Many thanks to Mr Avsh Alom Gur who injected a bit of much needed humour into an otherwise straight-faced London fashion week. Part of the Vauxhall Fashion Scout line-up at Baden Powell House (which also doubles as a youth hostel, useful for anyone who needs a lie down between shows) he drew a sizeable crowd for a relative newcomer. The enthusiastic rabble also included my ‘Best Dressed Show-goer of the week’; a woman I seemed to see everywhere, pulling off the Katharine Hepburn power-trousers meets 50s rockabilly look with eye-popping skill day after day. Superb.
Anyway, back to the show which opened to the sounds of tinkling bells and Queen’s ‘Bicycle Race.’ We were quickly left in no doubt as to the theme. City cycling. A glamorous, multi-coloured ride around town. Your leisurely jaunt along a country lane this wasn’t. Acid bright chiffons and silks were turned into a series of loosely constructed short length dresses. The Grecian thing obviously hasn’t run its course just yet with AAG determined to push those Hellenistic necklines. Tie-dye made a brief but brilliant appearance in a simple, casual shift dress. I know tie-dye has been buzzing around for quite some time now but this was one of the first occasions where it didn’t look annoyingly ‘on-trend’, instead being just an interesting way to play with colour.
The obligatory swimwear moment turned out to be my favourite of SS08. A rainbow striped deep-v swimsuit which wouldn’t win any prizes for originality but was just plain gorgeous. Accessories came in the shape of (actual) bike wheel bracelets, spare parts as waist decoration as well as bike frames worn as shoulder pieces. All very OTT-the loud clanging noise was a little distracting, but fun all the same. Sponsorship by Raleigh was celebrated with a cheeky deep blue shift dress emblazoned with the company logo, topped in the silly stakes only by the Morrisons plastic bag dress.
On paper the collection wouldn’t be my cup of tea but there were so many charming touches that it won me over in the first two minutes. A brilliant soundtrack (Late of the Pier-the bears are coming. The candy-bright lipstick and slick (bike-practical) hair-knots. The Frida Kahlo-esque eccentricity of it all…I could go on. A bold collection that had us all grinning like kids in a sweetshop.
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