"Mind-bogglingin a good way," is how one editor described Zowie Broach and Brian Kirkby's remarkable Boudicca collection. Titled An Invisible City, this was the most pureif somewhat indulgentdistillation to date of the label's vision. Never one to understate matters, Broach described that goal backstage as a quest "to forge the identity of a future of design that is not just about making clothes, but the craftsmanship."
As with most Boudicca collections, this one was about breaking down categories and conventions. Broach and Kirkby dissected shirts and tuxedos to come up with boleros made from the collar and shoulders of a jacket; strap-on waistcoats; skirts with attached vests; and shirts with jacket lapels. Some were more conceptual than wearable, but othersa leather jacket styled like a shirt, a sharp trouser, a high-neck shirtweren't.
The real drama of the collection, though, came from the designers' attempt to, as they put it, "challenge the pleat," folding material to create astounding architectural constructions. Something that looked like a (relatively) straightforward suit from the front, for instance, was likely to be sporting a bustle at back. Seen from the side, the models, surrounded by fans of pleats, looked like intergalactic Degas dancersjust the kind of girls one might expect to find in an invisible city.