For Spring Summer 2011 Hannah Marshall strayed into the world of soft colour, this after the first model strode down the catwalk in one of the collections strongest designs, a sheer dress that draped to the floor. The jackets for S/S 2011 remain delicately architecture, the shoulders still prominent appeared less fierce but remained purposeful. Hannah Marshall designs strong clothes to be worn by strong personalities.
The title of last season’s show: Army of Me, and it is almost impossible to think of a more apt title, for a collection so intrinsically linked to the vision and physical presence of the designer. This is not to a fault – though one can feel daunted by the possibility in inhabiting the clothes – but a testament to Hannah Marshall that her aesthetic after three seasons of participating in London Fashion Week is so strong. Another designer that conveys a similar sense of strength in her collections identity is the ever fantastic Louise Gray.
Illustration by Erica Sharp
The catwalk presentation was split into two halves, it being the second section in which a soft cream first appeared from backstage. Whilst the addition of ‘colour’ may have been a challenge to the designers colour palate, it was welcomed. The pattern designs remained loyal, as structural rectangle ruffles adorned the sleeves of the signature blazer and the neckline of dresses.
The collection of blouses and a jumpsuit which appeared in the presentation were unified in the embracement sheer material. The heaviest detailing on these garments appeared around the collar and buttons, enhancing the vulnerable visibility of the models flesh.
At times evocative of the 1980s were clothes were a constant symbol of wealth, the restrained addition of colour from Marshall leaves the viewer intrigued for the designer’s direction for A/W 2011.
So the circus has begun, view the Big Top (the BFC Marquee) is up surrounded by bizarrely dressed clowns, cheap and trapeze artists swing from the roof of Somerset House. Okay, that last one isn’t true, but you get the picture!
I haven’t had a bloody chance to write anything yet, and Amelia has beaten me to it with a review of fashion week S/S 2011′s opener – Paul Costelloe. But, while I have the chance, I thought I’d throw my tuppence worth in, too.
For the past six years, Paul Costelloe has had the rather unenviable task of opening the proceedings. I arrived super early, as I always do – I woke up actually asking if Santa had been, I was so excited I presumed it must be Christmas. Anyway, I joined the queue for Costelloe, in which the mean age must have been approximately 68. It was a crimplene snake. These lovely old dears were desperate to get inside (I suppose you can never be too careful, especially in this chilly weather) and, rather unfashionably, we were ushered inside on time.
Now I am familiar with Costelloe’s work, but the relationship between his collections and his audience totally and uttrerly baffles me. One by one, the first models of S/S 2011 strutted down the catwalk wearing fresh, well cut and contemporary clothes. So why do grannies in knits flock to see this? I got chatting to two gorgeous old dears who, with their enthusiastic clapping and cheering, almost threatened to steal my attention from the show. They thought every frock was ‘bloody gorgeous’ and cries of ‘Oooh, that’s STUNNING’ were heard from all sides.
illustrated by Natsuki Otani
The show itself was a treat from start to finish, for a number of reasons. The styling was great, with bright red lipstick, back-combed hair piled atop models heads (a look Costelloe is famed for) and the soundtrack was summery and fun, featuring Eliza Doolittle’s recent hit Pack Up.
The clothes were wonderful, featuring contemporary curves with emphasis on waists, oversized bows and playful graphic prints. Such fun. I particularly like everything about this following model and her outfit, whose face and hair do reminded me of Evangelista in naughty George Michael’s Too Funky video.
The show, however, had the most bizarre ending. Six awkward looking blokes dressed to the nines in suits cautiously eased their way up the catwalk. They all looked alike and I instantly guessed that they were brothers. It turns out Mr Costelloe isnt just good at fashion, he also is a dab hand and breeding too. If you’ve already read Amelia’s review, then apologies, but SIX SONS! Bloody hell! SIX SONS! Imagine. My dad has four and went grey in his thirties. I can only imagine that Paul Costelloe is a devout Catholic or didn’t have a television at home. How does he find the time to produce such an exciting and polished collection with this sextet? Lord knows.
I’m with Amelia on the menswear – I probably wouldn’t wear it and it’s a long way away from the masses of creative talent we’ll see on menswear day next week. But, if his collections develop like his womenswear has over the seasons, I’m sure I’ll be changing my mind pretty swiftly!
Paul Costelloe menswear, illustrated to look far better than it was, by Natsuki Otani
- London Fashion Week S/S 2011 Catwalk Review: Paul Costelloe
- London Fashion Week A/W 2011: Paul Costelloe (by Amelia)
- Paul Costelloe AW15: London Fashion Week Catwalk Review
- London Fashion Week A/W 2011 Catwalk Review: Paul Costelloe (by Jemma)
- London Fashion Week S/S 2012 Catwalk Review: Paul Costelloe