Despite the early showtime, guests arrived promptly to find themselves seated in a maze of shipping containers for Eudon Choi’s fall/winter 2019 show. True to his signature aesthetic, Choi cleverly nailed the art of pairing bold and bright statement pieces with subtle and simple hues. In fact, his ability to absorb all kinds of art and manifesting it in his work speaks for itself. Last season, he looked to surrealism in structure and textile artist Ivan da Silva Bruhns. Today, he’s absorbed elements from Swiss surrealist artist, Meret Oppenheim and image-making extraordinaire Guy Bourdin. The first point of reference, the industrialist aesthetic of the south that imitated Bourdin’s inclination towards shooting in urban landscapes. Oppenheim also famously featured in Man Ray’s series of images titled, Erotique Voilee. There, Choi drew from the colours and glamour from the 1970’s surrealist movement, injecting it into fire-engine red cord trench coats and luminous lime green co-ords. Accessories like bags and shoes, washed with summer colours of bright blues and red, accentuated the otherwise dusty colour palette — a perfect way to perk up dressing in the bleak winter, if you ask me. Strong tailoring juxtaposed with fluid fabrics, a key element of any Eudon Choi show, were yet again executed perfectly.
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House of Holland
The audience at House of Holland’s fall/winter 2019 show came expectant and did not leave disappointed. Henry Holland’s FROW offering not only included pop queen Lily Allen, but also Ncuti Gatwa, Emma Mackey and Aimee Lou Wood from the Netflix series, Sex Education. T-shirts, made in collaboration with the TV series, were sprinkled in and around the collection.
A “Global Citizen”, that’s who Holland had in mind when he crafted the collection; a “love letter” of sorts to the outspoken and the rebellious. It’s zestful soundtrack carried the energy of the show just as much as the audience did, who were cheering on Pixie Geldof when she made her debut walking in the show. Longtime friend of Holland, Geldof was adorned in a sheer tie-dye printed midi, one of the many traditional cambodian textile techniques Holland adopted in his work. Accessories that anchored each look rotated from Grenson hiking boots (laced with colourful woven paracords), quilted berets by Noel Stewart and earrings by German designer Husam El Odeh. Opening the show was trans model Finn Buchanan, in a bright orange Prince of Wales check coat, a prominent print that followed through in blazers, skirts and dresses. A touch of East Asian style was peppered into the mix, with Mandarin collars and Obi belts on quilted oversized bombers. The global citizen in Henry Holland’s mind is one that lives in a world without borders, a much refreshing sight after the recent turn of events, and is a utilitarian uniform “for a generation who feel increasingly unheard, misrepresented and angry at the way their world is being governed”
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In light of all talks about Brexit, Vivienne Westwood has taken her stance on the matter to the runway quite literally. She’s been known for using her platform to protest the things she’s truly believed in, from climate change to Brexit, as seen through today’s show. Though the show ran unusually long, it was a refreshing pause in between shows. Set right in the heart of Westminster, the fall/winter 2019 show was punctuated with a series of dialogues directed by theatre director, Phillip Breen. “Homo Loquax” loosely translated to “Chattering Man”, styled some archived pieces by Westwood Foundation. Spoken words from the show’s dialogue, “How come 7 Billion people don’t know?” were scribbled across jumpers and aprons. Every now and then, models would take positions on each side of the stage to recite different aspects of capitalism, consumerism, or Rot$ dollar, or “Rot Dollar”, represents the “rotten financial system” in which Westwood shares in her press release as “the mechanism that favours the already rich by taxing the poor” Playings cards were central to the collection, and were featured on tunics with slogans like “Politicians R Criminals, Bankers R Evil”. Even bucket hats were labelled with “Buy Less”, all in favour of “saving the world from climate change”. The grand finale, unlike traditional runways, saw Westwood parading down the runway as models glide through her, as a she belted out the traditional English song, “Go in and out the Window”.
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