The show opened with a slate-grey dress tiled with a ‘whiplash’ of rectangular sequins from hip to knee. A series of powerful neutral looks followed—very ‘Lisbeth Salander makes it to the executive suite’.
Colour arrived on model Alana Zimmer in a mustard wool coat with a neat, high collar and curve-tracing seams. From there, Farhi brought in golds, bronzes and coppers. These were at their most surprising when they came as plastic shards on skirts and coats, a synthetic shag that amplified and tightened the feel of wild lambskins of other collections.
Between the opulent setting at the Royal Courts of Justice and the precious metal hues, it made sense that Farhi cited gold-crazy Gustav Klimt, the Art Nouveau painter behind ‘The Kiss’ and ‘Portrait of Adele Bloch Bauer I’. This year, Vienna is commemorating what would have been Klimt’s 150th birthday with landmark exhibitions of the artist’s gilded canvases.
Farhi too has a milestone to celebrate in Klimt’s banner year: her 30th brand anniversary. In marriages, the 30th year is occasion for gifts of diamonds and pearls. In fashion, it’s an excuse for grand, golden runway moments if ever we knew one.