Blue Is Hannah Marshall’s New Black
There was quite a surprise in store for guests at Hannah Marshall’s first-ever catwalk show in London this weekend. The hotly tipped designer, who debuted her line in 2007 with a collection of 12 black dresses and who has made a signature of all-black looks with a bracingly futuristic silhouette, sent several looks in electric blue down the runway this season—but she swears that’s not a sign of brighter things to come. “I feel like the blue has a nighttime feel that’s in keeping with the mood of my line,” she explained as she gave the new collection a walk-through at her studio in East London. “I was playing with the idea of surveillance, this time around. You know, we have all these cameras watching us all the time, and I was imagining this woman protecting herself against that electronic eye.” The four categories of clothes on Marshall’s runway expressed that idea: Stacked folds of organza create a vertebrae-like armor in the group dubbed “Spine,” for example, and crystal-embellished talons protrude from the looks in “Spear.” And Marshall and director Malcom Pate took the surveillance idea a step further in a video called Encryption that they filmed a week ahead of the show; Pate shot the video entirely in night vision, capturing a model wearing looks from Marshall’s Spring collection as she moves about the hallways of an apartment complex. Encryption is only the most recent appearance of Marshall’s clothes on-camera: The designer made the costumes for the Florence and the Machine video Drumming, and frontwoman Florence Welch has since made a regular habit of wearing Hannah Marshall to gigs and TV appearances. The singer isn’t Marshall’s only friend in high places: The other surprise at Marshall’s show was the appearance of Erin O’Connor, who closed down the catwalk wearing a bustier-topped jumpsuit. There was a version of the jumpsuit in blue, too, but O’Connor wore black.