I nearly shuffled off home before Rochester but I'm so pleased my inner fashionista prevailed and I stuck about. With Zandra Rhodes taking the pew earlier occupied by Viv Westwood and several notable stylists littering the room despite the 8 o'clock call time, the auditorium was packed.
The show started strongly with Alexa Papavasileiou sending down soft jersey draped seperates and dresses that effortlessly mixed body con sections with softer cowl style draped panels. It was very grecian and had a real deconstructed feel to it. I loved the partial side drapes on the skirts and the dropped crotch draped trouser. The splattered cream based print melted well with the other elements and the collection felt entirely cohesive.
While not my favourite collection, the skeleton inspiration for Rebecca Watson that manifested itself into a black coat with a built in back bone was quite an incredible spectacle.
Draped silk jersey was a favourite here at Rochester and I'm still thinking about Vicky Jolly's collection of divine dresses and draped trousers. this collection really played on the idea of fitted bodices with great sweeping panels of draped jersey partially concealing the structure. The actual fabric manipulation was superb, with several items having been treated to sculptural jersey manipulation as a form of embellishment. This collection for me echoed tones of last years winner and is a really strong body of work.
Leaving the calming tones and the softness of Grecian stylings, we were catapulted back to see some Pam Hogg style jumpsuits that were extremely body-con. The fitted jumpsuits showed their detailing in the panels that divided up the garment and added detail as the panels were various hues of monochromes, pink and purple. Cropped leather jackets added a tailored element to the collection and were well executed.
The Pam Hogg style silhouette continued into Alex Oliver's collection of bodysuits that had a gorgeous, graphic print on them. In hues of baby to shocking pink and purples hues to accent a gun metal and cream base I really adored this selection. Foam (which appeared earlier elsewhere today) was used again to create structured silhouettes and block coloured panels really drew the eye to focal points. I loved the quilted inside leg panels and the ideas felt very chic. There were jersey print, body con dresses with pvc bust cups and leather jackets with the most oversized, rounded shoulders we've seen to date! As if the shoulders weren't enough, pale pink leather jackets found themselves covered in studs. A punk rock delight.
By now I'm assuming the talent must end, but Steph Eyre decided to prove me wrong. A grungy collection of khaki grey silk prints again felt very All Saints (I know I've referenced them all day). Trousers with a front tucked panel looked elegant and stylish while the wraps and shifts in the khaki on khaki print was calming but edgy.
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