Pin It
Mary Benson AW15 Fashion East Dazed womenswear makeup shirt
Mary Benson AW15Photography Asia Werbel

Fashion East AW15 + exclusive film

This season's collective send out glam rock warriors, thong-baring rude gals and a vision of kitsch Britain

Initial reaction:

A trip down memory lane from London’s own king of kitsch.

Best of British:

This season CSM grad Marler looked to his own past for inspiration – specifically, the chintzy Spanish home of his expat, ex-pub owning grandparents. With Only Fools and Horses and Princess Di on his moodboard, the collection riffed off the best of British camp – Marler’s mates strutted and danced down the runway in corsets, frills, leopard print and glitter heels. “Everyone was a separate character, I told them to just have fun with it,” he said after the show.

The Green Lady: 

One model appeared on the runway as a perfect incarnation of Vladimir Tretchikoff’s infamous “Chinese Girl” – otherwise known as “The Green Lady” – one of the most recognisably kitsch, wildly reproduced paintings of the last century. “The collection is supposed to be about typical working class British culture – that picture is an iconic part of that,” explained Marler.

Initial reaction:

If cult classic The Warriors had featured a glam rock gang. 

Surrealism and sex appeal:

For AW15, designer Mary Benson wanted to create her “own surrealist world.” Models lounged around on neon signs in glitter platform heels (created in collaboration with the iconic Terry de Havilland), colourful S&M-esque collars and holographic appliqués. Inspired by the gender-bending sex appeal of 70s icons like T-Rex’s Mark Bolan (“so obsessed!”) Benson chose to invite a few male models to work the womenswear looks. “I wanted them to look like guys and be sexy,” she explained – "but it’s very fruity as they’re in sparkly flares!”


Created with Dazed 100 make-up artist Isamaya Ffrench, colourful paint decorated faces like playful warpaint – noses and ears were coated in metallic glitter, a giant gold star covered a model’s face and one even sported a body-painted T-shirt. “We wanted it to look like a gang, as though they’ve just put it on themselves,” Benson said.

Initial reaction:

Let me see that thong. South London rude girls in super upgraded sportswear – with visible g-strings to “off set the princessyness” of big satin skirts.

Culture clash:

Blending tracksuits in “alcopop colours” with 19th century couture references and appliqué techniques, Caitlin Price made her LFW debut with a collection that clashed high and low fashion and the epitome of luxury with accessible streetwear. She looked to her own girl gang for inspiration: “Everything I do is inspired by me and my group of friends,” she explained – “and the idea of getting ready for a night out. It’s about identity, transformation.” 

How it was worn:

With colour coordinated Nike Air Max 1s, gelled baby hair (a reference to the classic slicked back style without “being too severe”) and big gold hoops – Price’s styling felt authentic rather than appropriative.

Watch this season’s Fashion East stars in this exclusive behind the scenes film by Sharna Osborne: