Splashes of summer light up London's finest catwalks
Something you'll find in greater supply at London Fashion Week than at the other such events is humour, and Cumbrian-born designer Giles Deacon has it in spades.
He returned to London Fashion Week yesterday with a highly entertaining spring/summer 2011 show that fused wit and flair in equal measure. Known for his appetite for pop culture and cartoon imagery, Deacon – whose label is called Giles – opened the show with brightly coloured knits depicting animals with googly eyes, worn with giant feathery pom-pom hats and chunky pink trainers.
He is often partial to pink but it always comes with a slightly twisted edge which undercuts its conventionally sweet and innocent connotations.
Accordingly, this collection featured pink silk prom dresses and long evening gowns printed with a giant sticking-plaster pattern and a long dress made of fringed pink crystal with a "beauty queen gone bad" feel.
The models, too, were styled to look like wayward Miss World contestants, while the legendary Sixties model Veruschka closed it in a long coffee-coloured dress with a feathered hem.
A much more demure, romantic vision was presented by designer Erdem Moralioglu. Since he started his label, Erdem, in 2005, his aesthetic has evolved in a coherent fashion, as he strengthens his signature repertoire of prints and decorative techniques whilst also moving forward just enough to keep his look fresh.
Shown in a garden square in Bloomsbury, Erdem's collection began with short, white, lace dresses that could entice the most determinedly single girl into thoughts of summer weddings.
More short dresses followed, in simple shift shapes or with fitted tops and fuller skirts, in plain lemon, red or navy silk embroidered with flowers, blurred blue and red prints and with Tyrolean lace details. The finale of cream maxi dresses with botanical designs was particularly beautiful.
The Scottish designer Christopher Kane's vision was altogether more subversive. His inspiration came from a box-pleated dress by Norman Hartnell from the Forties, and, despite its bold attitude, the collection was based on quite demure shapes. Late Fifties and early Sixties-style boxy skirt-suits came in lace-effect neon pink, orange and green leather, and knee-length tea dresses with sunray pleats were rendered in neon lace and a dragon-design fabric which recalled a particularly tough looking tattoo.
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