Giles Deacon is one of my most favourite men in the world. I've avidly followed his work since he collaborated with my beloved high-street sweetheart, New Look (his tenth collection for New Look was released last year). His S/S 12 show at LFW showed us just how far he has come since then. Normally his designs are colourful and playful, but the newest collection was intriguingly dark and dramatic in comparison. But it was still absolutely amazing, naturally.
Androgynous metallics were the first of many trends established straight from the offset- boy-style suits in crisp whites and tinfoil silvers- kept sexy with a hint of bare flesh beneath the blazers. The metallics then expanded into drop-waist dresses, pencil skirts and shift dresses, occasionally with cheeky little cut-out bits, leaving the garments looking almost like one of those snowflakes you used to make at school with just a sheet of paper and a pair of scissors- just more detailed and, well, chic.
Hints of colour soon began to seep in slowly- at first, a pair of royal-blue shoes, then a pair of ruby-red trousers and suddenly colour developed into whole prints- swan prints, to be precise. The main theme of the show was swans- look closely and you can see swans on almost everything- dresses, skirt suits and even corsets, with the ever-present ruby-red representing their magnificent beaks.
And then came the gowns- delicately crafted, incredibly beautiful gowns which seemed to be floating along the catwalk in a blur of feathers and lace. Neutral colours were key, but the swan influence was still strong with lots of elegant, swan-like shapes.
As well as the necessary overload of feathers, sheer materials were there of course- they have been used in every important show since the beginning of NYFW- and Giles used them to introduce the darker side of the collection. It was a dramatic turning point in the show when model Ros Georgiou stepped out in a sheer black shirt with high collar and high-waisted trousers- and that massive black swan hat (more on the hats later). Suddenly the show was very Black Swan, although Giles insists this was not the intention. He explores the darker, more eerie side of fashion with excellent contrasts, splitting his show- and collection- into two halves. The first half was virginal and feminine, the second, mysterious and tense.
The 3 elaborate hats which opened and closed the show were created by Stephen Jones, one of the most respected haute couture milliners. All of them had masks attached to them to emphasise the mysterious element to the show. First, there was a white one, gracefully perched atop the head of the first model, and then a great black one halfway through to mark the change in styles, which seemed to creep along behind the model in a fantastically ominous manner. Finally, there was an even larger one, sprawling from the delicate head of Daphne Groeneveld in a burst of startling blood red. The final gown was just as fabulous, an extravagant beast made of feathers in both red and white- the perfect finish to a collection that treated us to more of a theatre show than simply a demonstration of the latest trends. I will end this post in the same way I started it, only feeling far more assured that I am not the only one to be saying it- Giles Deacon is one of my most favourite men in the world.
My favourite looks from the Giles show: