Jeff Garner’s ethical high fashion brand’s latest collection was based on romantic renaissance. Called ‘Courtly Love’, a phrase too often confused with an American rock singer, it is all about aristocratic courtship from historical periods.
As you would imagine from this theme, high collars, corsets and sweeping gowns were characteristics of the collection. Inspired by Princess Grace and her dandy suitors, there was much frilliness and a pastel palette of whites, creams, peaches and pale pinks for the audiences’ delectation.
In keeping with sustainability, hemp and silk blends were utilised, as well as plant and earth based dyes and the introduction of hemp wool plaid. While the ladies sauntered down the runway in all their Victorian finery, the collection also included menswear which was more highwayman than Beau Brummel, with kilts, embroidered jackets and boots and long maned models.
Sponsored by the Lawrence Anthony Foundation, the show began with a short film about the charity with appeal for donation for rhino conservation and this cause was reflected in the elephant painted prints shown. The show commenced with the appearance of an orchestra who played a dramatic score of that era with a particularly passionate solo of the violinist who christened the catwalk prior to the models.
The show piece was a dress made from peace silk, Jeff’s reworked antique quilt of his Grandmother Lola, a vintage pocket watch and black ostrich feathers which, it must be mentioned, were naturally shed. With intricate detail, bustles and gowns galore, this was a charming classical collection.
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Photography by Kris Mitchell.