Traffic. Bridges were shut. The daily commute was down to a slow crawl and diversions were in place. This, ironically, was not only the journey; it was also the theme for this season's Anya Hindmarch extravaganza.
"There’s something about being on the M25 with a clear road and combination of lights, reflective surfaces and your favourite piece of music,” Anya wrote in her show notes for her aptly titled collection 'Diversion'. While many designers start with the clothes, then build up to accessories, Anya is doing the reverse — or is that a U-turn? — as her cult handbag empire has evolved with her boundless wit and enthusiasm to produce clothes to match the mood of her bags. This season, once again collaborating with Charlotte Stockdale's Chaosfashion, she created coats, knitwear and furs as diverting as her designs.
There was a smooth flow of traffic as three girls — red, blue, green — walked up the empty runway that stretched invitingly ahead like a rain-glossed empty road, LED cats eyes flashing as they walked by. The flow of fashion was smooth against the sound track of traffic reports and graphic signs: ‘STOP’, ‘GO’, and arrows left and right were stamped in a high-fashion highway code logos over garments, and of course her bags. Jessica Stam wore a blue jumpsuit emblazoned 'Keep Your Distance', Jacquetta a grey fur jacket printed with arrows directing the flow, and eye, up and down. Clutches carried the sign ‘SLOW DOWN’, and chic mini grey fur jackets had ‘MOBILES BANNED’ emblazoned on the back.
Anya's playful eye mixed troublesome traffic with graphic & wearable humour. From road symbol-printed jumpsuits to Little Chef and Litter-bin signs embossed on highest quality leather, the traffic report faded to the swell of a heavenly choir as out from behind the motorway LED screen marched ‘motorway workers’ in their orange safety uniforms, while The Gay Men’s Choir sang in full chorus as a timely reminder that there is beauty in every journey.