When I rocked up to the Natural History Museum for the last day of London Fashion Week yesterday I knew I was fully indoctrinated into the fashion massive when I was caught bitching in the queue for Ashish.
But to be fair to me it wasn’t exactly bitching. I was merely remarking on a ‘look at me and comment’ outfit that had just strolled past. Somebody with a head tattooed like a garden conceived on acid – complete with little decorative butterflies glued to it – simply holds no desire to blend in (unless they were supposed to be wallflowers on his head).
Inspired by this ‘trendsetter’ panache I tried enticing a grey squirrel to spend the day sitting on my comparatively bland and unadorned cranium, but alas it ate the bait-nuts and fucked off, leaving me with nothing but crumby dandruff and the overwhelming desire to get a tetanus jab.
Since my first fashion blog, in which I wasn’t entirely complimentary about the supposed ‘stylist’ I met on day one, I have been dreading bumping into her in case she had gotten wind of my venomous bile. But as if to bookend the fashion week experience I saw her on the first and last days. This time she was wearing an ill-fitting purple bowler hat, held high with tight blonde ringlets entwined with orange wire cleaners, Johnny Depp circa Pirates of the Caribbean eye makeup, and a floral suit jacket. She was like a Batman baddy on a severe budget.
Ashish’s work kicked off with some pretty agreeable urban glitz and army glamour: military bomber and trench jackets cut from bold camouflage print and emblazoned with thousands of shiny sequins. This was pretty cool and some trendy forthright individual could certainly pull it off in the outside world.
Baggy pants were the order of the day (and the week) and each piece was topped off with a big accessory made from the branded ‘A’ (for Ashish): gold medallions, baseball caps, medals, broaches etc. Whatever happened to sleeping with models to leave your mark, or pissing on them even, heaven knows they could do with even those discarded nutrients?
The military wear stepped back to adolescence with one poncho/overcoat that looked as if it belonged to a particularly diligent Girl Guide. There were dozens of patches sewed on but heaven knows what that frizzy-haired, pouting, five stone model did to achieve them, she certainly didn’t look very outdoorsy. Perhaps fashion week gave out alternative awards like the ‘scowling’ patch and ‘commitment to the binge/purge cycle’ patch.
A piece that got my attention was a black two-piece covered in white handprints. The model looked like a businesswoman who’d been molested by decorators on her way to work, which I assume is a bad look for anyone.
Achieving maximum points in the ‘what the fuck’ category were sequined square dresses designed as playing cards. Whilst they would make amazing stage costumes for a glitzy production of Alice in Wonderland I‘m not sure you wouldn‘t attract odd looks in Pizza Express. I know it must be boring waiting backstage but finding an excuse to use the models as playing cards is just plain cruel. Yes they are flat and light enough to be used as cards. Yes they’re subservient to the point that they will accept being shuffled as part of a deck, but really, shiny playing cards? What a piss take.
The pernicious side of fashion was most apparent at the Modernist show at the Mango clothing store on Oxford Street. The VIPs with their ‘stickered’ tickets were unapologetically late; fully exploiting the weight of their ‘coloured sticker status’ to hold-up the show and turn a blind eye to their tardy rudeness.
The aspiration cattle were left to graze (or as the holding area was the first floor of the shop I guess ‘browse’) in the heat whilst a tiny voice occasionally whimpered ‘those with green and orange stickers please move forward’. It was like a 21st century form of social segregation; where certain colours hold greater rights than others. Fashion has created its own hemisphere in which to sift out the less worthy with a colander of pretension.
Will Young, having been with the herd for some time, had managed to sidle up to someone who could whisk him through; giving a plumy ‘well done’ to his new found meal ticket as he sauntered past me. The insanity of the fashion hierarchy was already getting on my nerves, and I wasn’t even inside.
Once the ‘coloured’ people had finally taken their preferential seats and the rest of us had been nonchalantly ushered to ‘stand anywhere at the back’ the show finally kicked-off.
The bulk of the first lot of outfits were white futuristic dresses perfect for getting married in the matrix. There were some incredibly striking designs using ruffles that looked as though they had been beautifully stenciled from a pile of fluffy napkins using the sharpest knife possible; 3-D design at its most beautiful.
Unfortunately there seemed to be a lot of last minute hemming. Some of the skirts looked like my mum’s curtains: huge lazy stitching by non-fussed aesthetically challenged persons. Overall it was a touch too purple and white for my tastes. Perhaps Silk Cut was trying to advertise under the radar since tobacco is no longer viable for legal promotion.
Half way through the collection I decided I couldn’t take anymore and left. Fashion week has been like holding my breath underwater for an uncomfortable amount of time. Finally coming up for air was incomparably relieving.
Despite spending a week swimming alongside the current best and rubbing fins with the catch of tomorrow I feel that my fashion gills will never set in. I will never survive in these waters. I am destined to fulfill my needs with low-cost clothing from the cheapest outlets, ignorant to the ‘hottest’ trends and ten steps behind the cognoscenti; and after seeing the vile industry people this week I’m grateful for my shortcomings.