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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Alexandra Groover: London Fashion Week A/W 2012 Presentation Review

On the first day of London Fashion Week designer Alexandra Groover unveiled her A/W 2012 collection through the screening of a short film titled DEATH inside the devotional atmosphere of St Giles In The Fields.

Written by Maria Papadimitriou

Alexandra Groover AW 2012 by Dana Bocai

Alexandra Groover A/W 2012 by Dana Bocai

On the evening of Friday 17th February at London Fashion Week, I went to St Giles In The Fields Church in Holborn to watch Alexandra Groover’s A/W 2012 collection presented through a short film called DEATH. Since I attended Show Studio’s exhibition Fashion Revolution at Somerset House in 2009 I have developed a keen interest in fashion films and the way in which more and more fashion designers choose to show their work via this medium. DEATH was the final instalment in Groover’s trilogy of short films, following two previous ones titled BIRTH and LIFE.

Alexandra Groover AW12 by Paul Phung altar view

Unfortunately as I walked into the dark church to take my seat I was informed I could not take photos, which did make sense as I am sure the choice of venue played some part in the atmosphere Alexandra Groover wished to create around the viewing of her film. There is a sense of reverence in most of us, I think, when we enter a religious building – whether we are religious or not – and getting properly into that respectful state was appropriate for an audience about to watch characters exiting this world.

Alexander Groover AW 2012 by Lizzie Mary Cullen

Alexander Groover A/W 2012 by Lizzie Mary Cullen

Alexandra Groover AW12 by Paul Phung Inesa and Barrington De La Roche

In the short film DEATH the two protagonists were artists and married couple Inesa Vaiciute De La Roche and Barrington De La Roche of Dark Theatre, who are both very striking in themselves and as a duo, their age difference creating a beautiful contrast. Indeed the looks of Barrington De La Roche – something close to Sir Christopher Lee in The Lord of The Rings, with long grey hair and dark, strong eyes, but without the long beard – was one of the most fascinating things I took away with me from the evening. The fact that this otherworldly being was walking around and chatting whilst serving wine during the film screenings was also quite entertaining.

Alexandra Groover AW12 by Paul Phung

Alexandra Groover AW 2012 by  Deborah Moon

Alexandra Groover A/W 2012 by Deborah Moon

The video was a ritual, taking place also in a church, during which a man and a woman were slowly led towards the altar in a dream-like state surrounded by what looked like illuminated blue petals on the floor and then reddish fairy lights on their bodies. These glowing flower forms reminded me of the quote by Edvard Munch at the opening page of the booklet for this season’s presentation which read ‘from my rotting body, flowers shall grow and I am in them and that is eternity’. As the characters reached the altar, death figures searched them up and down and then assisted them into an embrace and a kiss. At the culmination of the film there was a large figure placed against the window behind the altar extending its two arms like wings. Wing-like extensions of fabric were also wrapped around the man and the woman about to die, as if to unite them forever.

Alexandra Groover AW12 by Paul Phung

Alexandra Groover AW12 by Paul Phung

Alexandra Groover AW 2012 by Geiko Louve

Alexandra Groover A/W 2012 by Geiko Louve

The first image that emerged in my mind when I saw Alexandra Groover’s A/W 2012 collection was that of Death in Ingmar Bergman’s film The Seventh Seal. Her signature all-black hoods and winged drawstring garments worn with jersey ponchos, surcoat tops, tutelary skirts and black leggings definitely have something medieval about them – especially when seen in an ecclesiastical context.

Alexandra Groover AW12 by Paul Phung

Alexandra Groover AW12 by Paul Phung

Alexandra Groover AW12 by Paul Phung shoes

For the shoes in the collection Alexandra Groover collaborated for the third time with London footwear designer Benjamin John Hall, the soundtrack was created by musician Dave.i.d and the film was directed by Gabriel Gettman.

Photography by Paul Phung.

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