Sunday, 6 March 2011

LWF A/W '11 Meadham Kirchhoff Madness

AND NOW SOMETHING COMPLETELY BONKERS! Been following these two for a few years as Ben K is an old mate. Never quite understood them, although admittedly, there were some rather outstanding pieces in last summer's collection. I treated them with some suspicion for their overly intellectualised take on dress-making (don't want to use the P word).

Then out of nowhere this thing hit me in the head and I'm still recovering from its woozy after-effects. That thing is their Autumn/Winter '11 collection held in Billinsgate... To the sound of Bernard Herrmann's score to Psycho (no, not the obvious shower scene theme) do an army of peasant models march out en masse in perfect formation uniformly in black, white or red ruffles, layered skirts, girdles and short wool jackets. Their faces betray no emotion, this, combined with their near goose-steps, lends them an air of Village of the Damned. Brainwashed zombie soldier children picked out of the Swiss mountain sides. The music spookily swirls and teases and gives you the creeps. It's eerie, sinister and very very disturbing yet the hairs on your back begin to stir and battle each other with goosebumps for attention. There is a culpable tension in the air, the crowd taking in a collective breath not wanting to miss a detail of this, then, after a second round of marches of the models, the lights turn on and we are finally allowed to exhale.............

Literally trembling and shivering from the experience, I weakly amble out into the daylight wondering what had hit me.

For gawd's sake, it's a blooming facion show, I kept reminding myself. Yet, there was something more to it; perhaps not cathartic, but rather uplifting and, well, intellectually stimulating. And yes, the clothes were rather wonderful and cooky too but what really impressed was the drama. Grande Guignol theatre of the maddest form.

Good job, boys! You just got yourselves a new devoted fan...


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