“Is there something quite unusual about our guest? Because everything he does, the audience laughs about!” The voice of Arlene Francis from the famous American game show What’s My Line? in 1952 welcomes us into the Liz Black presentation in the Prince Regent Room at Fashion Scout. And yes, there is something quite unusual; the spectacular set, designed by Meni Kourmpeti and Madeleine Hunter, is a surrealist landscape of objects on plinths that align in the centre of the room to create the face of Salvador Dali, the inspiration for Black’s Autumn Winter collection, Fashion Meets Paranoia.
Perhaps appropriately for a collection inspired by surrealism, the designs veer from the sublime to the ridiculous. The first model emerges, ripping her way through a huge paper egg, to reveal a diaphanous peach-nude dress; scalloped layers of delicate chiffon, midi-length with long sleeves and a high round neck: beautiful. The second look to come crashing through could have been made by a different designer: a beige leather sleeveless dress with an enormous black leather moustache coming out from the chest to flick up past the arms. Though in-keeping with the Dali theme, the interpretation feels a touch too literal, and the subsequent looks gravitate to one of these two opposing poles. In spite of that, there were plenty of impressive touches: a black leather pencil skirt with kick-pleats to the hem, worn with a tailored, zip-front blazer with wide leather lapels looked great, as did the stiletto boots: open sandals with coverage from the ankle to the mid-calf.
Words: Charlotte Gush