Sometimes it’s beautiful to be brave. In a season where there have been few surprises, Riccardo Tisci’s collection was both of those things. The designer mined the romanticism of Victoriana and the strength of gypsies, he said, to celebrate women. The result was a gentle though powerful and indeed complicated view of femininity that was good to see.
Collage was key here as masculine clothing including bikers, bombers, sweatshirts (they’re luxe now and likely to be more upscale still for autumn) and fisherman knits (some of them spangled) were printed with garden flowers and stamped with Disney’s Bambi. Opulent paisley jacquard satin was teamed with nothing more obviously luxe than lumberjack check shirts.
The silhouette was clearly indebted in places to the mid-Nineties – think tiny jackets with wasp waists and a high, sharp shoulder and a skirt tight to the knee then kicking to mid calf – but then softened into Romany inspired ruffled chiffon dresses embroidered with crystals and stars. From models’ hair – which looked like dense little posies – to the live soundtrack courtesy of Antony Hegarty (“You Are My Sister”) this was as touching as it was clearly heart-felt.
Tisci grew up with no less that eight sisters and a working mother – his father died when he was very young - and his emotional attachment to the fairer sex has rarely been so openly expressed. Experiences as moving as this one in contemporary fashion are few and far between.