London Fashion Week A/W 2010 Catwalk Review: J Maskrey by Amelia

J Maskrey wows with her Swarovski encrusted skin jewellery at Victoria House on Saturday 20th February. As does the Gimp Fashionista, for possibly very different reasons... with illustrations by Bex Glover.

Written by Amelia Gregory

J Maskrey by Bex Glover.
J Maskrey by Bex Glover.

J Maskrey is responsible for a lot. You know all those tacky glitter tattoos that you can buy in every chemist and pound shop? Well, she’s the one to blame. This former make-up artist invented “skin jewellery” over 10 years ago, when she glued some Swarovski crystals onto an adhesive backing. But those glittery Superdrug rose tattoos just ain’t the same, so despite the mass dumbing down of her initial idea J Maskrey has managed to maintain a dazzling career at the epicentre of fashion cooldom, and it is on the catwalk that J Maskrey‘s jewelled masterpieces really glitter.

J Maskrey by Bex Glover.
J Maskrey by Bex Glover.
J Maskrey by Bex Glover.
J Maskrey by Bex Glover.

Once again man wearing rubber, gimp mask and inflatable wig was front row. In at least his second outfit of the day for J Maskrey’s evening show at Victoria House. Where do these people change? And what on earth was his fashion statement? I can put up with any amount of pain in the name of erm, beauty standing out from the crowd. And believe me I know how much he suffered under those bright runway lights because when he stood up to leave the show the sweat literally flooded out of his sleeves into a puddle on the floor. Nice. Rather you than me – lady posing with the Gimp Fashionista.

Gimp Fashionista at Iris Van Herpen
Gimp Fashionista at Iris Van Herpen.

Gimp Fashionista dripping on a fan at J Maskrey.
Gimp Fashionista dripping on a fan at J Maskrey.

J Maskrey has had a long relationship with uber stylist Judy Blame, and their collaboration continues. Against a curtained stage set the slow moving models posed beautifully at intervals under the bright lighting before gathering en masse at the helm of the catwalk, making this show a dream for good photography.

J Maskrey. All photography by Amelia Gregory.
J Maskrey. All photography by Amelia Gregory.
J Maskrey used careful staging and immaculate posing to create a beautiful catwalk show. All photography by Amelia Gregory.

A boy’s smooth back and arms were entirely covered with black glittery shapes, a girl with a severe bobbed haircut revealed a cluster of leopard spots racing across her chest and back, another bared glittered slashes across her breasts, culminating with dangling beads dripping like congealed blood.

J Maskrey. All photography by Amelia Gregory.
J Maskrey. All photography by Amelia Gregory.
J Maskrey. All photography by Amelia Gregory.

A demure girl with high neckline and primly bunned hair held her hands gently to her waist, where the light glistened on Swarovski crystals dripping from her delicate fingernails. Gigantic Geisha-inspired headdresses teetered on top of heads.

J Maskrey. All photography by Amelia Gregory.
J Maskrey. All photography by Amelia Gregory.
J Maskrey. All photography by Amelia Gregory.
J Maskrey. All photography by Amelia Gregory.

This was a beautiful spectacle, but one where the clothes appeared to come a distant second to the dazzling performance. Looking back it becomes more apparent that there some highly desirable pieces buried beneath all the glitzy showpieces. Take the heavily beaded skullcap and cape, cute little nobbled skate skirt and chain print top – all actually very wearable. And not for nothing did I spot J Maskrey herself wearing the slouchy t-shirt dress with huge glittered logo at the On/Off party. To which I was dragged kicking and screaming “But I don’t do fashion parties anymore‚Ķ oh okay just for one cocktail then.”

J Maskrey. All photography by Amelia Gregory.
J Maskrey. All photography by Amelia Gregory.
J Maskrey. All photography by Amelia Gregory.
J Maskrey. All photography by Amelia Gregory.
J Maskrey. All photography by Amelia Gregory.

Needless to say I got in a bad mood very quickly because I really don’t know anyone in fashion anymore, and usually can’t remember anyone’s names or what they actually do, which further exacerbates the situation when they come over to me all chatty. And then my Canon 5D Mark II camera broke down with an error 20 (it does this every now and again, usually when I really REALLY need to use it) so I could no longer hide behind my camera – which I often do as a way of disengaging from situations.

Ladies in the loo at the On/Off party.
Ladies in the loo at the On/Off party.

Luckily it was at this point that the Sugababes arrived so we clambered on a bench to watch them sing before we left. You know what? They were definitely singing live with a good amount of gusto, and they certainly seemed to be enjoying themselves. It was really very sweet. And a good way to end an exceedingly long day, with just one of those small surprises that every fashion week throws up.

Sugababes performing at the On/Off party.
Sugababes performing at the On/Off party.

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