KTZ: London Fashion Week A/W 2012 Catwalk Review

My favourites - KTZ - made an impact on the last day of womenswear shows at Somerset House on Tuesday 21 February. This season: New Romantics, religious symbols, stars and constellations and tartan. LOTS of tartan.

Written by Matt Bramford


KTZ A/W 2012 by Lorna Leigh Harrington

Regular readers of my London Fashion Week reviews (Hi mum, sorry I haven’t called, been busy) will know that I absolutely adore KTZ. If I could only choose one show to see each season it would probably be this – so it was disappointing that both myself and Amelia hadn’t received any tickets this time. The show had been moved from its regular spot on menswear day to fit in with the womenswear schedule – a move not so surprising considering the KTZ womenswear is usually what gets people talking. This also might explain the lack of tickets – but it was thanks to fashion superhero Lida over at The First To Know that I managed to get in.


All photography by Matt Bramford

Inside, it was already approaching capacity with barely enough room to swing a Canon zoom lens. I managed to perch on the end of a row – one cheek on, one cheek off – as the aisles began to fill up also. Now I don’t want to get above my station but I’ve seen some really, really bad fashion etiquette this season. It seems there are more and more people desperate to take photographs, with people standing up in all rows to try and secure a less blurry shot. It makes for a messy looking show, with some people even resorting to lying on the floor. I dread to think what kind of immoral images they take of the poor models.


KTZ A/W 2012 by Warren Clarke

I had just enough time to scan the crowds for celebrities before the show began – I think there was a member of The Saturdays (I could be wrong) who looked like she’d been getting ready since 2004. The lights fell, the infamous eardrum-bursting music began and this season’s KTZ extravaganza opened with a monochrome all-plaid number. I hadn’t had time to survey any show notes in part because I was trying to work out whether Girl From The Saturdays was actually from The Saturdays – and sometimes this makes the show more interesting, when you have no idea what to expect. This opening number featured a loose-fitting jacket in heavy tartan fabric, embellished with silver pearls and worn over matching layers – herringbone and smaller tartans – all brought together at the waist with a deep belt featuring ‘KTZ’ in metal.

The tartans kept a-coming, and I would even be so brave to suggest that tartan might be a trend, if people still really worry about things like that. Gorgeous plaid in bright yellow and rich red appeared, styled similarly in Yohji Yamamoto-esque coats with askew proportions and leather and gold accessories. A little bit punk, a little bit New Romantic (styled with flat, shapeless caps) and a LOT of fun.

On the bottom half, tartans came on pleated skirts – sexier than kilts, cut much higher above the knee. Digital-print skirts carrying constellations almost went unnoticed amongst such vibrant fabrics.

As usual there was a huge element of mystery to this collection – as it progressed, models wore huge capes printed with ambiguous religious symbols and monk-like hoods that managed to be sexy and scary at the same time. This section of the show would most certainly have had Dan Brown soaked.

The offerings for fellas seemed a lot stronger this year and the relationship between menswear and womenswear was the most married I’ve seen from KTZ so far. Tartan caps and puffa jackets carried fur trims, large scarves with said symbols were worn across the chest, and hooded cassocks had a surprisingly masculine effect.

The finale brought a few unusual pieces that came as a bit of a surprise – it made the collection seem a little incoherent, but this is KTZ and they can be as incoherent as they bloody like for all I care – leave orderly collections to the Jasper Conrans of fashion, I say. Pinstripe New Romantic-proportioned blazers were embellished with hundreds and thousands of shimmering stars for the gents; for women this treatment appeared on a body-conscious one-piece. A black cropped-sleeve dress, covered completely in black jewels, brought gasps from the guests on my bench.

Reviewing my photographs, I haven’t even mentioned the Versace-esque printed dress with Baroque and tartan fused together perfectly in print, OR the Chanel-esque twinset and baggy sweater. Oh! It was wonderfully exhausting as always, and a massive relief to see that, even in an age of austerity, KTZ will continue to invite us (ahem) into their weird and wonderful dreams.

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