LFW AW10 report: Felder Felder, Jean-Pierre Braganza and Hannah Marshall

20 February 2010

It always seems unfair to show three designers together in one space. After all, they are surely all making different statements and their aesthetics won't make sense together. That's what you would think anyway. But last night Felder Felder, Jean-Pierre Braganza and Hannah Marshall all showed together at London Fashion Week and all gelled so well together that it could have been one show.
Each designer has a 'hard' identity. Meaning only that they would seem to prefer winter than summer seasons. Hannah has become known for her black silhouettes and strong design character. Jean-Pierre for his futuristic woman. And the Felder sisters for their unlikely heroines of the catwalk. These collections were no different.
Felder Felder kicked things off with an ode to Dracula, lending a 'gothic edge to the collection reminiscent of the surreal scenarios of a Tim Burton film.' It certainly set a tone. Ruffled skirts and dresses opened, followed by leather panelling and copper chain embellishment. Skirts edged towards Alaia rather than Bram Stoker, while teeny tiny leather and stretch leotards and underwear sets made us worried that SS '10's trend for underwear over outerwear had gotten out of hand.
Jean Pierre Braganza also hit the leather hard. Opening with leather panelled coats and angular sharp tailoring, the collection started to pick up when he debuted chunky cable knit cardigans, covering fine knit dresses. Sticking to a palette of black and maroon, it was clear that he, like the FF sisters, liked the dark side. Then he surprised with graphic prints on body-con maxi stretch dresses, which unfortunately, were too reminiscent of other recent collections to hold the eye.
The final turn was left to Hannah Marshall, whose black dresses have become something of a cult wardrobe piece. It was goth galore. The models' blue lips matched the collection palette, but even they couldn't distract from the American football size shoulders - if you think shoulder size has been ridiculous of late, wait till you see what Hannah has in mind. Inspired by 'lethally sharp aesthetics', her velvet catsuits, mini (MINI!!) dresses, leather trousers and jackets were sliced in the elbows, waist, thighs and knees. But the sharpest aesthetics were reserved for the jewellery. Long sharp points on rings left me worried for their safety - when one of the Grazia team shook hands with the designer backstage, she was left with a badly-cut hand. There is suffering for fashion, and there is drawing blood. Designers need to know where to draw the line.

- Kay Barron


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