Prints And Punks, In Town From London-------
Many of London fashion’s young guns are in town this week for a few days of press appointments and sales at the behest of the London Showroom. It was a bit of a mad affair, with 20-odd designers and their Spring collections piled into a penthouse at the Soho Grand, but the mood fit the frenetic, often quite lovely collections.
It was hard not to love the eye-popping prints Holly Fulton screens on silk dresses and jersey shifts, then punches up with heaping handfuls of Swarovski crystals. There was a Lichtenstein-ish cloud print that would’ve suited a particularly chic cartoon character, and a spiky horsehair clutch to go along with. Prints were the word, too, at Mary Katrantzou’s interiors-inspired collection, which hits Barneys exclusively in the U.S. this season. She, too, got the Swarovski blessing (and a dip into the company coffers), which she used to create crystal-bedecked lampshade skirts and a great little multicolored cuff.
There were notes of soft color and texture for girls from Michael van der Ham and for blokes from Christopher Shannon. But it wasn’t all sweetness and light. There was a punk buzz emanating from a few strong collections, like Meadham Kirchhoff, Sibling, and Dominic Jones. Jones, a jeweler, softened punky studs into architectural, Deco shapes for his Spring ’11 collection—and shot it on Alice Dellal, something of a softened punky herself (left). And the knitwear trio of Sibling—who, incidentally, have a Topshop line, Sister by Sibling, in the offing—banged on to that beat, too. One intarsia’ed sweater depicted the Statue of Liberty sporting a mohawk; another piece, a collaboration with the English artists Tim Noble and Sue Webster, famous for their neon-light word pieces, blared “GIRLFRIEND FROM HELL” and “PUNY UNDERNOURISHED KID” in embroidery on a cotton sweatsuit. Their best gave Robert Indiana’s famous LOVE painting a dressing down (right). As the Beatles once said (or didn’t they?), “All You Need Is Punk.”