Wednesday, 24 February 2010

London Fashion Week: Erdem, Marios Schwab, Christopher Kane

Back to back events, well-organised sites and shows reasonably on time. What wasn't to like about London Fashion Week?

Well, there was the little matter of the shows and their quality.

For example, we saw a show in which the shoes were virtually unwearable and made most of the models walk like cripples with their knees bent like Mediterranean water carriers in the nineteenth century. How soignee is that? Actually, the show was worrying for other reasons too. I don't know the rules of design plagiarism if colours are changed, but there were at least three straight copies of another designer's work in it. Surely we can expect more from a designer showing under the aegis of the BFC?

There was quite a lot of dross on show every day, which is to be expected with a schedule so crowded with young, relatively inexperienced talent. But, apart from Richard Nicoll, there were only three shows that held the interest for a while. In order of success, they were Erdem, Marios Schwab and Christopher Kane. None was perfect, but then again none was a total disaster. Erdem did what he does best and showed some beautiful colours, including a gracious golden-yellow and brown combination that I would think has not been seen for many, many years. Marios Schwab's message was rather confused – some hints of traditional Austrian dress fighting some seventies' Manhattan sculpted effects and a serious crystal overload for evening – and Christopher Kane revisited old Dolce & Gabbana territory with leather embroidered with gaudy Alpine flowers and a lot of lace. His mini kilts were chic and sexy and his leather with crystal and silver embroidery made basic shapes both interesting and sophisticated. Both looks, I am sure, will be best sellers.

And that is fine: even young designers have to eat. But I do think that London fashion is so banal at the moment because the favoured ones are thinking more of sales than pushing forward with some new ideas. There seems little point in producing Oxford Street clothes and calling them designer. We need more rigour than that if we are to survive the hubris that seems to be swallowing London yet again.

But there were genuine fashion moments. At one especially dire show, as the first Gothic horror came down the runway a small child began to wail in distress. It required all one's discipline not to join in.

Erdem: photos © Jason Lloyd-Evans

Christopher Kane: photos © Jason Lloyd-Evans

Richard Nicoll: Photo © Jason Lloyd-Evans

Marios Schwab: photos © Jason Lloyd-Evans


  1. The flowers in Christopher Kane's collection look horrendously cheap. And that lace dress is a monstrosity.

  2. beautiful collections, i love especially the Christopher Kane's show for the wearability of each clothe and the soft fabrics