The title of Spijkers & Spijkers S/S 2011 collection “Where the Wild Roses Grow,” takes it name from the ballad made famous for it’s unexpected pairing of “good girl” Kylie and bad man “Nick Cave.” In the infamous video Kylie character Elisa Day, a nameless murder victim drifts in the river reeds as a modern Ophelia. Nick Cave, describing the murder in the first person, documents the fallout from a desire to preserve beauty as it is for ever more in the place “where wild roses grow”.
Stories or Ballads are often the source for inspiration behind a designer’s collection, which can be translated into the feel of the collection or the materials used however, in the case of Spijkers & Spijkers the creation of multiple Elisa Day’s being sent down the catwalk. The series of dresses, trousers and jumpsuits where the main characteristic could be described as desired innocence, the lace panels and the application of roses indicate a relationship between the designers and the idea of innocence lost through a desperate act of preservation.
The collection consisted of digital print, high cut flared shorts, 70’s silk shirts and several skirts that were so short you could only wear them if you were born with bambi legs. Which is really only a look of the very young or those who have a pedant for crimp hair.
Innocence is often portrayed as a positive characteristic and innocence lost is continually mourned – as so brilliantly shown in Oscar Wilde’s The Portrait Of Dorian Grey – and easily manipulated. This S/S 2011 collection is definitely Spring like in the use of material, more often associated with childhood holidays in Mid-Summer France, with dresses and skirts made from polka dotted thick cotton in a bright clean white.
Illustration by Naomi Law
The press release details the designers’ desire to bring out the beauty in women of all ages, rather than only in youth as documented in “Where the Wild Roses Grow,” whilst a commendable idea (one portrayed in the Guardian’s Fashion Spread “All Ages”) the collection adorned only a singular type of women on the catwalk itself, tall, slim and blonde. If this was a collection to challenge ideas of beauty where was the young, the old or even a model average size?
Illustration by Alia Gargum
Spijkers and Spijkers have previously been described as designers who challenge concepts of femininity, a challenge currently lost in white lace and their singular choice of model. Whilst the clothes are very wearable in their continuation of the presence of the 70’s on all catwalks, for A/W 2011 lets hope the designers return to questioning female stereotypes in the production of beauty which denies the inherent misogyny of “Where the Wild Roses Grow”.
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- Spijkers en Spijkers: London Fashion Week A/W 2012 Catwalk Review
- London Fashion Week SS/08: Spijkers En Spijkers
- London Fashion Week S/S 2011 Catwalk Review: Fashion Mode
- London Fashion Week A/W 2010 Catwalk Review: Charlie Le Mindu