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London Fashion Week – Ann-Sofie Back

Topshop show space, University of Westminster, 10th February 2008

Written by Catherine McColl

In the words of Public Enemy – “Don’t believe the hype”. This is my mantra for all fashion shows following the Ann-Sofie Back show. My first warning was when they served tiny little portions of mushroom risotto out to the waiting audience. I hate mushrooms, order buy and they had no alternative. It was a bad omen, but I was prepared to excuse as the venue was pretty cool. The Topshop show space in the University of Westminster was a vast warehouse with as much potential as Andy Warhol‘s Factory. Then the lights dimmed, the music started and I knew we were all doomed for the next 20 minutes. First the music: it literally didn’t make any sense. It was a comedy sound-scape that could well have been the backing music to a Laurel and Hardy film. It had no rhythm, no progression and no point.
Then came the clothes. Ann-Sofie Back gave us a collection inspired by OK! and Heat. No, I’m not joking, these are the actual words that she uses in the press release. Any designer that references Britney Spears “pixelated crotch” as inspiration is one that needs sectioned.
All the clothes looked as if the hem had come down, got caught in a revolving door and then been chewed by a dog. Apparently this was homage to Kate Moss’s disintegrating Dior dress at the opening night of The Golden Age of Couture at the V&A. On one particular dress the unravelled hem attached to silver anklets around the models leg. Oh, and some of the models had garters around their thighs. It was all a bit wife-swapping-in-the-suburbs for my liking.
If Ann-Sofie Back is determined to use the C-list celebrities as her inspiration, then who does she hope to dress other than these fame hungry vultures that haunt the weekly gossip magazines? Just as Britney inspired Justin Timberlake‘s Cry Me A River, this collection made me want to weep. Ann-Sofie is definitely not bringing sexy Back.


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