One of the most exciting creative highlights of the London Fashion Week schedule so far is the "BLOW Presents" show at The Royal Festival Hall.
This season, "Blow Presents" features 4 different designers - the 'new wave of fashion prodigies': Charlie Le Mindu, Gemma Slack, Lina Osterman and Iris van Herpen.
On arrival, we were amazed that this event has taken over all of the main space, and seats were laid out around the balcony edges for the general public on level 2. Throughout the day, there were other activities open to the general public also: fashion workshops where they can create their own accessories and a Junior catwalk show hosted by VV Brown, in collaborations with designers Bora Aksu, Gavin Douglas, Naomi Ryder and Avsh AlonGur.
Its really wonderful to see how the general public can be a part of the excitement of London Fashion Week on a more hands-on, interactive level.
The "BLOW Presents" show opened with the wonderful and wild creations of Charlie Le Mindu. His collection was called "Girls of Paradise", where 'city architecture hits nature's beauty head on' - there were huge gravity-defying, over sized architectural shapes and outfits made out of hair, as well as a fantastic headdress of the Eiffel Tower that lit up!!
The next collection was by Gemma Slack, inspired by fem characters in classic comics and heavy metal girls.
There were slashed leather pieces as well as metal plates riveted onto leather and metal dresses: very 80s and exudes full-on unabashed sexual power:
Next up was Lina Osterman, her first catwalk show since graduating from Central St, Martins.
This was the only collection that included menswear.
Featuring interesting layering and proportions, with knits in a Gothic/punk theme and an almost monochrome palette.
(The models had hair that totally covered their eyes - one of the guys nearly walked into the audience!!)
Last but certainly not least is the phenomenal collection by Iris van Herpen.
This intricate collection, made out of mostly leather, features fantastical shapes of beautiful textures and patterns - across between Art Nouveau architecture and the eerie alien paintings of H.R. Giger.
The craftsmanship of each 11 handmade pieces - collaborated with artist Bart Hess - is flawless to the eye and really are fascinating to look at. These are true works of art.
Interestingly, there seems to be a running theme of bondage and S&M connecting all these four collections: the latex bodysuits at Charlie Le Mindu, the hard leather and metal at Gemma Slack, the body harnesses at Lina Osterman, and the leather detailing snaking around and encasing the body at Iris van Herpen......
Its was really fantastic to see such diverse creative talents all included in one show - definitely a show that illustrated the creativity and raw talent that is signature to London designers.
Have we mentioned how super-friendly and accommodating the staff at BLOW PR is?