My first London Fashion Week was definitely a life changing experience. It turned my world upside down, helping me to develop and mature as a person and to take control of my career. I learnt many lessons from trivial but crucial survival skills such as eating a huge breakfast before starting your day (at fashion week both lunch and dinner do not exist) to important facts about the industry, for instance, Central Saint Martins breeds the most promising UK talent. Though by the end of the week my feet were covered in blisters, my brain going into overdrive unable to process so much information, the fashion week lifestyle was still so enticing and enthralling that I did not want to leave.
The second show I attended, by Krystof Stroznya, was up there with the most memorable of the week. After a confusion about which room we were to go to, my photographer, Laura, and I were rushed into the second catwalk by one of the event organisers. Perhaps it was this that gave us an apparent sense of elevated self-importance because next thing I know, I am being directed towards one of the best front row VIP seats. Acting as if this was just a regular day in the life, secretly hoping I would not be moved, I proudly took my seat and gleefully accepted the goody bag. Once the venue had filled up I began to notice people photographing the female next to me, though her face had an odd familiarity I could not recognise who she was. As time went on and more people asked her for pictures the realisation that this woman was clearly a celebrity had set in. Unfortunately, it was too late to say or do anything, so I sat there hoping someone would drop a hint as to who she was as the lights dimmed and the show began.
This show was one I had been particularly looking forward to after reading about the Polish born designer’s creations for the modern and empowered woman in Vogue and discovering that Stroznya had designed clothes for the likes of Natalia Vodianova. Luckily, Krystof did not disappoint. The collection stayed true to Stroznya’s signature sculptural dressing and flattery of the hour glass figure in the clean cut and geometrical, fitted dresses with soft drape detail.
For A/W the Central Saint Martins graduate took influence from the 19th century Robert Louis Stevenson story of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. The idea of dual personalities shone through in the use of contrasting sheer and leather panels and of dark colours with soft pastels. The leather black and navy blue colourings, inspired by the night sky, formed the basis of the collection and emulated the misanthropic midnight creature of Mr Hyde. The appearance of nude in the lining of the several zipped pockets on a leather jacket and addition of split skirts, capes and material chokers to match the silk dresses reflected the split between the respectable persona of Dr Jekyll and the angst of Mr Hyde.
One piece which stood out above the rest was a floor length, long sleeved silk evening dress. The pastel pink garment physically showed the split between Jekyll and Hyde in the addition of sky blue silk layered across half the upper torso and sleeve of the dress. The piece, like many others in the collection, oozed with mystery and promiscuity in the use of a drop neckline and split skirt, transforming pieces from daywear to evening wear.
As the show came to an end, so did my curiosity as the male behind me had the courage to ask the mysterious celebrity if she really was Amelle from the Sugarbabes or just a look-a-like.
Photography by Laura McKinnon