Thu, 16/02/2006 - 2:00pm
On|Off, Royal Academy Burlington Gardens, W1
Showcasing a riotous selection of technicoloured outfits, Avshalom Gur (who was first awarded New Generation sponsorship for a stand at the BFC exhibition last season) made his loud, proud debut at London Fashion Week. Yet another graduate of St Martins, he worked as a freelance consultant for Donna Karan before taking the plunge and launching his own label in 2005.
Hailing from Israel, most of his inspiration comes from arts and crafts - in particular the dress of Bedouin tribes. Gur likes to challenge our perception of glamour by playing around with traditional notions of what is beautiful. His evening dresses, for example are a contradiction in terms - artfully tattered, yet constructed from luxurious silk fabrics. He also likes to collaborate with emerging artists. The printed textiles (abstract, punky and linear) come courtesy of Daniel Reynolds whilst the ceramic bird jewellery is made by Carol Wiseman.
Although the show was off-schedule, it was jam-packed. Buyers and press were clearly interested to see what he had to offer. Grace Jones honeyed vocals filled the room and models floated down the catwalk in a heady mix of flamboyant, Spanish-style evening-wear, slouchy harem pants worn with hoodies, puff-ball skirts and ribbed sweater dresses. Detail crops up frequently; a ruffled hem here, an elasticated waist there.
Particularly impressive are the huge treated cashmere coats (with no seams), lined with felt. These come in zesty hues of neon yellow and tangerine orange. Accessories were minimal, but rightly so. These clothes are statement pieces and need very little embellishment. What we did see, however was interesting - inflated silk pieces filled with foam were fashioned into tube structures and worn around the neck. Elsewhere, a black felted wool cloché hat was the ultimate in 20's inspired sophistication. Watch this space, this one could go far.
Words: Bianca Donnelly. Photos: Judith Erwes.