In most situations, lampshade hats, billowing bathrobes and Elvis Presley prints would seem resoundingly incompatible. But for Fashion East, that’s a day in the life of the new normal. We went backstage for more.
For autumn/winter 2013, Claire Barrow, Ryan Lo (above) and Ashley Williams present their first Fashion East collections, giving the crowd a taste of the different, the strange, and the pop culturally fantastic from the great designers of tomorrow.
Our first taste of Claire Barrow was certainly one we won’t forget. We were hooked after the first fish clutch made its way down the runway, accompanied by a tough, loose sack-dress reminiscent of a Biblical power woman. The Adam and Eve feel then transcended into full woodland goth, a dark, twisted fantasy world where Turn Of The Screw meets Midsummer Nights Dream. Forest greens, widow blacks, and Miss Havisham white gowns glided along in an eerily fun beat. It seems very clear that Claire Barrow will be a success, both in this world and the next.
The Ryan Lo collection was true to its inspiration: if Bridget Jones and
Ally McBeal had a love child, the result would be a powerhouse kid with the coolest sleepovers in town. The first looks were plush pink and monochrome power suits that harken Jackie O – if she joined the grunge movement. Then came wonderfully soft, bathrobe blue jacket. But it didn’t stop there: polka-dot onesies, clownish skirts and colourful trainers brought the nineties back, and we’re totally digging it.
Through prints and pristine cuts, the Ashley Williams collection was an evolution of pop Americana. Her baby doll dresses evoked the blonde bombshells gracing Hitchcock silver screens. Homey gingham pencil skirts and heavy knit jumpers were something out of a Gidget fantasy, while the king of retro Americana, Elvis Presley, was everywhere – on dresses, skinny trousers, and t-shirts. But from double-denim to the popular references on dresses, Williams takes retro pop and gives it new life, proving that the pop culturista isn’t just always looking to the past, she’s shaping the future.
Words: Elise Marraro
Images: Harry Carr