What played out at Meadham Kirchhoff on the closing day of LFW was one of the most honest, emotionally raw and significant collections to come out of London in a long time. Born from the designers’ disgust with an increasingly misogynistic, homophobic, intolerant world, these were punk clothes in the actual sense of the word – not the ‘leather jacket and a couple of safety pins’ kind: a complex, beautiful dissonance, and a love letter to Vivienne Westwood’s “genius” and “the obvious and undeniable influence that Dame Westwood has had on this collection”, as the show notes explained.
The myth of freedom:
“Freedom is not true,” Edward Meadham said after the show. “There’s no such thing as freedom. We live in this disgusting culture where freedom is this myth that everybody sort of believes in. There’s no equality. Women still don’t have full equal rights. Homosexuals still don’t have full equal rights. I have people shout at me every single place I go. It’s apparently fine for people to bother women, to rape women, to bother homosexuals and I’m sick of it really.”
Clothes that matter:
There were pretty silk gingham ribbons and bloodied tampons hanging from the trees that lined the runway, and the hand-written booklet that awaited guests was a piece of art in its own right. Here, derogatory words for women and men were scrawled across the pages and a ‘Love’ list included Viv Albertine of The Slits, Germaine Greer, Quentin Crisp, Maya Angelou, mothers, fags, dykes, femmes, queens and The Queen. On the opposite page, ‘Hate’ included men who drive white vans, construction workers, fathers, pro-lifers, Putin, UKIP, celebrity culture and Women Against Feminism. After an open casting call stating ‘typical model looks not required’, the designers had put together a brilliantly diverse cast that stomped out to a tough mix of tracks like Blood Sausage’s "What Law Am I Breaking Now" and Marilyn Manson’s "mOBSCENE", in exquisitely crafted pieces that concealed and accentuated the body in what felt like a commentary on today’s over-sexualised objectification of women but also of men. This was a collection with a multitude of layers, with clothes that mattered. Fashion could do with more of that.