This show had to take first prize for most people allowed in Vauxhall Fashion Scout in my experience but possibly ever. I am sure something went wrong in the health and safety policy but when I eventually got out of my herd and into a space, my sense of relief was frankly a bit premature when the two girls in the row in front proceeded to stand up on tip toe, iphones raised high and heads close together. I have video proof of my limited view but from what I saw this collection was rather retro and rather nice.
The Dutch designers whose signature is for exceptional use of colour and graphic detailing opted for a warm palette for the cooler season. They were inspired by Birds of Paradise, which is a phrase the Dutch give to describe eccentric and colourful people, suddenly curious looks and a bit bonkers decorum sounds terrifically exotic and appealing.
But for this collection there was one Bird in particular that was impressing upon them and that was of course the legendary Edie Bouvier Beale. For those who haven’t seen Grey Gardens, its was a critically acclaimed documentary from the 70s, recently remade with Drew Barrymore, about two reclusive socialites living in a decrepit mansion. They were a mother and daughter both named Edie, born into American High Society and darlings of the New York Scene before the Edies’ husband and father left them, and they ended up pretty penniless. The film is a fascinating portrayal of an unusual couple and their sheer entertaining eccentricity.
Edie’s role as muse was evident in the colours from Ceylon yellow, Bordeaux, lime green and mulberry purple. Also ostrich and bird feathers featured as details on differing garments. There was quite an eclectic blend of textiles with silk dupion, silk satin samudra, silk wool blends, crepe de chine, printed silk wool maple, striped wool jersey crepe and wool with lack finish. There was smart tailoring and flirty details and definitely a seventies feel with the prints and hair and make up. Quite nice and wearable overall.
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Photography by Kris Mitchell.