This year’s graduates burst onto the scene in an explosion of abstract art, glitter, tinsel and pressed flowers
Abstract works of art peel themselves off the gallery walls and take a stroll down the runway.
Low art, high places:
Continuing her previous collections’ penchant for a good art attack, Postle took her inspiration from French painter and sculptor Jean Dubuffet, famed for coining the term “Art Brut”. His work – self-dubbed “low art” – was notable for its thick, comic-style swoops of black paint on a clean, white canvas, and topped off with pops of colour, which Postle translated into her designs.
In the details:
Loose, flapping white PVC silhouettes fell like art smocks with ovoid shoulders – marked with Dubuffet’s signature lines. Notching up the sex appeal, Postle tightened the silhouette with a series of close-fitting jumpsuits, and layered everything with all-in-one fishnet body stockings that formed a second skin beneath. Catching her breath backstage – after being swept out to collect joint ownership of the L'Oréal Professionnel Creative Award, alongside Matty Bovan – she said: “It’s all about the textiles and the process. It’s all hand cut PVC and then all the fabric is layered behind, then the heat press is caught underneath, like a bit of patchwork.”
Models that looked like they’d been double dipped in a claw machine at the arcade before being rolled through an arts and crafts box, in an explosion of plastic, glitter, clashing colour, prickly tinsel and knitted trinkets that swayed as they walked.
In your face:
Bovan’s collection kicked the show off with its “no fucks given” attitude. Burnt orange velvet was paired with white vinyl leg warmers, cutaways, wiring and ripped yarns. But behind all the hype that the collection commanded, lay some intricately crafted knitwear, which didn't go unnoticed – the designer took home the L'Oréal Professionnel Creative Award alongside longtime friend Postle.
While the runway was full throttle, Bovan told us what was going through his head as his MA collection was unveiled: “Twelve looks is risky. It’s like twelve times that things could go wrong. I couldn’t even watch it, I was just crying so much and I never really cry, honestly. It’s not a natural emotion,” he said whilst laughing. “I was just in streams like ‘Oh God!’”
That lady that rummages through your bins? Well, she’s getting crafty with the discarded garbage bags and foam pellets – and it’s awesome.
Riffling through the sink cupboard, Grundmann knitted garbage bags with lambswool and looped and tied foam with felt that clung to torsos like a shell – creating a collection of intricately woven wares meshed with low crotch trousers and strapless dresses.
Taking the old and making it new again, she told us backstage: “It started off with towelling and old dressing gowns and raised patterns, and then I just took that to the more extreme. I wanted it light but with structure, so I thought it’d be quite fun to knit with the foam – so the texture and pattern kind of grew into it. I always liked big and quite boyish shapes.”
JAMES THESEUS BUCK
Naughty garden scarecrows on a day trip out of the countryside, as Theseus Buck digs up his mum’s garden for inspiration.
In the details:
Amongst the woven straws, the fur hats, the glasses made of yarn, the beige papier-mâché looking jacket and a certain striking set of pins in patent black block heels, were dicks and dildos in the detailing – which you probably would’ve missed, unless you were looking closely enough. Secret sex appeal at its best.
Down the garden path:
While most designers turn to pulling in the highest quality fabrics, Theseus Buck was instead looking at the “cheap” (his words!). What was tickling his fancy? Rubber bands and his mum’s garden. “I took my mum’s garden and made it into a coat. It was picking the flowers and pressing them,” he tells us backstage after the show. But how did mum feel about having her garden torn up? “It was the end of summer so, I was just preserving the moment!”