London Fashion Week PPQ Spring 2009 Runway Images By Gareth Cattermole
Posts for September 14th 2008
Fashion works at high speeds--one minute we're at New York Fashion Week and the next we're jetting off to the next city, pressing the big shiny replay button. This time it's London Fashion Week and in honor of this city's courtship with fashion and the arts, we've scouted out one fashion exhibition that just couldn't be missed. The House Of Viktor & Rolf, currently at the Barbican Art Gallery in London, reveals the surreal haute couture fantasies that this passionate Dutch twosome have been creating on and off the runway for the last fifteen years, and boy, is it breathtaking.
These designers know how to make a satirical splash in the fashion world, from going on 'strike' in the early stages of their career to painting their models black to covering a single model with garment after garment to create a literal Russian Doll right on the runway.
For the exhibition the two commissioned a giant dollhouse, commemorating their most memorable designs with porcelain dolls (each about two feet tall) not only dressed in miniature replicas of the clothing, but rendered after the models who originally strutted, spinned, or danced down the innovative runways in order to display them. Playing with the notion of a 'fashion house' and their own fascination with 19th century European dolls, the exhibit perfectly sums up the allure of Viktor and Rolf: that there are some designers who just aren't afraid to give in to their imagination, even at the expense of selling clothing.
For more images from the exhibit, click here.
In case you missed our casual hints, we're covering the shows from London this week despite the fact that just crossing the street takes us twice as long as it does in New York (which isn't very long if you consider the commonplace sprint that takes us from one street to another). Though our coverage will be slightly more, well, slight we're still really excited about being here. In New York, that is, we produce an average of eight exclusive videos and creative photo galleries per day (that means we've snuck the professionals backstage) in addition to putting up every single runway gallery that comes through the door. In New York we are at home and, at least a few strong, and we're pretty proud of the results. So by slight we mean, comprehensive.
That said, the first day of shows in London has just commenced and we can say a few things for sure, right off the bat. London, overall, is much, much less aggressive. Things move slower, people are smiling, and the press offices (though they still hold those ominous clipboards) don't act like letting you through the doors (despite your handwritten invitation, RSVP, and seat confirmation) will take an act of god and a voucher from Anna Wintour herself. This morning, for instance, we were greeted with smiles from PR girls and fashionistas alike. We were offered tea and treated like gold when we said that we would prefer to forego our seat in order to videotape the show from the pit (something that, in New York, turns you from prestigious editor to bottom-of-the-barrel in no time--though we still do it). We are happy to report, in other words, that the reputation London Fashion Week has for being passionate and encouraging and open is entirely true. There is a spirit here that you frankly cannot shake. Stay tuned, it's going to be another awesome Spring 09 week. Remember: more than a few designers have gone from no-name to canonical on this watch which, to be honest, makes us restless with anticipation.