Hashtag Life Reviews AW15: The One London Fashion Week, I shouldn’t have missed.
Have you ever wondered to yourself “somewhere in the world, at this precise moment, someone is experiencing [insert event] just as I’m thinking this very thought”? We all do it – we picture someone parachuting, or trekking Machu Picchu, meeting Obama, attending the Brits, swimming with dolphins (or models if you’re Dan Bilzerian), or making love – sob – to Ryan Gosling. It gives us a sense of solace, to know that just at that moment, as far away as it seems, if someone out there is doing it, we’re somehow that little bit closer to it. Also that all things are temporary and thankfully, soon, it will be over for them, neither one of us will be enjoying it, and balance will be restored. This is exactly how I felt as I stood in a massive Sports Direct store, holding a pair of trainers up for inspection, whilst London fashion week was happening somewhere.
So what was I missing out on? As I picked out the Nike crop-tops I’m planning to wear as soon as I’ve Paleoed the hell out of my diet, the Julien Macdonald catwalk revealed a groundbreaking and clearly nothing to do with the timing of 50 shades’ release, dominatrix. As I sprinted on the in-store treadmill to test my footwear (in a pencil skirt and tights), my mind wandered to Burberry and Matthew Williamson, my “safe place”, who were showcasing wearable boho themes. And as I sulked as the store attendant told me the fashionable pair I had picked would not support my running style, and pointed me toward a bulky, multicoloured, tweed variety called the “structure” range, Giles was bringing a structure of it’s own to the catwalks with Victorian, doll inspired looks.
I drew the line there – if I was choosing the training room over the catwalk and trainers over trends this week, they at least had to look fashion-week. So I thanked the 3000 sq feet of sports direct very much for it’s time, and walked out, adamant that I would find my soul-mate trainers elsewhere. I had time for one show. “Run” I thought.
I arrive in what was previously a pristine smart-corporate look, and now one that said otherwise. As I shuffled down the bench, I was certain people knew, my dirty, dark secret: I had been running, in those tweed trainers. They can sense a traitor, in the fashion world. They always smell blood. It seems my senses weren’t far off, because as the catwalk began, so did the dark, dominating theme. Serbian designer Marko Mitanovski’s dominatrix inspired corsets emerged. It took me a minute to gather what was going on. A series of thoughts: “I think I’m on the wrong catwalk.” “Why is Mystique from X-men here?” and finally, “Lady Gaga? Is that you?” Once I’d snapped out of it, focused, and recalibrated myself to the avant-garde creations before me, I could appreciate the exquisite architecting behind these pieces. Clearly drawing on reptilian and bird forms, he merges them into the human body, and blends them into each model’s figure with head to toe paint. Why? To represent a return to the shock factor that fashion is supposed to inspire. To provoke gasps of “who would wear that?” I can actually answer that question; Paloma Faith, Katie Melua and the ever-cool Skunk Anansie have all favoured his designs. You’ll find, however, as you start by staring at them in perplexion, your brow will soften, and your head will tilt. That my friend, is the effect of successful avant- garde: when you can stare in horror at designs that you simply don’t understand, and by the end of a catwalk think ‘yup, I’d wear that one.’ Minus the body paint – but hey, we don’t discriminate. So here it is, the journey that takes a little bit of land, a little bit of sea, and healthy dose of leather blended it into a hell of a lot of GaGa: (And in case you’re wandering, I’d wear the last one!)