The world's most enormous pair of shredded tulle angel wings threatened to engulf Nicholas Coleridge when they passed by at the London show of the designer Hamish Morrow yesterday. This, it almost goes without saying, is hardly the most diplomatic of moves.
Mr Coleridge, chairman of the British Fashion Council, London Fashion Week's governing body, and managing director of Condé Nast UK, took it in his stride, however. As well he might.
Morrow, 32, is currently leader of the "next big thing" brigade – heading up the bright young talent the British fashion capital is famous for. Not only has his work been featured in the fashion bible Vogue in this country – despite the fact that he is only in his second season – but also American Vogue editor, Anna Wintour, flew him to New York recently for a rare audience.
Wintour, often described as the most powerful woman in fashion, can make or break a designer – she is largely responsible for the stellar positions of both Marc Jacobs and John Galliano in the glittering fashion universe.
For his second show, Morrow sent models, dressed from head to toe in white, through a pool of ultraviolet water. Their shoes and the trailing hems of fragile pleated skirts were thus dyed in that colour, which bled prettily on to the runway as they walked.
Clothing was complex and played on a contrast between traditionally glamorous materials and hi-tech acrylics. Deconstructed skirts, dresses and jackets wrapped around slender bodies in ever more intricate ways. Delicate damasks with unfinished edges and flashes of gleaming crystal blended effortlessly with Airtex and the type of fabrics more readily associated with professional sportswear than designer fashion.
The ease of casual clothing fused with the intricacy and embellishment of modern haute couture.
True, it was hardly commercial. The amount of work that goes into each piece means that it will be hugely expensive if ever produced. But that is not the point. Morrow, who cut his teeth working in Italy for the Byblos label and in New York for John Bartlett, understands exactly how to make clothes that sell. However, for his own label, image is more important than sales for the time being,.
"The motivation at the moment is not to sell clothes," he said. "I don't have the finances to take on the responsibility of production. I'm buying myself time by building my image without compromise, and using that credibility as a bargaining tool to link up with the right manufacturer."
A shrewd move indeed and is destined to be one that is one more than likely to pay off.Reuse content