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Mark Fast A/W11

The Canadian designer moves into new spheres with the use of leathers and floor length pieces besides his signature wool and bright colours

Taking his previously knitwear based label forward into new realms, Mark Fast's collection incorporated leather alongside his trademark wool based fabrics, to great effect. Volume and varying silhouettes were important and provided interest throughout the collection, both in the models – who came in all shapes and sizes – and the garments themselves. Huge built up shoulders accompanied floor length elements, while hooded body sculpted leather dresses and gowns gave a toughness to the softer wools.

Theatrical yet still incredibly desirable, the collection came mainly in black and natural white, based around the markings farmers paint on a sheep's wool. The occasional orange hues were also used and provided pops of bright colour where needed. The detailing across the pieces was intricate and came in the name of open knit sections, woven trails and applique woollen plaits. Overall Fast proved he is a designer who is looking to maintain an avant-garde element but at the same time is constantly thinking and evolving.

Dazed Digital: What inspired this collection for you?
Mark Fast:
It was really all about the idea of a wolf in sheep's clothing, nothing is what it seems. I wanted to create a soft silhouette and slowly the wolf appears at the end. I wanted to show a certain strictness as well, which came through in the leathers. I took that and moved in a few different directions with it. I started thinking about armour and protection but also strength and vulnerability.

DD: What made you want to bring the leathers in?
Mark Fast:
It was time to do something new and to bring forwards what I had done previously. I wanted to surprise people a bit but also that idea of protection was important. Leather seemed to be the right choice for what I was trying to say, meeting the needs of the Mark Fast woman. I want to maintain the luxury side of natural fabrics in my garments.

DD: There seemed to be something quite Germanic to some of the pieces.
Mark Fast:
The hooded and caped floor length leather dresses could have had that feel yes. I think I wanted something that while being tough and almost austere was also about being a protective shield for the person wearing it. Also a certain mystery to people was something I thought about. I have a coat with a hood like that which I love wearing and that inspired me.

DD: What is it about the hoods you liked so much?
Mark Fast:
That feeling of being protected against what is happening around you, or what could happen. I love wearing mine as it stops the outside world from getting in almost.

DD: Obviously you are still doing absolutely amazing things with wool. The shoulders and volume of some of the pieces was incredible. Are you working with any new techniques?
Mark Fast:
Yes lots! We are constantly updating the way we use knit and what we can do. There was a lot of loop knit in this collection which gave the open feel, but also we can build on that to create volume.

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