Harris Reed, as a brand, has always centred on the idea of theatricality and transformation; what better way to drive this message home than building a collection of off Shakespeare’s “As You Like It”? For Reed, clothes possess a great power. The power to communicate a mood, character, or even gender – this sense of performance permeates our everyday lives.
Aesthetically and conceptually, theatricality is a thread that runs throughout the collection. Upcycled theatre drapes, harlequin motifs, and the show’s location in the round all lend themselves to the overarching theme. Pageant queens are also referenced throughout, a shining symbol of over-the-top drama. Reflected in the deep velvets and crystal embellishments, shimmers of the sculptor Henry Moore’s influence contrast them, with organic shapes, and curved lines.
Juxtaposing skin-tight silhouettes with grand sculptural elements, the body is formed into completely new shapes. Mini skirts are inflated, bulbous and padded; svelte dresses explode into bouffant collars and curves. Switching up silhouettes is also seen in the collection’s corsetry. Whether they’re exaggerating the waist, or playing up off-kilter shapes – corsets are a tool to manipulate the body’s form.
Deconstructing the process of getting dressed, and elevating the theatricality of daily life – Harris Reed’s latest collection highlights the beauty of the body by offering up a subversive sensuality.