Hamish Morrow has officially arrived. Stepping into the London void left by Alexander McQueen and Hussein Chalayan, who will show in Paris this season, the South African-born Morrow staged a concise, all-white collection that was imaginative, rigorous and thoroughly convincing.
The 33-year-old designer juxtaposed five fabrics in a performance that had girls walking, in white boxing boots, through a shallow vat of violet dye. Morrow worked high-tech Aertex and reflective nylon with Old World damask, organdy and voile, cutting some superb tailored jackets and romantic skirts that ended up trailing their asymmetric hemlines into the colored liquid. The spirit was that of a sporty, otherworldly warrior womanan image crystallized by a girl in a massive shawl of shredded organdy and a pair of shorts, like some athletic archangel.
For all the complex styling, which bound elastic webbing around torsos and slung glass-bead harnesses across garments, this collection had clarity beyond the usual grasp of experimental newcomers. (Morrow, who was a contemporary of Chalayan's at Central Saint Martins and studied menswear at London's Royal College of Art, honed his skills as a freelance designer at Byblos, under John Bartlett, and elsewhere.) This is a designer expressing his own independent vision, and it looks good.