Renaissance gets a modern twist at the Tate




The Tate Modern proved the perfect venue for Peter Pilotto’s painterly autumn/ winter collection.

Inspired by the decorated works of Spanish renaissance artists, the design duo reinvented their signature print placements with a dash of brio.

Ascetic collarless coats were energised with brushstroke embroidery and primary colourways of blood orange red and vibrant yellow; while fur peplums on cinched jackets provided a new take on last season’s detail.

The tension between sophistication and seriousness played out in boxy toreador jackets paired with front split skirts and mannish brogues; quilted sculptural puffas and a tailored V-shaped dress sharpened by exaggerated geometric cap sleeves.


The tailored sensuality, so present throughout the London collections, hit its apex (literally) at Antonio Berardi. The British-Sicilian designer wowed the style set with a view of his architectural collection and the added view of a morning city skyline at 199 Bishopsgate.

Taking his lead from 60s Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer, Berardi combines his trademark hourglass sensuality with an uncharacteristic monastic austerity.

Figure-hugging silhouettes obfuscated by origami folds, grid-like cape jackets, and angular sleeves form a new perspective on the feminine form; much like the train of tunics, tabards, and tuxes glorified with baguette gems, vinyl diamonds, and mosaic glass.


Similarly, Christopher Kane reinvented signature motifs with a 2.0 update in his first show since partnering with French luxury goods conglomerate PPR.

Popular signatures like camouflage print were translated with fur and feather trim; while velvet dresses bearing crochet cutaways and dark floral appliqués made for a masterful mystique.

Most impressive were the Scottish designer’s anatomically-embroidered dresses sporting ‘six pack lace’ which winked at a burgeoning bad girl trend in the ether.

In keeping with the dark side, Erdem ironically chose Bermondsy art space White Cube to showcase his radical exploration of black.

This uncharacteristic departure is risky for a designer whose golden boy status is based firmly on his delicate use of florals and neons; not to mention a celebrity clientele including Keira Knightly and Kate Middleton.

Darkly gothic with frothy romantic underpinnings, the collection of ethereal lace, sheer organza and ostrich feathers was given a cerebral edge with sharply- tailored silhouettes and sleek mid-parted hair styled with the help of Irish hairdressers David Cashman and Maurice Flynn.

The twitterverse has since been humming with praise waxing from ‘so perfect’ to ‘incredibly accomplished’. Looks like fashion does favour the brave.

Ireland’s Simone Rocha and Paul Costelloe join Roksanda Ilincic and Anya Hindmarch on today’s schedule — the closing day at London Fashion Week.

In brief

*The designers: Peter Pilotto, Antonio Berardi, Christopher Kane, Erdem.

*The muse: Spanish Renaissance artists, Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer, Gothic romance.

*The shape: Mood swings from ascetic and boxy to exaggerated and oversized with sexy anatomical outlines.

*The colours: Red, yellow, grey, black, white, silver, pops of neon.

*The details: Tri-colour blocking, embroidery, quilting, fur peplums, thick criss-cross stitching, pom-poms, origami pleats and folds, cutaways.

*The fabrics: Cowhide, velvet, fur, feathers, leather, chiffon, lace, organza.

*Trending: Oversized coats.

Love parade

Love was in the air with “Trench Kisses” all round at Burberry’s showcase in a custom-built marquee at Kensington Gardens.

Actresses Kate Beckinsale and Freida Pinto, pop stars Rita Ora and Tinie Tempah, Burberry model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Olympic cyclist Victoria Pendleton and the pinnacle of the fashion hierarchy, American Vogue editor Anna Wintour, turned out to see what was on offer.

The Trench Kisses show featured Burberry’s trademark trench coats splattered with hearts and dresses with big gold hearts on the shoulder, as well as wet-look coats, animal print, gold belts and collars and rich reds.

Backstage after the show, Christopher Bailey, Burberry’s chief creative officer, said one of the inspirations for the collection was Christine Keeler — the woman at the centre of the Profumo affair.

“I’ve been looking at the story of Christine Keeler who was kind of this really fun girl who infiltrated this world of serious politics and spies. I kind of felt like there was something we could play with,” he said.

The designer said his show was very much about emotion, a theme that was enhanced by the heart prints on display and the love songs serenading the audience.

He said: “I like the idea of wearing your heart on your sleeve.”

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