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A.F. Vandervorst Womenswear S/S11

The Belgian duo tread into shiny territory with their chainmail ensembles

Candles in a Victorian setting, chainmail and flag-waving can only make you come to one conclusion - A.F. Vandevorst fell into the pages of a book about the Crusades. Though as you're eased into an unexpected passage of draped cocktail dresses, skirts and jackets which feels less conceptual than the duo's past collections, you see the burnished detailing, the beautifully tailored jackets that are dulled in muted wools or a trench painted with a streaked paint effect which adds backbone to the historical tale that A.F. Vandevorst told with their collection. This darkened and charred interlude was simultaneously polished and impoverished looking. The glitz then returns for floor-length thigh high split gowns in gold satin that are curiously red carpet-ready and ends on a priestly series of white slashed dresses. To call the collection medieval would be a loosely lazy description but instead the duo take details and build them up into a decidedly glamorous collection that will gain them some new fans.