Out of all the exuberant young talents in London, Marios Schwab is the one bringing restraint and rigorous cutting skills to fashion's we-love-the-nineties party. Having carved out an advanced statement about curvy, corseted, Alaïa-inspired dressing in two seasons of mini shows with the Fashion East collective, this Greek-Austrian designer is now thinking about where it all goes next. "Instead of doing this body-tight thing everyone's talking about," he said, "I wanted to manipulate curves in a different way."
He worked that out partly with math, piecing hexagonal patchworks into subtly faceted, slightly standaway surfaces on his signature bra-top dresses. From there, he experimented with light layers of print floating over a contrasting underdress, and, less successfully, a section of power-mesh draping. One of Schwab's underlying interests, as befits the son of a bra-factory engineer, is the superstructure of lingerie, and it reappeared in the boned bustle detail protruding from a bandanna-print gown. In a move toward unfussy romanticism and lightness, he also showed a couple of faded rose-print dresses, neat to the waist, but with sculptural, airy volume in back.
Many of these were quietly outstanding pieces extraordinary to see coming from the hand of someone so young. It was still his first solo show, though, and in some ways, his anxiety to prove his worthiness led him to overextend himself. He needn't have made quite so many dresses; after the first few, the audience was sold, but before long, ready to leave. The show, through no fault of Schwab's, ran an unacceptable two hours late because of delays caused by other designers.