The rainbow-hued sequence of plinths that lined the Duveen Galleries at the Tate Britain suggested system and order, but as usual the Glaswegian designer elegantly perverted our expectations with an offering of colours that felt terrifically uneasy.
The Saunders woman is modest but you’re mistaken if you think she is one-dimensional. His conceit has always been coldly sensual: the high necklines, long sleeves and A-lines typical of the swinging 60s implied propriety, but when styled with skin-tight lace-up boots his deeper intention to disturb was strengthened, as the designer played with what it means to be feminine today. The merry, mocking quality of Allen Jones’ work, recently on exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts certainly came through in the girls, who looked every bit groovy, kinky and in-charge.
There’s no comfort in the truth:
The show’s soundtrack, which started out with Vangelis’ “Blade Runner Blues” and then switched to George Michael’s “Careless Whisper”, swiftly turned the atmosphere from futuristic to corny. Saunders, who was all smiles backstage, said that Michael’s song about guilt makes him happy – a nod to his twisted, caustic humour.
The soundtrack to Jonathan Saunders AW15: