Susannah Frankel: A London Fashion Week high point to look out for
Ready to wear
London Fashion Week. Monday. And I am mostly looking forward to... Giles. That show takes place this evening at the Royal Courts of Justice, just like last time, when the designer's collection (pictured) was among the standouts of the international season.
Picture a woman – part consumptive Victorian child, part mad woman in the attic – in high-collared white shirt, stiff as a board, gleaming leather corsetry, inky-black goatskin, raven feathers and jet-encrusted embroideries. Imagine clothing so beautifully proportioned and made that anyone watching would have been willing to take out a small mortgage to buy it. They're probably doing so as I write, as the clothing in question is in-store now.
Whatever the price, for all the excitement generated around the London shows, this was fashion that would hold its own on the more elevated stage of Paris also. Much of it was executed to the standard of haute couture and that was both unusual and good to see.
It might not be quite like that this time around, though. At least part of the appeal of this designer is that his followers – and we are many – never quite know what to expect.
In recent history, Giles has cast the saucy, unusually smiley and curvaceous Abby Clancy and Kelly Brook in a show featuring rainbow-coloured knits finished with big, googly eyes. Kerry Katona was in pride of place front row at that one: "Yeah, I thought it was really nice," she was overheard opining, as the designer came out to take his bows, proving that she probably shouldn't give up her day job just yet, bless her, whatever that may be.
Dinosaurs, mice, bounding Bambis and sinister rabbits have cropped up in Deacon's print designs before now. Metallic Pac-Man hats, courtesy of the milliner Stephen Jones, have been known to float above models' heads like flying saucers. Even Deacon's debut was remarkable, not least for the fact that there were more supermodels on his catwalk than had been seen since the glory days of Gianni Versace.
So, this might be the moment when the look, proportion and mood of the London season is well and truly nailed, or Giles Deacon may simply decide to go out on a limb and make everyone smile. Fashion is meant to be entertaining, after all, and, either way, flagging spirits will be lifted. Guaranteed.
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