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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

LFW 09 – Orschel-Read S/S2010 – ‘Tis Beauty Truly Blent

On|Off 180 The Strand, London

Written by Matt Bramford

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“Are you here for Harriet’s Muse?” the lady on the door asks me. “No, try Orschel-Read,” I say, dismissively. “Menswear,” I add, with a waft of the hand as my press pass swings around my neck.” “I see,” she replies, “You’ll need to be at the other venue, then.” Sh*t.

Luckily (and unsurprisingly) Orschel-Read’s Spring Summer 2010 presentation hadn’t started when I arrived. It was running late. Quelle surprise!

Beginning in total darkness, with only the sound of a ‘voice-artist’ to break the atmosphere, the first model appeared wearing full-on kiss make-up and a green crocodile-skin cropped blazer with tulip-shaped sleeves and exaggerated shoulders.

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This set a precedence for the rest of the show, relying heavily on luxurious materials with high aesthetic values. Split into two sections – wearable and couture – the collection was inspired by Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night and London’s multicultural youth.

Jackets featured exaggerated necklines obscuring the models’ faces and creating often quite eery silhouettes.

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Tartans and graphic prints brought colour to the collection, teamed with the striking, visual properties of high-end materials such as animal skins and even human hair.

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The fits were loose and layered. Pieces were either pinched or gathered to work for the contours of the body, reminiscent of John Galliano’s Les Incroyables or Vivienne Westwood’s methods of tailoring…

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…Or they were angular and fantastically OTT, working against those same contours…evoking images of a host of established avant-garde designers.

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This isn’t to say that Orschel-Read’s collection was plagiaristic in any sense – more influenced by his predecessors and inspired to push the boundaries even further. An innovative and confident collection for the most fashion-forward of men.

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