Wayne's world brings out the best of bizarre

THE FACES in the front row were blown up on a large video screen at the end of the catwalk before the Red or Dead show. Bitchy voiceovers - "Have you seen the Marie Claire team, I don't know how they dare go out in public." "Have you seen that girl from Elle, her bum is so big." - played over the public address system. Anyone labouring under the illusion that they were about to witness a high-fashion spectacle was about to be sorely disappointed.

But then, that's what Wayne Hemingway's label Red or Dead is all about. He is, after all, fashion's self-styled man of the people, as irreverent towards the industry as he is out on a limb with the cut of his clothes.

This show was no exception. After a batch of evocatively clad glamour models, thrusting and pouting in sequins and fringed, plastic boob tubes and knickers, came a string of black women in wild, multi-coloured African mask print, batik patterns and raffia dresses.

One dress, made entirely out of wooden beads, resembled a car-seat back massager. Then came a section, perhaps inspired by Hemingway's local bag lady, in which the models skipped down the catwalk in jute-sack slips and rope hobo boots. The song "The Lunatics Have Taken Over the Asylum" played over the sound system.

Enter a blue J-Cloth dress, sprayed with water, followed by a male model, who resembled Jack Nicholson in One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, his linen baggy trousers, somewhat disturbingly, dripping wet around the groin area. The next lunatic inmate, dressed in pale blue pyjamas, held up a cigarette lighter to the cameras at the end of the runway, obviously with the intent to commit arson.

Finally, a man in J-Cloth Y-fronts walked down the catwalk as the robotic voiceover told the audience to get lost: "Please clear out - proceed to your next show."

n Earlier in the day, Markus Lupfer unveiled his collection a stone's throw away from Savile Row. The German-born designer, now in his second season, climbed the fashion ladder as design assistant to London's most respected design duo, Clements Ribeiro, before stepping out in his own right. While he is fast establishing his own signature, their influence remains prevalent.

Super-soft knitwear, worn nonchalantly off the shoulder or slashed at the back, was teamed with satin, box pleat skirts or hot pants. Orange, neon, pink and yellow accented cool, neutral greys and mushroom.

The big hits of the collection were leather trousers and skirts punched out to look like lace, and dark, olive-green, sequinned tops and mini kilts.

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