The energy surging from young London fashion is affecting everyone in its radius, including, it would seem, a slightly older generation. Something certainly inspired Giles Deacon to up his game this season. His spring collection was definitively the best he's done.
Deacon has always aspired to a Parisian level of couture-like design, but the execution has tended to be a bit lumpy and clunky at times. This season, he delivered on all fronts, with a collection of chic sixties looks that had an underlying S&M theme, madly accessorized with vast ostrich hats by Stephen Jones. If that sounds aggressive, it didn't stop Deacon producing a slew of beautiful dresses. One was a short trapeze of black lace overlaid on white; another was a gown in tiers of stiff fan pleats, trimmed with patent at the neck. Others were belled at the hip, or Empire-line in a slightly off-register print of dancing skeletons.
The bondage theme was worked out in the spiky stilettos, prints of whips and chains, and, most pointedly, in the squashy patent bags loaded with giant studs. They're the result of Deacon's collaboration with Mulberry, and among them was one of the wittiest little evening bags to be seen in a long time, made in the shape of a miniature mace. Bottom line: Thanks to his new level of accomplishment, Deacon has put clear water between himself and the next generation of beginner talent. And, in the meanwhile, those bags promise an excellent income stream he could surely do with.