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BFW: Natalie Wileman for Former Glory

Friday 03 June 2011
Words Spindle

When you go vintage clothes shopping, you know you will be met with a vast amount of printed t-shirts and torn, broken garments with an exuberant price tag. In between you occasionally find a hidden gem that with work would become stunning, transforming it to its ‘former glory.’  This is where Natalie Wileman steps in. Finding what can be reused in our heavily throwaway society, Wileman turns garments into couture.

The collection entitled, ‘Gone But Not Forgotten,’ was based on three themes, Gianni Versace, Alexander McQueen and John Galliano. Three designers who physically or metaphorically have been killed off in the world of fashion before their time. Each designer theme was met with echoing sounds of news reports of their sensational ‘deaths.’ As the first dress took to the catwalk, a black strapless skin tight dress with gold chain detailing, the audience already started to applause. This continued throughout Former Glory’s performance that went from chic Italian little black dresses, to gothic manic models dressed in ripped tulle, exposed crinolines and patchwork silhouettes of skulls.

The collection finished off with tipsy little girls spilling champagne as they stumbled onto the catwalk in frothy silk gowns, their lips painted with glittering crosses, inspired by John Galliano’s recent loose lips.  It was a collection that remained innocent whilst being naively sexy and dark, reminding us of the fashions that three iconic designers produced whilst giving a vintage ‘Former Glory twist.’