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Giles A/W11

Austere and restrained, Giles presented high necklines and ruffled collars for a strong feminine woman

Giles pulled out all the stops for his showing of Autumn Winter, situated in London's Court of Justice. A super strong femininity that seemed tough and solid was felt throughout all of the pieces in the collection. One that could be divided up into its colour palette easily. First shown were the monochromatic black and white pieces. High necks and ruffled collars led into form fitting corsets and onto pleated skirts and frilled waistlines. The tight silhouette was complemented with the occasional flare or detailing in the form of intricate bead work in matching colours.

Then came the printed pieces which included slip dresses and beautifully cut silk blouses, all featuring either prints from fabric and ceramic designers William Morris and William De Morgan, but modernised in punchy multi colours. Fabrics were cottons, silks and sheers – beaded beautifully. Long hair-like elements were dropped in to create edgy cool skirts and lower sections of some of the dresses. As ever Giles collection was cheeky and fun, while still being strong, sexy, chic, glamorous and appealing to that girl with a bold and forceful character.

Dazed Digital: What was the feeling in this collection for you?
Giles Deacon:
Well we wanted something quite strong and yet at the same time restrained. From there it just got really very fierce and we focused on that and kept an eye on an idea of the girls being very haughty. I want to say austere but it wasn't about austerity, just very precise.

DD: The collection was quite monochrome but then you dropped in some colour as well.
Giles Deacon:
Yeah we wanted to get something a bit psychedelic in there and that really stood out against the monochromatic elements that we had been using throughout. The prints were William Morris and William De Morgan, that we made up in really great strong colours. I wanted to involve that Edwardian and Victorian feel.

DD: What was it about that time that you found interesting?
Giles Deacon:
It was a very austere period but at the same time the Victorians were really sexy and quite naughty.

DD: You used an image of a painting throughout in prints on dresses and tops. What was it?
Giles Deacon:
Lady Jane Grey by Paul Delaroche. He was a very popular Victorian salon painter and that articular image is one of his most famous. It is actually the most viewed work in the National Gallery. So many people come to see it that they have to regularly relay the flooring in front of it.

DD: Why that particular painting?
Giles Deacon:
I love dropping in whenever I am in town and that work always just stands out for me. I have always been intrigued by it, and by the subject. Lady Jane Grey was queen for just 9 days and she was a really progressive woman of her time. She fought for common farmers land rights and was very unpopular in polite society for that reason. That is actually why the poor woman got beheaded.