Images by Cara Stricker. Text by Katharine Zarrella and Sue-Wen Quek.
Show: Paul Smith
Date: September 18, 2011
Venue: The arching Art Deco Royal Horticultural Halls
Music: Less reflective of the clothes than of Paul Smith’s taste for rock, the soundtrack went from the ’60s (think “All Tomorrow’s Parties” by The Velvet Underground) to present-day (“Youth Knows No Pain” by Lykke Li).
Inspiration: Trouble-free, easy-to-wear pieces that you “don’t need an instruction book to wear.”
Quote: “We’re not affected by the recession at all, touch wood,” –Paul Smith
Show: Michael Van Der Ham
Date: September 19, 2011
Venue: The Topshop Show Space in the Old Eurostar Terminal
Inspiration: Joseph Szabo’s photography as well as vintage prints, confetti, abstract brushstrokes and geometric designs.
Music: Easy, echoing electro beats
Favorite Look: Sporty cropped aqua trousers with a royal blue waistline, a blue-and-lavender printed white sheer blouse, a textured white jacket and paint-splatter sunglasses
Additional Notes: Michael Van Der Ham’s invitation was garnished with multi-colored collage of papier-mâché and gold leaf. His collection, which was equally as colorful, translated his textural invite to prints—pants and frocks in aqua and peach looked as though they had been delicately splattered with paint, and artfully folded silks in a menagerie of intricate prints brought Michael’s at once laid-back and refined looks into the third dimension. -KZ
Show: Mary Katrantzou
Date: September 20, 2011
Venue: TopShop Show Space in the Old Eurostar Terminal
Inspiration: Nature versus nurture and the contrast between organic and manmade
Music: David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” and an instrumental version of “Bittersweet Symphony,” mixed by Dominic Thrupp.
Favorite Look: A bouncing Technicolor, coral-print mini frock
Quote: “I wanted to see how I could approach nature and what kind of duality I could find.”
Additional Notes: In her attempt to realize the relationship between the organic and the artificial, Mary Katrantzou created digitized prints of everything from frogs to coral reefs to flower fields. By simplifying said flora and fauna down to repeating pixels, she created almost unrecognizable imagery in the most spectacular fuchsias, reds, electric blues, greens and oranges. The rows of carnations printed on sharp suits had a “Magic Eye” effect as they walked down a runway paved with flowers, and the finale gown, which was a veritable tornado of Swarovski crystal flowers and tin cans, illuminated the designer’s inspiration to the fullest. -KZ
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Michael Van Der Ham