Think of Arkadius as the Alexander McQueen of Poland. Fully embracing the more theatrical side of London's Central Saint Martins college, the Slavic designer has, in past shows, "given birth" on the runway and brandished a rubber cast of his own severed head at the audience for a finale.
Arkadius' Spring collection, relatively low on dramatics compared to past performances, was based on a Catholic theme, the adoration of the Virgin. Beginning with a shaven-headed, bare-breasted "Mary" festooned with crucifixes and a crown of thorns, the show converted embroidery usually seen on priestly vestments into pants and dresses, while interspersing padded 3-D appliqués of the Madonna and Child and the Sacred Heart onto tops. In between, there were calmer moments where Arkadius worked with lace, georgette ruffles and paisley for party dresses with complicated cuts. Then the show reverted to a religious climax as a model paraded, in gold brocade pants, with her face inserted into an icon.
One poignant sight was the singular back view of a red jacket, with a dove of peace embroidered on the back.