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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

London Fashion Week A/W 2011 Catwalk Review: Mark Fast

Mark Fast proved once again that high fashion can look better on girls of a realistic weight. His innovative knitwear appeared on a range of differing sized models at Somerset House on Monday 21st February 2011.

Written by Amelia Gregory

Masha Ma A/W 2011 by Liam McMa
Masha Ma A/W 2011 by Natsuki Otani
Masha Ma A/W 2011 by Natsuki Otani.

Masha Ma is undoubtedly one of my very favourite designers right now so it was with utmost dismay that I encountered a major logistical error early on Sunday morning. Which required me to hot foot it back to my house in order to pick up press releases for Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration in time for the opening of Ecoluxe. In the end I managed to scoot my way into the back of the Freemasons Hall just in time to see most of the show, sick although I had to make do with the sight of my contributors happily ensconced in the front row as I craned for a view from the back. Oh the ignominy.

Masha Ma A/W 2011 DeCon. Photography by Amelia GregoryMasha Ma A/W 2011 DeCon. Photography by Amelia GregoryMasha Ma A/W 2011 DeCon. Photography by Amelia GregoryMasha Ma A/W 2011 DeCon. Photography by Amelia GregoryMasha Ma A/W 2011 by Liam McMahon
Masha Ma A/W 2011 by Liam McMahon.

Hers is a self-described “architectural” way of designing, web cutting swathes of fabric to hang in flattering folds. Following her all white S/S Icebreaker debut, buy information pills for DeCon Masha Ma explored elegant tailoring in pale duck egg blue, dusky rose, flinty grey and ice mint.

Masha Ma A/W 2011. Photography by Tim AdeyMasha Ma A/W 2011. Photography by Tim AdeyMasha Ma A/W 2011. Photography by Tim AdeyMasha Ma A/W 2011. Photography by Tim Adey
Masha Ma A/W 2011. Photography by Tim Adey.

Crepe, satin and organza curled into delicate scrolls on collars and hips; woollen waterfalls cascaded down the front of coats. All accessorised with the most amazing come-fuck-me pillar box red boots – over the thigh, shiny and skin tight.

Masha Ma A/W 2011 DeCon. Photography by Amelia GregoryMasha Ma A/W 2011 DeCon. Photography by Amelia GregoryMasha Ma A/W 2011 DeCon. Photography by Amelia GregoryMasha Ma A/W 2011 DeCon. Photography by Amelia GregoryMasha Ma A/W 2011 DeCon. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Masha Ma A/W 2011 DeCon. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

Eyes peeped out from below side swept fringes: sexy secretaries in tight pencil skirts. High collars were a theme, either tightly rolled polo necks or carefully pleated to bring a touch of Renaissance drama to otherwise thoroughly modern outfits.

Masha Ma A/W 2011. Photography by Tim Adey
Masha Ma A/W 2011. Photography by Tim Adey.

The show finished on a couple of beautiful black outfits, which were given that all important lift thanks to red lipstick and gloss red fingerless gloves that complemented those amazing boots. Just glorious.

Masha Ma A/W 2011 DeCon. Photography by Amelia Gregory
That’s Naomi and Tim over there that is, taking much better photos than me. I couldn’t even see the boots. Jealous, moi? Not muchly…

Click here to read a review by the much better placed Naomi Law. You can see more of Natsuki Otani’s work in Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration.
Mark Fast A/W 2011 by Liam McMahon
Mark Fast A/W 2011 by Liam McMahon.

I cannot tell a lie, dosage having tried in vain for several seasons to get tickets, symptoms I was super excited to finally be in attendance at a Mark Fast show. Knitwear was my first love: I spent much of teens knitting 80s tastic jumpers and despite opting to specialise in printed textile design at university I eventually started a knitwear label at the same time as Amelia’s Magazine. Unfortunately it became apparent that the magazine was going to dominate my time and energy, so now my big bags of ethically dyed rare breed wool sit languishing in my parents attic.

Mark Fast A/W 2011 by Michaela Meadow
Mark Fast A/W 2011 by Michaela Meadow.

Knitwear has been overlooked by high fashion for a long time, but in recent years there have been encouraging signs of its resurgence – with designers such as Mark Fast, Cooperative Designs and Alice Palmer leading the way. Mark has become well known for sexy figure hugging pieces with dramatic details that he creates using specialised techniques.

Mark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Loving the fairy light look!

Mark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011 by Liam McMahon
Mark Fast A/W 2011 by Liam McMahon.

This season he worked predominantly in merino wool in oatmeal, beige, shades of orange and black to create ribbed and ridged bodycon numbers fit for the most glamourous cocktail party. He also worked in leather with Canadian retailer Danier to create complementary pieces that included sexy corseted tops, wide legged trousers and buttersoft crop jackets, worn with sheer fabric and swishing straps. High necks followed a familiar trend for A/W 2011, as did the use of deep orange. One particular standout piece was a massive round shouldered ridged cardigan that called to mind a similar piece by fellow design innovator Georgia Hardinge.

Mark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Mark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

Dresses and coats with plush shoulder bolsters worked especially well, as did the plump trim on a mini dress worn with a giant fluffy hat and platforms. Also of note was a swirling maxi skirted number with covered arms that only left the shoulders sexily bare. Boots were knee high and louche; accessories included big bangles and spiky neckpieces.

Mark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Mark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

The show ended on a showpiece backless leather hooded coat, trailing a huge train behind like a sweeping Hollywood baddie. Once more Mark Fast chose normal sized women to model his collection with the use of several “plus size” models. These lush beauties only served to emphasise the extreme skinniness of the few extremely bony girls included in the show. And the joy of it? These dresses arguably worked way better on the models of more normal size.

Mark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia GregoryMark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory
Mark Fast A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

This is one happy bunny to have at last seen a Mark Fast show.

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