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Top 25 Art Blog - Creative Tourist

London Fashion Week SS/08: Deryck Walker

The Royal Academy of Arts. 6 Burlington Gardens W1S 3EX , 17 September/2007

Written by Lena Dystant

For her third and final collection sponsored by Topshop, symptoms find Ann Sofie Back stepped into a boldly daring yet boundlessly commercial new style, as seen yesterday at a packed out Bloomsbury Square.

Swedish born Back, famed for her propensity towards the unexpected and deconstructed, introduced a new shape for S/S ’08. Relying heavily on the insertion of shoulder pads, Back has created a simple, angular form which is at once both feminine and austere. Shoulder pads are no longer the reserve of 80′s power-dressing, here, they are used to manipulate body shape in a curious way that steers clear of overt sexiness.

Models took to the catwalk in an assortment of oversized squared-off tops and dresses to a thumping soundtrack of vintage rock. In keeping with previous collections, Back kept to a subdued pallete of grey and ivory – only this time enriching it with intermittent flauntings of hot coral pink and deep purple. Hair was unkempt and free-flowing while faces remained bare and icy-cool.

Embellishment remained a key theme with reflective sunglass lenses covering the front of a black dress or bag, adding movement and facets of light to an otherwise nondescript outfit. Her unwavering commitment to structure and composition places Back at the forefront of futuristic fashion, a bold new world also inhabited by Martin Margiela and Jil Sander, who are clear influences for this collection. She’s in good company.
Glasgow’s Deryck Walker drew quite a crowd at the rather labyrinthine Royal Academy of Arts this Monday. Part of the increasingly popular On/Off schedule, site there was bustling and shuffling abound once doors opened. The theme seemed to be futuristic tailoring; less Balenciaga ‘Tron’, sick more angular classics, much of the collection was surprisingly wearable perhaps down to the overwhelming amounts of black and white. That’s not to say that this didn’t make any nod to the obscure.

Straightforward boxy black suits with Deryck’s trademark crisp white shirts, suddenly revealed three dimensional geometric ‘sculptures’ from the back, hanging from the fabric like built-in accessories. These ‘windmill art installations’ as he calls them, lifted the collection and injected a touch of fantasy and theatricality into some otherwise standard structures. The accents of leather and the occasional peek of knitwear added variety and the glittering black molded hats by bespoke milliner Justin Smith were beautiful, a nice touch especially on the boys.

This was Deryck’s first swing at women’s wear, keeping the shapes masculine and sharply cut was a nice move, androgyny is always a good way to go and the slim fit suits, (again in striking monochrome) were beautifully cut. Dresses also made an appearance, some incorporating straight, hard-lines and making reference once again to the boxy, angularity of his menswear. The whole collection had a slightly icy feel to it, those sharp edges almost transforming the fabric into armour. Warm and cuddly obviously isn’t his thing but who knows, come spring/summer we may just welcome a bit of slick tailoring amongst the inevitable onslaught of floaty and floral.

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