London duo Meadham Kirchhoff’s latest collection for 2010 was a vivid spectacle indeed. Imagine Rainbow Brite scores the lead role in a Bollywood production which she abandons for a stint as a fortune teller. Can’t quite picture it? That’s the idea. All the elements are tossed together to form a chaotic ensemble bursting with energy. The vibrant tones clash: hot pink and deep black, or sizzling red and cool mint green. The fabrics do too, all different textures. Boiled knits, crocheted shawls and floating chiffon are embellished with fake fur, tinsel and intricate beading. All this is accessorised with heaps of glittery plastic bangles, the kind you win in Pass the Parcel at your fifth birthday party.
Similarly childlike are the paper cut-out crowns that some models wore, on top of fluorescent pink bridal veils. Indeed this childlike element is not accidental. The designers, Meadham and Kirchhoff themselves, revealed that they took an array of things that surrounded them growing up. When combined, they formed the eclectic bundles parading down the catwalk. So the designers consider it a very personal collection, kind of like a recovered time capsule.
What distinguishes Meadham Kirchhoff in the fashion world is their outstanding craftsmanship. It’s kept them on the catwalks since their first shows in 2006. The attention to detail in the garments is extraordinary: the beading and embroidery is so intricately crafted. Particularly impressive are the leather jackets some models wore, each hand painted with a pale pink and purple swirling floral design. Each jacket took a whole week to paint. But the designers won’t have it any other way. They stick to old-fashioned handiwork with a good dose of patience, instead of using cheap and mass-producing machinery.
The pair say that they don’t have a specific woman in mind as their muse, more a broad general idea. “There’s certainly an element of obsession or craziness about her,” they concede. Hence the schizophrenic aesthetic. The collection is as mad as this vision, and certainly one of the most exciting shows London fashion week produced.
Images via - Style.com