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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

London Fashion Week A/W 2011 Presentation Review: Maria Francesca Pepe (by Helen)

I can't say that I wasn't a tiny bit afraid as I walked around the presentation at Freemasons Hall on Tuesday. But when you lost yourself a bit, it was liable to transfix. So here is; 'Fortuna' - Virtue has a veil, vice a mask (Victor Hugo)...

Written by Helen Martin

Maria_Francesca_Pepe_Abby_Wright_LFW
Maria_Francesca_Pepe_Abby_Wright_LFW

MariaFrancescaPepe LFW A/W 2011. Illustration by Abby Wright.

It was extremely dark in that first room. Save for a few lamps casting red strips of a blood-like glow. Certain points were lit up on the model, information pills the shining metal spikes, dosage the dull sheen of black leather and the pointed hat. I will be honest now. I had to check that the model was in fact a mannequin. She was. But checking was interesting. The light was so low and I was terrified she would move suddenly. An intimidating mannequin.

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Hels MFP 5

Hels MFP 1

I wasn’t sure whether the rest of the models would be mannequins too, but as we entered slightly more light filled rooms, it was obvious that these ones were real. But they were also a higher level of scary. Two looked like mermaids trapped on rocks. Occasionally shifting, they looked confident, bored and yet super vulnerable and TRAPPED. I felt myself want to look at them closer, but then one of them looked me in the eye. Which was a shock. These models, with their purposefully lank, long hair, dark eyes, glossy and pale skin, ghostlike sheer dresses, and fabulous golden accessories looked like aliens. Of course ridiculously beautiful aliens.

Hels MFP 5

Hels MFP 5

Photography Helen Martin

I have to say that I was mesmerised by the back of one model. She had a golden, Egyptian styled headpiece, in the shape of eyes. The three main headpieces were forged by hand in resin and carbon steel, then varnished in opalescent acrylics and hand studded with brass and Swarovski hexagonal studs. They are designed in the style of medieval shields and helmets. The tiara for me was my favourite however, it looked regal and yet delicate and pretty. Also empowering, I imagine a useful attribute for whichever land she/you/me might be in. In contrast, although also empowering, MariaFrancescaPepe‘s shoes looked like something you could definitely cause GBH with. Not pretty, pretty – fierce! In a more sultry way than Rihanna fierce. With enormous spikes at the top, their cream colour, did little to belie their extra ridiculous height and metal danger.

Hels MFP 3

Hels MFP 3

Photography Helen Martin

Like the tiara, the majority of the presentation focused on eyes. Earrings, rings and chains…. EYES. This was a small issue for me. Ever since my brother told me the details of his eye operation at five years old, and then watching Dali’s eye slitting scene – ugh- I’m feeling sick as I write, I have been afraid of anything touching eyes. Or just weird eyes. And in truth… Dali. Cue sweeping generalisation alert: In terms of films, books, art and what I have seen; the 30s, like the 70s, seem like the scariest decades to me. Thus, when the saddest and scariest looking model of them all, looked at me right in the eye, with her incredibly, INTENSELY mesmerising own eyes, I didn’t know what to do. Transfixing model.

Hels MFP 5

Model looking at me… Photography Helen Martin

It’s not surprising that MariaFrancescaPepe has been heavily influenced by Dali’s surrealism for this collection. As I read: ‘Objects of magical meaning and of inner strength. A mask hides and reveals at the same time. Eyes are a mirror for the soul. Dali’s surrealism lesson has been learnt.’ The presentation was tribal and punky, but also ethereal and ghost-like. Almost like facing your own deep reality, that of the soul’s and our desires. The ‘ahhhhhhhhhhh’ music added to these fearful and reflective thoughts. It was as if MariaFrancescaPepe had gone through Indiana Jones’s chest of treasure, added in some Alien, X Files, lots of Dali and then Marilyn Manson on top. Sounds odd, is odd – but also very interesting. It comes as no surprise that Lady GaGa apparently ‘embodies’ MariaFrancescaPepe’s accessories.

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One Response to “London Fashion Week A/W 2011 Presentation Review: Maria Francesca Pepe (by Helen)”

  1. [...] FOR THE FULL ARTICLE CLICK HERE This entry was posted in Fashion and tagged Abby Wright, Amelia's Magazine, LFW, LFW Autumn/Winter 2011, MariaFrancescaPepe. Bookmark the permalink. ← Amelia’s Magazine FASHION POSTS from LONDON FASHION WEEK A/W 2011: No.9 Bernard Chandran LikeBe the first to like this post. [...]

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