Hamish Morrow is the last of the conceptualists to have come out of Londonor maybe anywhere. Of the same generation (and Central Saint Martins schooling) as Hussein Chalayan, Morrow approaches design as an academic restructuring exercise, taking on the challenge of assimilating scientific and sport technologies into clothing. His defining twistand what makes him interestingis that he also has a taste for gorgeous old-world ornamentation.
Morrow said his thought process this season had been triggered by looking at the structure of parachutes used for dropping freight and by a pair of anti-G-force pants used in military aviation. No matter. What the audience grasped was what counts: his ability to make things like a great white satin-bound coat, skinny pants in rich gold silk jacquard, and narrow, inventively cut cashmere cord blazers. The two-inch-wide nylon tape used in parachute construction was incorporated in tailoring and interpreted as strips of ribbon running across a turtleneck. Layerings of mesh tanks and sweaters looked effortlessly cool over derivations of military pants.
Morrow has a strong sense of color, meaning he’s one of the few who can mix purple, sage green, peach, metallics and even the season’s potentially heinous royal blue with aplomb. When he circled round to end where he began, showing looped-up parachute tape bunched into dresses and tops, he landed firmly in the zone of avant-garde experiment. But, though it may pain him to hear it, it’s his more straightforward, wearable pieces that save him from the dead end of 90s art-house clothing.