Alternative Fashion Week Day 2
Hacney Community College
Hackney Community College
West Thames College
West Thames College
Emma McCarthy encounters a magical mixture of facts and fiction on the catwalk at Day 2 of Alternative Fashion Week 2010.
The models were transformed into Haute Couture Scarecrows for Hayley Trezise’s disjointed fairytale collection. Focusing on sculptural shapes and art forms, the colour palette consists of earthy tones in muddy browns, rich greens and soft greys. Using tweeds, vintage lace and thick woollen felts embossed with machine embroidery, Hayley manipulates fabric to exaggerate the contours of the female body, creating tulip skirts, ruffled and funnelled collars and long, asymmetrical trains. Hayley’s models skulked out in Raggedy Anne formation, with their bird’s nest updo’s, powder white faces and miniature top hats.
Soft edges meet hard textiles in 4. 2morrow’s avant-garde collection, entitled ‘Ballet versus Armour’. Panels of harsh leather are mitigated by gentle folds, piping and circular lines. The primarily black collection introduces flashes of white as the theme develops. Stacey Richards offers a disjointed and fragmented collection as a interpretation of the deadly sin, Sloth, with her pieces seeming unfinished, symbolically fraught with disappointment and lost potential. Black and white is punctuated by red; her creations are littered with holes, frayed edges and mismatched seams. The models' faces were chained by metal harnesses and restraints, giving a fetishistic and animalistic edge.
Charlie Chambers took customisation to new heights with his ‘Laundry Day’ collection, by reviving reclaimed and recycled vintage garments and fabrics into current silhouettes. Charlie displays creative flair in his colour combinations, geometric patterning and ingenuity, reworking mundane into modern. Buttons and eyelets become embellishments, denim scraps become piping and shirt collars become skirt pockets. The drop-crotch, strapless denim and gingham all-in-one was a favourite for me and cute as can be.
Prilly Lewis has perfected a range of knitted and felted lamb’s wool and angora outerwear, consisting of flattering knee-length swing coats and tailored jackets. Elegant touches include contrasting panels, cuffs and floral collars and the collection is offset by large, felted bead necklaces and rosebud brooches. Simple, effortless and cosily streamline, all to ‘The Really Tight Corsets’ styling of The Girl From Ipanema.
Tanya Smith replicates the wealth and variety of flora and fauna that can be found at Kew Gardens in her collection, the ‘The Natural Look’. She balances purples, oranges and greens together with a floral print, and keeps the volume high on the garments, in the form of high shoulders, hoods and funnelled necks, mimicking the stems and blooms from which she drew her inspiration.
Hackney Community College Art Department used an array of different mediums and artistic techniques to produce their contribution entitled ‘Telling Tales’. The narrative is established through the use of photographs, lettering and illustrative prints to depict and communicate each individual’s story.
Later on, the audience was all smiles and cheers for CoolTan Arts and their Twisted Tartan creations. The largest collection of the day showcased delicate silks printed with warped and interlaced bars of colour, circles and squares to give an alternative take on the classic, which was crafted into dresses, skirts and neck scarves. The catwalk was animated by a diverse range of individuals and people from the community, who presented the garments with flourish and charisma.
West Thames College gave us resortwear for a galactic summer holiday. Crisp white playsuits, quirky silver mini dresses and the odd slinky evening piece provided a full and complete space travel wardrobe...ideal for when you may find yourself in such a packing dilemma!
‘ Come on now Kimi, Grow up!’ was the title of Kimberley Startup’s celebration of childhood innocence. It is a rainbow of colour blocking, scribble prints and simple, oversized shapes. The fantasy collection features a toy train, a Glockenspiel set and wooden building blocks as bracelets and the elongated separates give the appearance of a child playing dress up. The baby-faced models in sky scraper pastel heels was just the icing on the cake. Dorota Damian’s monochromatic collection is a display of well-crafted tailoring and strong silhouettes, developed from the deconstruction and reconstruction of cultural costume from the Eastern European region. Dorota maintains a smooth and minimal line on the heavier textiles used, whilst manipulating the light, softer fabrics into cascading, textural shapes as the soft folds of fabric fall against metallic studwork and beading in brassy shades of gold and bronze. A polished and chic eveningwear collection.
Georgia Nash, my not-so-secret favourite of the day, gave an element of the theatre to today’s catwalk and presented us with a stylish and beautifully-constructed wardrobe for the cast of ‘The Nutcracker’. Each model that strutted out represented a different character from the production, from the Nutcracker himself, who stood tall and proud in the softly draped military jumpsuit, to the sweet and delicate ballerina figures who glided down the catwalk in little wisps of creamy chiffon and tulle. Georgia pays homage to the element of magic that lies at the core of the show, as the fabric glimmered and shone in the light of the day, the illusion created as each layer was accentuated by the glinting of metal from decorative zips, metallic lining, delicate beadwork or a contrasting trim. The catwalk was awash with velvets, silks and satins and the variety and richness of the fabrics used continually drew the eye to each and every item that adorned the members of her cast. Georgia complemented her outfits with a selection of clutch bags and fascinators, decorated with oversized bows and glittering with lines of pearls. Georgia’s collection left a lasting impression in more ways than one, as a sprinkling of little wooden Nutcracker dolls remained in her wake, as they made a bid for freedom from the constraints of the models heels on which they hung. Georgia captured the essence of ‘The Nutcracker’, as well as her own unique and signature style, giving us elegance, sophistication and a generous heaping of fairground fun.
Photos: Emma McCarthy