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The Show Does Go On

The London Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 16 fades out, but some of the shows celebrated from 19th to 23th February will glitter for a long time. And we’re not just talking about fashion.

The London Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 16 fades out, but some of the shows celebrated from 19th to 23th February will glitter for a long time. And we’re not just talking about fashion.

This year’s edition will be remembered for the magnificent productions; mise-en-scènes that have gone hand in hand with brilliant designers’ creations. Names like Bureau Betak or Inca Productions have transformed mere fashion shows into major multi-sensory events that are memorable and will give London fashionistas a lot to talk about.

mary-katrantzou-aw16-runway-show_dezeen_936_1-1Photography Joakim Boren

Mary Katrantzou’s AW16 “Love’s Young Dream” show popped out on a silver foil-covered runway in front of a wall full of shiny silver square balloons as a backdrop, which recalled Andy Warhol’s “Factory” in 1960s New York. Four solemn rows of simple white benches placed along each side of the catwalk allowed the audience to sit and observe, with more balloons decorating the walls behind.

mary-katrantzou-aw16-runway-show_dezeen_936_2-1Photography Joakim Boren

This stunning set was designed by Alexandre de Betak, called by some “the Fellini of the fashion world”. Chosen by prestigious firms like Dior, Jimmy Choo, Roberto Cavalli or Lacoste, he creates shows that always push the limits, transforming each one of them into a super-production.

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Katrantzou’s new collection is full of patterns; stars, hearts, ponies, butterflies and flames. The density of her prints popped out of a dream-like atmosphere, created by the light touch that always makes her designs so outstanding. These monochromic and reflective silver-toned sets underlined “the overriding themes of duality, lovers, and love lost”, according to Katrantzou’s show notes. It also mirrored de Betak’s obsession with light.

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Another name that’s also created a buzz at LFW16 is Inca Productions, the London-based event agency responsible for Anya Hindmarch’s AW16 collection set. A passionate and multi-awarded advocate of British art and design, she’s the only accessories designer to hold an on-schedule London Fashion Week show, and is well known for the creativity and wit of her sets: models floating weightlessly over the catwalk, a 120-strong male choir or a supermarket-inspired show with models on conveyor belts, with dancing cashiers.

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This time it’s been set designer Stuart Nunn, of Inca Productions, who has worked closely with Hindmarch to create this Rubik’s cube puzzle-style set inside Lindley Hall, southwest London. The backdrop consisted of a giant wall made up of freestanding stacks of cubes covered with LED panels that changed colours. The cubes moved back and forth along hidden rails disguised in the grid, formed by the pixellated platform of acrylic white panels that made up the stage floor. Patterns were illuminated across the back wall cubes to give the impression of a computer trying to communicate with the audience. The effect was designed to build a narrative about the threshold of artificial intelligence and ask the question: do computers dream when they sleep?

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The coloured squares were echoed on Hindmarch’s coats and accessories, formed by tiles attached to the fabric. “Using her knowledge of what women want and her artistic intelligence, Anya is making brand Hindmarch into a complete wardrobe entity”, Vogue wrote. Her bags are as witty, pretty and practical as ever, her shows as bright as always, but her AW16 collection is complete, more so than any before. Her bags are now serious fashion contenders to the exquisite clothes and shoes on display.

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Will the fashion show productions become entities in themselves for fashion designers? We’ll have to wait and see the London Fashion Week SS17 proposals, from 16th to 20th September 2016.

 

Credits

  • Photography DEZEEN

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