The show went on at Fashion East Spring/Summer 15 despite a casualty in the background. Louise Alsop's collection was intercepted by a man falling through the roof of the derelict show space and landing backstage. Models didn't bat an eyelid and kept on walking. Having witnessed the unfortunate incident, it looked like the man took a hard fall. An air of concern and discomfort swept through the rest of the show but the quality of the showcase made the whole experience a whole lot less painful.
Helen Lawrence presented deconstruction like no other for her second collection at Fashion East. What could have been aggressive and rugged was given a softer touch. Latex cut outs and tissue fabric layered over each other to bring to mind a sense that was strangely bodily. Jumpers were dissected and stitched to gape at the seams and ribbing textures accented the chunky knits. Sleeves were elongated, playing with odd proportions. Each piece was meant to resemble its more traditional form but was never truly reassembled. Also noteworthy was the marrowbone body jewellery in the closing look, made in collaboration with Slim Barrett, a prolific designer who designed Victoria Beckham's tiara at her wedding. The CSM MA graduate's collection read like a primitive take on dressmaking that had a real point of difference.
The theme of deconstruction carried through to Louise Alsop's show. Cyber goth models with dreadlocks and heavily lined eyes wore pieces that were frayed at the seams and slashed, creating rich textures. Jersey tops were slashed to resemble heavy metal t-shirts while the cleaner pieces seemed to reference Lucio Fontana. Louise Alsop joins the legion of new designers who aren't afraid of plastering their labels conspicuously like Nasir Mazhar. In looks 35 and 36, Alsop even went as far as labelling the season on her garments -- a nice dose of irony. Stand out pieces were the hand-shredded jersey in black. Fair to say, the Louise Alsop girl prefers taking things into her own hand. "I wanted to look at dresses and alternatives to dresses," she said and added, "It's a wardrobe of pieces to layer, mix and wear in your own way."
The best is always saved for last at Fashion East. Ed Marler sent down a collection he explained to be about vampires but depicted more as "a dysfunctional family of disparate characters" rather than the villainous supernatural sort. Not sure if we could buy into that entirely, but the show was dramatic and original. The collection that featured union jack trousers, rich crimson silk, full-on gold embellishment, outlandish jacquard, ostrich feathers, and brocade -- just to name a few -- felt more like a madcap celebration of the New Romantics than True Blood. The cross-gender casting made it really clear, coupled with the pirate undertones that fringe on Stephen Linard's PX territory. It was deliciously outlandish from start to end. In Marler's very words,"These are people who have lived forever."