Tangible connections at London Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2016
Words by Michael Peter Johnson
Motion inspired Robert Woods AW16 presentation. Image by Michael Johnson
Prima ballerina Marie Agnes Gillot at Gareth Pugh, Freemasons Hall London.
Model jumps at Paul Smith.
Image by Suzie Jay.
Since launching modeandmotion.co.uk on Tuesday 16th February, London has yet again experienced the motions of the capitals biannual fashion week. Slow motion was the speed for new design house, ROBERT WOODS. Caged inside a vestibule at the Freemasons Hall in Covent Garden, ten dancers undulated en masse in forty-five minute physical presentation. Lune Kuipers styled the show with back combed hair and black dipped dyed limbs creating a performance environment that exuded dark underworld tones. Light Butoh inspired moves blended with occasional unison that led the press and buyers to discover new perspectives.
Also at the Freemasons Hall, Paris Opera’s prima ballerina Marie Agnes Gillot opened the Gareth Pugh AW16 show with a chic black magic and power bitch omnipresence that transfixed the spectators. Wearing a double breasted black military suit and shades Gillot commandeered the catwalk accompanied by two male sidekicks. Acting as the dominating archetypal CEO, overseeing the chain of Hannibal Lecter masked corporate bitches about to enter her domain. Strutting to the mixed sounds of Grace Jones’s “Corporate Cannibal” edited by Matthew Stone, this show embodied the fearlessness of the power striving, gender equalising woman.
Focusing on the industrial and virtuous application of original craftsmanship clothing, fashion siblings Erica and Faye Toogood have developed a brand rooted in individuality and honesty. In a dank warehouse, dancers - wearing there latest unisex outerwear - moved and glided past each other in pedestrian type phrases. Too Good’s presentation created a sophisticated physical human thread that further connected there pure ethics and apparel philosophies.
Womenswear is rarely without the resurgence of an occasional ballet flat and this seasons winner, is the British stalwart, Margaret Howell. Held at the ultra modern, Rambert Dance Studios (home to the UK’s oldest contemporary dance company) Howell showed rehearsal skirts, pretty neck bows and thick elasticated ballet flats that hinted at the art of a knotted pointe shoe around the ankle.
Over at the Royal College of Physicians Paul Smith got physical. Working with choreographer Joe Moran of DanceArt Foundation, Smith sent his models down the brutalist designed staircase in modern blouses and neon tailoring. Thrust onto the main catwalk with a backdrop that included live streaming of film, this catwalk was choreographed with the precision and accuracy of Einstein himself.
Tangible connections between dance and fashion are often overlooked during fashion week. London’s catwalks proved that dance still inspires the collections of the future - you just have to look a little harder. Now time to dance down the runways of Milan…