Fashion: Hark, what style is this?
Sunday 17 May 2009
When times get tough, designers get creative and flamboyant escapism is often the order of the day. But the autumn collections were more about high-church asceticism. Arcane, medieval shapes and styles were going on a pilgrimage to the end of the catwalk and back.
Looking sacred has never been so profane – or prolific. Todd Lynn sent out models holding rosaries; John Galliano showed bejewelled wimples; there were nuns on the run(way) at Giambattista Valli, where models were covered from neck to ankle in cloak-like cassocks and chasubles; and at Fendi, they sported leather breastplates teamed with Maid Marian-style snoods.
It chimes perfectly with the unveiling of Russell Crowe in his new role as Ridley Scott's Robin Hood. In shots released recently, he looks not unlike a model for the cult designer Rick Owens, in tunic and wrist gauntlets, and has reportedly lost more than four stone for the part. Shedding his ponytail-and-paunch look, he's back to his hero of the people (ie Gladiator) good looks and will star opposite elfin beauty Cate Blanchett.
No need to get thee to a nunnery to get the look: the catwalks were awash with classically romantic make-up framed by woollen hoods and structured cutaway funnel necks at Bruno Pieters and Gareth Pugh, and even modern hennin head-dressess at Marc Jacobs, so Saxon up your headgear. There's nothing more flattering than a swathe of sumptuous wool or felt to emphasise flawless skin, big eyes or red lips. Those still unconvinced should refer to Liv Tyler in The Lord of the Rings – not the lady in the Scottish Widows ad. Welcome to the After-Dark Ages.
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