Maharishi’s SS17 palette is inspired by the wealth of natural resources available in Africa, simultaneously a blessing and a curse. Indeed, the collection follows the American and Chinese military presence in Africa, acting more to protect trade interests, rather than to maintain economic and political stability. The predominant use of white gave the imagine of shimmering heat and a searing sun, which played well to the African theme. The sparse use of simplistic embroidery conveyed the primitive style of the collection, splashing bright colour across otherwise neutral pieces.
For the men’s collection, the stand-out pieces were the parkas finished with a bomber-style collar, the signature dense, dark camo, interrupted by vivid embroidery and the military-style vests worn over dust coats in a bleached army green, as if the uniform had been scorched under the African sun. Overall, the women’s collection was stronger, playing with shape and exposure in a way that was not fully developed for menswear. The gorgeous backless jumpsuit, with an apron-style over-layer gave an air of innocence, vulnerability, and ephemerality of the human body in the harsh climates of Africa.
The invitation to Ximon Lee’s AW17 show gave very little away as to the content of his collection. The simple title was Shame, and yet there was nothing shameful about the collection or the mood. Somewhat like the Xander Zhou show of the first day, there seems to be an organic affinity between clothes and water. Chiffon was organically incrusted with pearls, while high-shine PVC palazzo trousers and a similar use of polished leather created a visual incarnation of moisture. A frequent motif was the deconstructed leather vest or pouch, thrown over the shoulder, which I felt was somewhat incongruous with the rest of the aesthetic; the asymmetric knitwear added to the organic sense of the collection – as if it had grown from the curvature of the models’ bodies into these unique and inexplicable forms.
The juxtaposition of camo and neon is a common occurrence at this fashion week, with the potential to become a macro-trend in the coming seasons. Christopher Raeburn added himself to the growing group of designers running with the theme, approaching it with the understanding of a well-seasoned designer. The collection was an exploration of deconstruction and reconstruction, itself a recurring theme this weekend, with upcycled garments branded with the word: REMADE. Vibrant shots of turquoise and yellow ran across the murky palette and created a more jovial aesthetic. The homogeneity of the men’s and women’s collection hinted at the increasingly blurred boundaries of gender, while the chameleon mascot, appearing in the form of accessories and bags, created the idea that this collection could be anything the wearer chose it to be, from gender, to colour, to form.
Read: Dystopian Regenerations: LFWM Day 4 -->
Words: Flora Walsh
Copy edited by Elena Stanciu