and reflected the movement’s strong linear silhouettes and bold geometric shapes. In some looks these shapes were punked up with chunky leather belts and black boots, whilst others were softened with the use of lace and elegant draping. The overall message was to give the audience hope for the continuing empowerment of women. And out came Garvida at the end with his very own pair of futuristic sunnies!
House of MEA (Middle East & Asia) @ Freemason’s Hall
House of MEA is a wonderful platform for emerging designers from the Middle East and Asia to showcase their work internationally.
At their AW16 show we saw Indian designer Felix Bendish’s latest collection, with models emerging looking like they had just flown in from outer space wearing garments adorned with metallic discs and futuristic accessories. Bendish stuck to a minimalist palette of blacks, golds and cerulean blues and kept his shapes simple and clean, choosing to experiment more with textures and embellishment.
Bollywood favourite Rocky Star also showed his AW16 collection entitled Nomadic Love. Coats, skirts, scarves and tights were covered in beautifully illustrated digital prints that featured red jewel hearts, roses and feathers. A bohemian vibe was created through the utilisation of beaded fringing and embroidery, whilst the romantic element was emphasised by the enthusiastic use of red and the billowing tops that looked like liquid gold.
Words and photography by Hannah Gooding