Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Catwalk review: Blow Presents... Pop Up show featuring Gemma Slack, Kominako and Craig Lawrence

Ten minutes before the show Fashion Scout noted an air of total chaos and abject terror prompted by the last minute changes that bubble beneath the surface of any good fashion show. By the time the young, beautiful and crazy of hair had filtered in and taken their seats the excitement was palpable. Three young designers, one show, and totally unchartered expectations.

It was to eerie, eighties saxophone and quiet wailing that Gemma Slack's first models strode onto the catwalk, exuding the sort of street-wise sass and attitude that comes only with wearing interminably fashionable clothes and a rough-shorn black wig. A heady mix of untreated leather, extreme neoprene padding and brass detailing, Slack's collection meshed dominatrix leather dresses and drainpipe trousers with medieval-looking epaulettes and a sultry smoke-print created by the designer. When hemlines were up, they were very, very up and when hemlines were down, they were way down. And when padded black gilets covered high-necked, skintight dresses, the overall effect was a desirable one indeed.

Komakino's offering was largely stomped out in their trademark black. Boxy, drop-shoulder sweat shirts sat atop slim-line trousers with a tarnished shine and tri-band belts with with ruck-sack fastenings. Lithe young male models looked as though they had been brought in from London's bustling streets and lent a gritty realism to the proceedings. Draped in see-through mesh and hoods, soft leather jackets, ripped black denim and an occasional well-crafted coat, they strutted their stuff. Concept was key - with ideas about disillusion and loss informing the show - and fabrics and texturing gave the collection what it needed to be an aesthetic winner as well.

And what was there from Craig Lawrence? What there wasn't might be easier, and the answer would be: a dull moment. A throng of knitted ribbon, crafted expertly into men's and women's trousers, dresses, vests and jumpers walked out before a video of a model jumping in stop-motion. The range of pinks and marshmallow whites knew no gender boundaries and the looped and shining ribbons danced prettily on each and every look. The girls got short and body-con in metallic salmon swirls, built-up shoulders and shape-hiding pink pom-poms. The boys got everything from scoop-back white vests in knitted ribbon to a pink and white jumper with an underarm train. Perhaps not one for the tube, but a fantastic fashion show nonetheless. Emma Hopkinson

Images: David Coleman

1 comment:

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