Fashion East A/W11: Elliot Atkinson

Tartan and plaid skirts were paired with arran knits, snakeskin and feather-detailling as a nod to American history

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For his first full collection shown on schedule at London Fashion Week as part of Fashion East, recent Edinburgh School of Art graduate, Elliott Atkinson, showed a strong series of pieces. Pulling heavily on references that looked back through America's history, the garments were built around darker colours with metal detailing, arran knits, snakeskin and leathers. Tunic dresses with cut away busts in black were highlighted through high necked and rigid white shirts worn underneath. Grey plaid skirts added a graphic feel and sharp tailoring created a wearable but forceful silhouette.

Dazed Digital: What was the original idea behind the show?
Elliott Atkinson:
The collection is derived from a chronological study of America through the ages. Thats kind of where the metal and raw textures, the animal skins, came from. We were watching There Will Be Blood, and thinking about post-Depression America and those very strict clothes.

DD: What about the tartan?
Elliott Atkinson:
Well that came from the Scottish Irish immigration that happened, thats where that came from. It was actually more about looking at the craft element of that, and texture, but it has come through directly in a couple of key pieces of tartans.

DD: You also featured feather detailing throughout the collection.
Elliott Atkinson:
That was influenced by looking at extreme body piercing. There was also a working of metal through the collection which was also inspired by seeing images of body art. I actually found an image of guys who pierce themselves with feathers, so that was an obvious inspiration.

DD: the collection was quite muted in colour but then you also added in some animal skins and lighter shades. What led you to that?
Elliott Atkinson:
The colour palette was quite washed out and grainy. It has the black, white and other occasional solid colours. Again this came from seeing those images of the post-Depression era. Guys with very high stiff collared shirts in base tones. It is quite strict and I wanted to reflect that through. The animal skins and the lilacs were about bringing the focus towards the body and adding in some fresh colour without it being too costume like.

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