It's eight o'clock in Todd Lynn's Kingsland Road pre-show workspace, two days before the show. An iPod is on – music is how Lynn started, making clothes for Marilyn Manson, PJ Harvey and The Rolling Stones – and show stylist Karen Langley, Dazed's Fashion Director, and assistant Emma Wyman are wrapping up for the day.
Lynn is excited to reveal a collaboration with his friend Shaun Leane, who has realised special pieces for the label before (horn shoulders at S/S10, a cascading half-sculpture at S/S11 and bone-like silver pins bridging fabric at S/S12). When the box opens today, we see a metal object cosseted in polystyrene chips. It's halfway between an abstract, elongated ruff and the outstretched wings of a bird.
A journey through the rail and it becomes clear the inherent freedom suggested by a bird is particularly apt this season, even if the designer is actually inspired by artist Odd Nerdrum. Lynn has tried things for the first time in his design history. Hardware is gold instead of silver and fox furs are joined by Fisher, a relation of Sable. Espresso is thrown in the mix, whereas before his army was pure black.
What remains is the Canadian's take on corrupted elegance. Condensed, tiny laddered threads form sheer channels joining fabric. Whilst coup a fais embroidery gives the impression of a luxe, moth-eaten decay. It's a real contrast to the slickness of his perfect tuxedo, worn over bare skin. But that's Lynn in a nutshell – the impeccable with a dash of destruction.
Photography by Emma Wyman: Todd Lynn fitting the Shaun Leane showpiece by Emma Wyman.