Invites scented with Penghaligons, a rose-strewn runway and dilapidated garden trellis propped precariously against the catwalk exit… it could only mean one thing: it was time for a theatrical Meadham Kirchhoff experience.
Today’s show was as cinematic and emotive as usual and a complete antithesis to the frou frou-ish frivolity or athletic minimalism the LFW schedule had presented up until to now. With projections of eerie, ghostly sounds, the thumping of hearts beating and doors creaking, this inner city Regents Park location became a distant memory. Here was the place where, quite magically, multiple centuries, countries and horror stories swirled into one comprehensive – and divinely beautiful - collection.
There were many jumping points a viewer could reference, but then a MK show is always expected to be a rich and complex tapestry. Germanic or Eastern European fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm variety showed up in the smock and dirndl dresses and fresh cotton embroidery. The Witches of Eastwick and Wednesday Addams made appearances via strict black tailoring with sharp collars and shiny-shiny gold buttons – one was ripped at the shoulders hinting at a dangerous encounter with the dark-side. More intense still were the blood-red shocks of colour throughout, whether embroidered in spiky florals or featured across accessories, you couldn’t help but feel these ladies may have come to a sticky end… Rebellious schoolgirls revealed some thigh via long socks under pleated skirts and then flirted with their silliness via lamb and teddy embroidered mini-bags, flat bow-strapped low-Louis-heeled. Elizabethan femme fatales corseted up and runaway brides darted sharpish in a half trousseau’d state of dress.
While modernised with python cocoon coats, crop tops and bat sunglasses Edward Meadham and Benjamin Kirchhoff used this show as an opportunity to further outline some of the brand’s handwriting: the love of the gothic and a somewhat spooky sping on virginal innocence remain. A few key pieces now exist that you can instantly name-check at Kirchhoff-ish: a deconstructed chiffon dress comes first to mind.
While the violent hazmat orange hair, pimped-up Amish hats and layering stayed true to their traditional costuming, take the range apart and you’ve got one helluva commercial success ripe for the taking. Glorious.