Opening to a hard bass beat, the Free Range Middlesex Graduate show embodied a sense of child-like hysteria. A penchant for neon, tassels, and candy colours let loose the designer’s inner youth and playfulness. Athanasia Amvrosiou’s models looked like they had emerged from the ball pit with frilly socks, neon piping, bags made from Lego and kitsch french-fries prints.
Anna Wilson embraced psychedelic colour with trippy, symmetrical patterns in acid blues, greens and yellows blaring on pea-coats and pencil skirts. Luluyetha Howell presented printed dresses symbolising stylish Rorschach tests, layered in loose silks in popping shades of green, blue and orange. Showing appreciation for Stella McCartney, Howell funked up the matching pyjama trend using similar prints.
With navy desert-wear designs show opener Raphaele Duval-Hafner was first in a series of amazing menswear designs. Heavily knotted basket turbans interlocked with long robe-like pleated shirts. Elsewhere Melissa Tofton’s exaggerated and colourful gorilla-inspired collection featured knitted balaclava snoods as she made black outfits come to life with bright hairy bag accessories and furry jumpers. A fun, adult take on Sesame Street.
Defying the colour and glee, Helena Mula-Danenech’s collection was a refreshing contrast, displaying gothic and theatrical looks with flowing white draped over contoured body suits. Using slits, cutouts, sheer fabrics and cobweb shreds, the models looked both haunted and angelic. Later came Nasrin Ijaz’s Eastern and MIA-inspired garments that glamourised and dramatised burkas by using hooded styles, decadent embellishments and jewel-toned satins. In a risqué twist, Nasrin accessorised with bullet belts hung around the body to produce mysterious secret-agent models.
Amongst the fresh-faces walking the catwalk, Olivia Ann May used greying, maturer models dressed in billowing fabrics in clashing and neon prints. With styled models reminiscent of eccentric, bohemian Miss Havishams, May breathed new and inspired life to the show.
Dovile Visockaite closed the show with an almost intimidating but astounding menswear collection. Teamed up with heavy metal music powerful confident walks by the models, his garments were dark, aggressive, and in your face rocker. Tassels, dog-like muzzles, heavy boots, clean-cut long sleeved shirts, and intricately studded leather jackets gave us an insight into a darker world.
– Walter Adrian & Serina Sandhu