Before today’s Meadham Kirchhoff show, the Grazia fashion team were chat-happy over what the boys’ extravagant set would be. The title of the show was ‘Helter Skelter’ and since Autumn/Winter 2010, Edward Meadham and Benjamin Kirchhoff have smothered the senses of their willing front row with everything from a Rococo drawing room to a teenage girl’s birthday party complete with Courtney Love lookalikes dancing in baby-dolls (even Anna Wintour cracked a small smile at that one). Upon arriving in the very empty Topshop space, our intrigued was piqued…
There wasn’t a single set piece in place! Was everything running horribly late? Classical music was on repeat, and the existing straight runway had been adjusted to create a large circular space in the middle of the Tate Tanks. We predicted ice skaters, automobiles, an entire circus troupe to swing out and take us all but surprise, but no, the real shock was that there were no theatrics whatsoever. Aside from some street-casting (which added further to the narrative we created for the show: see below), the focus was really and truly on the clothes. And what wonderful clothes they were.
A fellow audience member hinted pre-presentation that the theme for this season would be the circus. Cue harlequin prints, sequinned leotards and ringmaster tailcoats, right? WRONG. The Meadham Kirchhoff troupe was a melancholy one, possibly set around the late 1930s (with a dash of Edwardian stage costume), and our viewpoint was through the eyes of a privileged runaway girl. She assumed this would be a desperately romantic last resort. Turns out, it was a major, and sinister, misadventure. OK, so that’s not the official line, but as a series of beautifully sombre looks took to the catwalk, you couldn't help getting swept away in the moment.
We saw a vintage sailor-inspired ensemble to a hint at a maid’s outfit (a girl’s gotta work hard for the money), decadent jacquard full coats (which surely belonged to her master?) and rubberised and corseted gothic dresses, soft chiffon tea dresses (that’s when you get noticed) and a crisp white shirt transformed into a demure wedding gown (master finally paid attention, eh?). It was SO inspiring that Susie Bubble went so far as to tweet: "Perish the thought that King Karl may want to retire but imagine Meadham Kirchhoff at Chanel eh? #fantasyhousepairings”.
Here’s five things we loved more than anything else…
1. The sheer polka-dotted midi dress over trousers. This conoction is shaping up to a key new styling trick for A/W'13.
2. The glitzy hair pieces pinned into the girls’ pin-curled locks. Magpies amongst us can't resist a bit of crystal.
3. The metallic shoes – complete with lace-ups, bows, cut-outs and a jaunty ‘Louis’ (as in Louis XIV) or ‘Pompadour’ heel.
4. The nude printed full-length tea dress. Something about the black lace trim on the hem and a black leather collar makes these usually twee piece look anything but.
5. Meadham’s anarchic take on the classic Chanel-style boucle jacket. You wear theirs with a crop top and rubber skirt, not like a matchy matchy b***h.