London Fashion Week A/W 2011 Catwalk Review: Prophetik (by Amelia)

Jeff Garner opened Vauxhall Fashion Scout with his Artist Wonderment collection on Friday 18th February. This is our FOURTH blog about his lovely catwalk show. Yes really. With yet more wonderful illustrations.

Written by Amelia Gregory

Prophetik A/W 2011 by Gilly Rochester
Prophetik A/W 2011 by Gilly Rochester.

I will confess now. I may have gone over the top. Yes, this blog is positively popping at the seams with illustrations. And it’s the FOURTH, yes the FOURTH one to hit our website. But really it’s no surprise that Prophetik is such a big draw for both writers and illustrators, peddling as he does an uber romantic view of the world that is steeped in a deep love for the natural environment.

Prophetik A/W 2011 by Andrea Peterson
Prophetik A/W 2011 by Andrea Peterson.

For his A/W 2011 Artist Wonderment collection designer Jeff Garner once again referenced times past, this time the “frivolous snobbery” of the court of Louix XV, an epoch that for him epitomises the falsity of impulsive consumption. Having interviewed Jeff Garner for my book, Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration I know how important it is for him to live a fully accountable life, and it seems to me that the title of this collection refers to the purity of artistic vision which he himself attempts to put into practice in everything he does.

Prophetik A/W 2011 by Gilly RochesterProphetik A/W 2011 by Gilly RochesterProphetik A/W 2011 by Gilly Rochester
Prophetik A/W 2011 by Gilly Rochester.

The show opened in typical Jeff style, with live vocals followed by a madly thrashing classical violinist, who strutted down the catwalk as if her life depended on it.

Analiza Ching by Amelia Gregory
Violinist Analiza Ching by Gabriel 'Gaarte' Ayala
Violinist Analiza Ching by Gabriel ‘Gaarte’ Ayala.

But it was the finer detailing which really stood out as the models swept past me. His ball gowns and corseted dresses were awash with gorgeously constructed patchwork, twirly brocade, gilded buttons and ruffles. At a time when trains, tails, hooped and boned structures of every description have been big across all runways, his is an aesthetic which makes total sense right now.

Prophetik A/W 2011 by Danielle Shepherd
Prophetik A/W 2011 by Danielle Shepherd.

For me the absolute stand outs were a couple of stupendous quilted jackets… and by quilted I really do actually mean made out of antique quilts, one of which belonged on his childhood bed that he must surely have baulked at destructing – just a tiny bit. But as his stylist Rebekah Roy pointed out to me later on, it makes absolute sense to refashion a quilt in this way – a quilt that in the very first place was made from fabric remnants.

Prophetik A/W 2011 by Andrea Peterson
Prophetik A/W 2011 by Andrea Peterson.

This approach of continuous upcycling is certainly innovative, and epitomises what I love most about Jeff: his dedication to sustainable practice. All his fabrics are painstakingly hand dyed with a magical potion of herbs in a process that takes many weeks to accomplish – this season’s special plum colour was obtained by mixing up a unique blend of madder root, sorrel, logwood and indigo.

Prophetik A/W 2011 by Karina Yarv
Prophetik A/W 2011 by Karina Yarv.

The love he puts into every single part of his work is evident in the outcome, and of anyone on the ethical fashion scene I really feel that Prophetik is pushing the way forward by putting on a ambitious catwalk show that ensures excitement amongst mainstream fashionistas. Prophetik opened Fashion Scout for the third season running and the Freemasons Hall was packed to the rafters, including famous front row attendees in the form of Hilary Alexander and Livia Firth, erstwhile wife of Colin and celebrity advocate of ethical fashion. At the end Jeff took a demure bow dressed in a cream silky ruffled top and powder blue peddle pushers, sporting his trademark swept back ponytail: if there’s one major advocate for dressing this way it’s the ever dapper Jeff Garner himself.

Prophetik A/W 2011 by Farzeen JabbarProphetik A/W 2011 by Farzeen Jabbar
Prophetik A/W 2011 by Farzeen Jabbar.

I can only hope that Jeff’s dedication to the ethical cause will rub off on other members of the fashion industry. Soon.

You can read Matt Bramford’s review here, Helen Martin’s review here and Katie Antoniou’s review here.

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Prophetik A/W 2011. Photography by Amelia Gregory.

You can read more about Jeff Garner‘s design philosophy in Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration.

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