There are some collections in which asking what inspired the designer adds nothing to the clothes in front of you, where trying to follow a thread of logic actually gets in the way of seeing the designs. Giles Deacon is the world's prime example: His work is randomness incarnate. It can't keep to any one message, or develop an intellectual thesis. If you're looking for a point, he'll never get to it. These are all potentially exasperating traits, but in Deacon's case, you need to put them aside. Because in spite of them, his collections are increasingly full of wonderful things.
Is there really any logic to a show that starts out with sober, gray denim Alaïa-ish tailoring, moves through duchesse satin fifties debutante gowns, Marie Antoinette milkmaid dresses, some breezy silk T-shirt dresses, giant fuzzy photo prints of Kate Moss, balls of layered tulle, and a print of Bambi with blood spurting from its neck? Deacon said afterward that he was digging out his old record collection and came across eighties album designs on the 4AD label, like the Cocteau Twins, and the Sex Pistols' "Who Killed Bambi?". That might explain the punk-fetish connection which popped up in 3-D rubber roses and a peculiarly great-looking pale-pink trench with hundreds of brown elastic bands knitted onto the front to mimic fur.
But he soon admitted today's show was just as much about following up on the commercial success of his well-received first pre-Spring collection, in which he decided to make everything lighter and "go a bit mad, really" with fabric and embellishment. "It's almost like we're inventing our own textiles." So, a hanger inspection of the clothes backstage is a much more revealing exercise than trying to drag theory out of the designer. Then, the level of handwork in the painted fabrics, the multi-layers of tulle petticoat, and the construction of a panniered coat becomes clear, and the real attraction of Deacon's clothes becomes unarguable.