Above: Getty Images
Oh, the joy of an Anya Hindmarch show. This morning's began normally enough; models stalked the polka dot catwalk against a backdrop of multicoloured bulbs redolent of fairgrounds, toting next season's bags. The pieces were covered in schoolgirl doodles, bug eyes and clouds and cherries and slogans. These, it transpired, were part of a brand new sticker line, the result of a collaboration with Charlotte Stockdale's Chaos Fashion and designed to let you personalise your pieces. Then sections of the floor started to turn, rotating benches on which the audience sat to change the shape and route of the catwalk before the lights went down, black lights came on and three fluorescent teacups moved onto the runway, each filled with models and accompanied by dancers in skeleton suits.
Meadham Kirchhoff can always be relied upon to make the audience sit up and take notice, too. For spring they'd taken a leaf out of Vivienne Westwood's book with an angry, anarchistic, punk-fueled collection. Their models, a motley crew of fans that they'd street cast, wound their way through prayer trees hanging with ribbons and, on closer inspection, tampons, wearing a jumbled mismatch of pieces. Fringed latex skirts, flouncy net dresses, jackets gathered with bungee cords, cyber-punk knitted two pieces and slogans that shouted ‘reject everything’ and ‘freedom is not reality’ were all piled on top of each other. It was brilliantly bonkers and a far cry from the overwhelmingly commercial collections that have dominated London Fashion Week - and all the better for it.
Left to Right: Anya Hindmarch, Meadham Kirchhoff and Edward Marler
Over at Fashion East young designers Helen Lawrence, Louise Alsop and Ed Marler took it in turns to unveil their new collections. Lawrence is a knitwear whizz and she’d dissected and reassembled sweaters, pairing them with latex panels and washed out denim. Alsop continued to riff on subcultures and her sliced dresses, patch-covered pieces, raw edged shorts and scribble printed tunics were accessorized with piercing ring necklaces. And Marler, showing for the first time, had conjured a disparate family of vampires dressed opulently in tapestry printed denim jackets, metallic gothic dresses, cod pieces and corsets and crowns. Unfortunately for the designers the clothes were somewhat overshadowed by a builder from the next door building site falling through the roof and into the backstage area half way through the show. He was immediately attended by paramedics and the show continued but the inevitable shock and worry of the audience meant that the collections didn’t get the attention that they deserved.