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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

LFW 09 Cooperative designs S/S2010 Happy Birthday Bauhaus

Fashion Scout, Freemasons Hall, 20th September 2009

Written by Sally Mumby-Croft


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After witnessing a whole lot of jolly sensible fashion trends being bandied about – think short, visit this generic sleek, stomach unhealthy sophisticated and feminine – we were thrilled to see a total vision of insanity at the Blow Presents… show where the models were barely human, NEVER MIND feminine. Ladies and gents, meet the new woman of 2010: the Fembot.

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Wigmaker Charlie le Mindu’s collection made Danielle Scutt’s hairstyling look positively placid: models were bombing down the catwalking with “haute coiffure” teetering atop their tiny heads, like a warped modern paraphrase of 18th century wigs.

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Squeezed into flesh-coloured PVC bodysuits, these were pneumatic bodies that resembled genetically mutated Barbies, with the hairpieces swelling into jackets (bearing a strong resemblance to Margiela’s two seasons ago) or even shoulder pads, evidently a trend that translates into the most avant-garde of arenas.

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Next up was Gemma Slack’s collection with pieces constructed from leather and suede, it was a bold collection that turned the models into superheroes and warriors, with the conical bras making another resurgence as seen with Louise Goldin’s latest offering.

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The inclusion metal studs and slashed leather also made it profoundly sexual – with the oppressive metal-plated umbrella and circular skirts mechanising the body, a territory previously explored, of course, by Hussein Chalayan. Unlike Chalayan this mechanisation was also sexualised, with the constant sado-masochistic details (even the traditional Burmese neck rings looked more like dog collars) in line with uncomfortable images of fetishised modernity that J.G Ballard expressed in Crash.

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Margiela reared his head again with Lina Osterman, in a show styled by Robbie Spencer, who by masking her models also evinced a preoccupation and an evocation of Victoriana repression by playing with the effects of concealing the face and the body. A difference so far for a series of shows that has been all about long, bare legs.

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A completely androgynous collection, there were undertaker-style long tailored jackets paired with trousers and shorts, with Osterman manifesting the Victorian secret obsession with sex, like Slack, with bondage-like details and choices in fabric. Lurking underneath all the bravado, however, was a surprisingly soft and wearable collection, with some fabulous knits and grandpa shirts both for the boys and the girls.

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Finally upping the drama stakes was Iris van Herpen, with a slow and intense collection of sculpted leather and rubber – heavy and cumbersome pieces that were inspired by radiation waves around the body, results of collaboration with artist Bart Hess.

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Proving a fantastic metaphor as a means of highlighting parts of the human body, this was true craftsmanship, with sequins and reflective panels catching the catwalk lights – as the models lined up together for the final few moments they seemed like soldiers with armour constructed from artwork.

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A rather fascinating foursome on show, then, and at least Lady GaGa will have some new things to wear with those big pants of hers – well until next season anyway.
Cooperative Designs presented their latest designs aboard a Bauhaus Chessboard and on entering the presentation hall I was greeted with delicious looking (and tasting) Bauhaus birthday cake. The collection titled Happy Birthday Bauhaus was a homage to a constant source of inspiration (Bauhaus and Russian Constructivism) and the only female to become a master at the school: Gunta Stolz and her 5 Chord Weave.

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The display was a feast for the eyes, viagra 60mg as the garments and dressmaker dummies found themselves positioned across the black and white squares encouraging the viewer to walk freely around the set and in-between the brilliant knitwear.

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The board was also interjected with giant cardboard pieces and props or pawns from Amy Gwatkin‘s elegant film projected onto the space behind the game. Filmed through prisms, visit the film portrays the delicate fluid movements, sick the bold lines and clever tailoring of Co-operative’s designs as Rahma Mohamed dreamily paraded across the presentation hall (filmed in the same room, the moving lookbook acted as an extension to the space).

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The static presentation enables the viewer the opportunity to be up close and personal with the clothes, to view the extensive variety of fabric used in construction. I enjoyed being able to carefully consider the patterns adorning large hanging pieces and the distinctive body conscience garments. Whilst the film portrayed how the clothes would move when adorning the human body complimented by the bold jewellery.

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Several people became statuesque through their bodies occupying a variety of past season’s designs, displaying the constant craftsmanship of the design duo: Annalisa Dunn and Dorothee Hagemann. the collection is instantly desirable from the exquisite knitwear combining “wild silks, paper cotton and linen yards” to the jewerelly designed by Corrie Williamson and the shoes made in collaboration with Daniel Harrison.

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The entire ethos of the show was Bauhaus and it’s ideas on the importance of experiment through collaboration; from the film to the set designed by alex Cunningham to the shoe and jewellery collection.

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I could have stayed in the room all day, visually digesting the block colours peeking amongst the patterns. Whilst examining the construction of sleeves that hung from the manikin at right angles as if an invisible elbow occupied the negative space.

Watch the film here:

All Photographs by Matt Bramford

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