Giles Deacon burns through LFW

All the doomed Tudor queens tore onto the runway with vengeance to spare at Giles Deacon’s show at London Fashion Week on Monday night.

Moving from the Silver Swan, the 18th century automaton that informed his last collection, to witchcraft trials and burnings, Deacon presented a collection whose intensity crescendoed on the strength of every look.

The show started on a suitably unnerving note when a model stepped out before the music began to play. Silence rippled through the audience as we noticed the black figure in the plumed charger helmet gilding among us.


The singed invitations had hinted at burnings, but a vague sense of menace took shape as burns bloomed across a black satin jacket. Strata of charred-edge ivory silk twitched past in corseted gowns with a whiff of still-burning embers. Later, copper embroidery made a thicket of tinder on dramatic skirts.

Magnificent jackets fastened with a single button, then split into tails that tapered down the hips like beetle wings. Marabou detailing clutched at models’ shoulders like spider legs or prison bars.

All of this, by the way, was completely opulent and defiant. Queens, thorns and unicorns ranged across rich grey brocade coats that nodded at royal tapestries. A silver lamé suit made for a Joan of Arc-worthy suit of armour.

It was strict, it was vengeful, it was severe—it was brilliant.

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