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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

Carlotta Actis Barone: London Fashion Week S/S 2013 Catwalk Review

Carlotta Actis Barone showed her colourful opera inspired S/S 2013 collection at Fashion Scout on Friday 14th September 2013. The Magic Flute on acid!

Written by Amelia Gregory

Carlotta Actis Barone SS 2013 by gaarte
Carlotta Actis Barone S/S 2013 by Gaarte.

Carlotta Actis Barone always makes great use of the catwalk to showcase her zany aesthetic, but last season I felt that the concept had begun to overshadow the garments.

Carlotta Actis Barone SS 2013 September 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
Carlotta Actis Barone SS 2013 September 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
Carlotta Actis Barone SS 2013 September 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
Carlotta Actis Barone SS 2013 September 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
Thankfully this season the charismatic designer took a more lighthearted approach – no seal clubbing or nazi references here: instead she sent out a vibrant collection styled with over the top sculpted wigs of frothy orange curls. These were a reference to her source material – the famous opera The Magic Flute, (and the title of this show) – but they also lent a cartoonish air to the proceedings.

Carlotta-Actis-Barone-by-Isabelle-Mattern-iszaa
Carlotta Actis Barone S/S 2013 by Isabelle Mattern.

As if to truly banish all memory of more macabre collections this was described in the show notes as ‘a celebration of happiness, protection, sisterhood and love.’ Aw. It opened with a bevy of ballet dancers twirling in catsuits and boned pill shaped tutus to Mozart.

Carlotta Actis Barone SS 2013 September 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
Carlotta Actis Barone SS 2013 September 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
Carlotta Actis Barone SS 2013 September 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
Carlotta Actis Barone S/S 2013 by Antonia Parker
Carlotta Actis Barone S/S 2013 by Antonia Parker.

Each season Carlotta Actis Barone chooses lettering which is imprinted on transparent netting and used in bodystockings: this season it was sheet music that was transcribed into a curvy typographic print design. This was the best I have seen it work, as a neat foil to the bold colour palette of the over garments that included zinging tangerine, deep purple, blinding yellow, plum and lime green. A large swirly print was used in panelling on tight high waisted trousers and intersected by binding in lines that emphasised womanly curves. These ‘ribs’ were inspired by cages carried by Papageno in the opera, this time symbolic of freedom. The idea reached its apogee in a stunning strapless boned gown which flared at the hem to create a unique and dramatic silhouette.

Carlotta Actis Barone SS 2013 September 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
Carlotta Actis Barone SS 2013 September 2012-photo by Amelia Gregory
Carlotta Actis Barone S/S 2013. All photography by Amelia Gregory.

Flouncy feathers accessorised up-does where wigs failed to do the job; opaque tights (not so summery!) and shoes with spike heels echoed the bold tropical palette. Points accentuated shoulders and sharpened ripples of fabric at waists on tailored two pieces, which were worn with draw-waisted jackets made from plasticised fabrics.

Carlotta Actis Barone SS 2013 September 2012-0080
Carlotta Actis Barone by Claire Kearns
Carlotta Actis Barone S/S 2013 by Claire Kearns.

The show closed with a swirling orange satin frock, perfect for sweeping down a grand staircase. And of course another appearance from the ballet dancers, who leapt down the catwalk with Carlotta in tow for a deep formation curtsey in front of Snarfle, who was wearing the gold coin found in our goodie bags as a necklace.

snarfle at fashion week
Jasper at Carlotta
Snarfle was joined on the front row by his friend Jasper.

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