Boy meets girl, gown meets gangster
'Dan and Dean know how to create a vibe,' enthused star performer and zeitgeist model Cara Delevingne backstage after the DSquared2 show, amidst surging crowds of champagne drinkers and enthusiastic hand-shakers.
'And if they want me to dress like a man and swagger like a man in a double breasted suit and weird hat, I'll definitely go with it. Anyway, I had to keep strutting around - I was so hot!'
She wasn't the only one, piled as we were into a nightclub called Alcatraz, where the atmosphere was pulsing with a sort of hedonistic fashion fever. The fun was rewound and reconstructed onstage, in a 1940's nightclub complete with white tuxedo'd New Orleans jazz band, sleazy soldiers and glittering chandeliers.
The models came out two by two, boy meets girl, gown meets gangster. One flowed out in a flowing bias-cut gown with an enormous fish-tail and scandalous low back reminiscent of Keira Knightley's green Atonement gown. Then another stomped out puffing on a long elegant cigarette holder, billowing lengths of black velvet dressing gown flapping around her. All the time the soldiers sleazed and the crowd thrilled. The girls were emblazoned with crystals and swathed in furs, the men wore cartoonish outsize silken bowties and bowler hats with their mafioso double breasted suits.
'Fashion is about personas, it's all about dressing up and projecting an identity,' mused Dean Caten, amidst the backstage tumult, 'what's most important about what you wear is how it makes you feel.'
And as Nina Simone sang it on the show's soundtrack, everyone was feeling good.