February 20, 2012 London
None of the above should be read as a complaint. Quite the contrary: For Meadham Kirchhoff, jubilation is its own kind of political stance, a way of telling all the depressed, enraged, alienated misfits out there to screw the world and come join the party. There's no revenge sweeter than turning a frown upside down. After today's show, Kirchhoff described the new collection as being inspired by the club he wants to go to, if only it existed; he and Meadham used their slot on the fashion calendar not only to illustrate that fantasy but to enact it. There were colored lights on the runway, models throwing glitter in the air, and an audience of Meadham Kirchhoff cultists jamming along in the seats. It would have been fitting if the show had concluded with a spontaneous dance-off.
OK, the clothes. There was a lot to take in here, and the obvious highlights included the rainbow-hued chiffon dresses, the sequin bustiers, and the showstopping, paradigm-shifting multicolored furs. The furs worked almost like an intarsia knit, with cartoon insignia made by piecing together various cuts of dyed fur. Yet the most impressive thing about this collection may have been its deep bench of accessible pieces, like the denim with cartoon appliqués, or the silvery brocade tailoring, or the nubby graphic sweaters, or the trousers in a yellow and black lumberjack check. There seemed to be a rationale beyond the commercial in these pieces; namely, Meadham and Kirchhoff are extending a hand to all the people for whom a dress made out of tinsel, say, is a bit de trop. It's their party, and seriously, everyone's invited.