Pack your binoculars because Maharishi want to take us on safari for Spring/Summer 2017.
Following from American and Chinese military presence on the continent, the London-born label takes on a new palette inspired by its colonisation. This is a collection that is as much about politics that inspired the clothes as it is about the clothes themselves, and highlights the importance of Mother Nature’s resources.
The eco-friendly range uses a natural palette extracted from the mines of Africa, with Coltan taking centre stage. The use of the mineral, used to manufacture smartphones and laptops – highlights the armed conflict caused by Africa’s natural resources and the global trade interest they bring with them.
The primitive graphics and simplistic shapes portray a sense of naivety, while the overlocked staple stitch that finishes most pieces is inspired by Ivorian artists. These subtle details continue with symbolic references to the American Tour of Vietnam in the late 60s style of African map embroidery.
This season, the Tigerstripe Mural camouflage and other patterns have been hand painted onto reclaimed military uniforms. The printing takes place in East London as part of Maharishi’s upcycling programme.
The silhouettes are inspired by traditional African clothing, including the hoodless wide-collared robe known as the Djellabiya in the Horn of Africa.
Marko Mitanovski took London Fashion week by storm this season with his breath-takingly dramatic catwalk. The Serbian designer transformed the catwalk into a physical art gallery, described by some as bizarre, but I thought the whole thing was perfectly put together, true artistic genius!
I must confess that I wasn’t familiar with his previous designs, but once I did some research and stumbled across his previous creations I knew I was in for a treat, the invitation alone predicted that a dark story was due to unfold. I am not one to compare, but Marko’s style of work almost has an Alexander McQueen feel to it, pleasing us with his fascinating conceptual design, while offering a brand new take on life and the mysteries it tries to conceal.
The models were sent down the catwalk covered head to toe in black paint, with the exception of the final model who was painted in white, such a great contrast. As one of the last designers to showcase his wares at the bi-annual event at Fashion Scout, the best was certainly left till last. This Autumn/Winter collection stayed true to the designer’s trademark avant-garde elegance, with the evident absorption of the outside world flowing through his creations.
The ghoulish, zombie looking models, of which half were covered in paint, adorned the catwalk in latex and leather designs, which were said to be inspired by nature and architecture. To add to the unique artistry of this show, the models features were obscured completely by shiny oil paint, and their faces accessorised with black diamond-like facial jewels. Undisputedly the most stunning show seen this season, with the haunting walk of the models, the almost demonic like distorted music, theatrical, sculptural creations and the dark body paint, all combined, created a beautiful mystical allure.
Marko made it impossible for the audience to take their eyes off of his imposing avant-garde shapes, of which he drew his inspiration from nature, birds, reptile skeletons, and further imbued with architecture juxtaposed with historical Renaissance and the Victorian era. The London based Serbian designer showcased elements outside of fashion, to create overtly original pieces that transformed into astonishing almost wearable art. While his collection was based on many different influences, Marko’s visionary decision to paint the models in black was simply down to his taste in colour. He was quoted to have said: “I chose to do the whole collection in black because it’s my favourite colour. [This collection] is about celebrating life in a weird way, I do not believe it’s dark – It’s about something mystical, not about something that is negative.” Marko further went on to say that he closed his last collection with someone solely in white, and he decided to do the same this season, as well as the model this season being painted white contrasting with the other models.
The captivating show kick started with the first model walking down the catwalk in a fishnet bodysuit paired with an elaborate bejewelled headpiece, and a voluminous ruffled cape. This collection was made up of mostly all black ensembles, with the exception of the all-white final statement piece. An exaggerated collar was common amongst most of the pieces, all of the collars structured giving them a modern, clean look with a historical edge.
Their slow walk proceeded them, adding to the already intense atmosphere, as they sashayed down the catwalk to the rhythmic beat of a glock, extraordinary detailing was witnessed via sections of fine corsetry that decorated oversized leather and latex infused sculptured skirts and skin-tight laced trousers. This intricate technique was furthermore phenomenally executed on the final all white creation, adorning practically the entire skirt, and with the meticulously crafted nose high collar that finished just below eyesight. Other fabrications that stood out was the sheer bodysuits with a black overlaid patterning; a cropped cape formed from tiny layers of black crepe resembling a bird of prey, and long faux hair fringing seen on arms and on the headpieces creating a three-dimensional silhouette. Exaggeration was the main on the menu, as jackets with structured high collars, huge stand out shoulder pads, leather midi skirts with accentuated hips worn with fishnet tights, and renaissance inspired sleeves resounded through the collection. The accessorizing oozed masquerade style, with head masks that were heavily detailed with strands of chain, faux hair and beading, ultimately forming fabulous futuristic shapes.
Mitanovski is a new designer relatively speaking, but after this season and hitting the front page of all the headlines following this show, I can safely say he has remained consistent and true to his style of design he has become known for with his latest artistic vision. The intricacy required to bring this collection to life is evident, the show was a great depiction of his potential, creativity and depth of knowledge he possesses for subjects outside of fashion.
Marko Mitanovski is one to watch for further greatness.
Finding his inspiration in the ‘creative life of a Nomadic Wanderer’, Ashley Isham has succeeded once again in a fantastic show this AW season. With a vast array of techniques and fabrics - quilting, leather, fur, shag pile, sequin, embellishments, even holographic fabrics, they were all there - it teetered on creative disaster, and very easily could have been, but Isham, yet again, managed to rein in the crazy just enough to showcase his talent in practically every sense of the word.
The collection celebrated the female form with a aura of romanticism, and demonstrated his muse’s journey to finding herself through fashion and her new nomadic way of life, with hourglass silhouettes and feminine cuts.
Again, much like his last collection, a multitude of textures, shapes and prints, further accredited Isham with his ability to push the boundaries of fashion, yet keep the collection completely wearable for the everyday power woman. Statement pieces such as jackets, dresses and trousers were present, but pushed to an edge of sophistication with exciting print and embellished detailing, like tulip skirts lined with gold trim and heavy curtain fringing.
Although Isham continued his characteristic evening wear, he successfully tied this collection seamlessly into the up and coming colder months. With the use of heavier fabrics, added knitwear and muted tones of navy and black, he layered pieces together, mixed peep toes with tights and made this seasons offering the ultimate need-everything-now collection. A real ‘something for everyone’ accumulation of goodness.
Amongst the multitude of work, it wouldn’t be an Ashley Isham show without a little fun. Pops of pink pom poms, an expertly choreographed catwalk experience and exquisite head gear from House of Flora all made the experience one to remember.