'Nostalgic but progressive' is how Central Saint Martins graduates Marta Marques and Paulo Almeida describe today's show soundtrack: a gritty remix of All Saints, Basement Jaxx and Chemical Brothers. It's also perfectly denotes this new collection – as, of course, a good soundtrack should.
The clothes are a short trip down memory lane - back to the noughties - as many of their previous seasons have been, with similar references to model Frankie Rayder, their model muse for AW13. But with wristband tickets and streaks of rave-bright coloured chiffon this is certainly the After-Party to last season's ballgown-inspired look.
Known for their radical play with denim – usually gutted, frayed, twisted and bleached out - the pair did not disappoint. These jeans were definitely more refined though - with bandeau tops smooth and twisted tightly to the body like a wrapped Obi-belt, neat frayed edges on asymmetric handkerchief tops and skirts tied to the side in knots with elegant plumes. The most notable departure from last season was the WHOLE jean leg – as in NOT ripped and not gaping open. These were NEW – an overly long bootcut, slouchy on the calf but clinging around the heel. We can already imagine them on editors, stalking the cobbles of Somerset House next season.
The nostalgia was palpable though. Kimono jackets were fondly reimagined (in denim, obvs), whilst Mariah Carey’s Heartbreaker bootleg jeans with frayed waistband were delightfully poppy – all very Millenium Party. There was however, a flipside of grunge in their late '90s-meets-early 00s' mash-up with Courtney Love-like fine-knit sweaters and sugary-coloured silk chiffon spaghetti-strapped tops and dresses all worn over jeans – YES – skirts-over-trousers for the third time today! A utilitarian shape on denim skirts and Mao jackets kept the grungey look minimal and clean whilst dashes of cowhide brought the fun.
Closing on iridescent denim and organza suiting we were left with a jubilant celebration of the decade that is shaping up to be the big one for SS14. Marques Almeida’s take on the look feels less underground, and dark; more light, sweet and happy – it’s tongue in-cheek whilst progressively cool. It’s an After Party we’ll be RSVPing to.