DONT WALK MMXII

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The finely tuned aesthetic cultivated on DONT WALK’s website in the build up to the show (that incorporated a pictorial montage of soft focus beachy shots – the models au natural, hair blowing, faces focused and bodies well and truly covered up) was replaced by a torrent of flashing neons, strobes and plenty of skin at last Saturday’s DON’T WALK MMXII. Together with their nominated charity Zamcog, funds raised this year will go towards the construction of a sixth form college at the Shitima school in Kabwe, Zambia.

Kinkell was fixed up into a sanctuary of spectacle with each of the separate rooms functioning to provide something different. Special touches included the pop-up rum-bar courtesy of 10 Dollar Shake, in a room brought to life by hundreds of brown labels stamped with the DON’T WALK emblem tied to the ceiling, which fluttered in the warm breeze (yes Kinkell was actually insulated for once!). Havana Club built mojitos and of course the customary flutes of fizz lined the bar to welcome the invited crowd to the equally well equipped tables where Perrier Jouet Champagne, Absolut Vodka, custom made hip flasks and Bibi’s cupcakes all waited to be devoured.

Bursting into action around 8:30pm, a full pack of 26 gleaming, masked models marched onto the stage to form a pulsating human cube that set the high intensity atmosphere for the night. The female models were decked out in dangerously high black heels and pink lipstick; their hair scraped back from the face, cascading at the back into loose waves. Bronzed up, the boys formed something of a modern Roman pop army, with bare chests, silver masks and embellished metallic and chain shoulder armory.

Distinctly DON’T WALK, the models brought the collections to life with energetic  interaction and showmanship. A particularly memorable moment during the Goldie London collection saw one model, wearing a seriously cute navy polka dot dress, fighting against the winds of a heater to keep her derrière covered. But giving into to her very own Marilyn Monroe moment, she handled the situation with big smiles and laughter to the applause of the crowd.

Ben Crane’s (a fashion grad from Kingston University) menswear incorporated innovative designs using vintage ‘explorer gear’; particular highlights including an oversized submarine yellow plastic anorak and flying goggles.

A sneaky peak backstage at half time, revealed hair, beauty and body building re-perfection in full swing: the army of man-muscle (in little but cotton blue boxers) enjoyed a group workout whilst the ladies were attended to by a squad of professional hair and make up artists from Bobbi Brown and Toni&Guy.

The second half of the show opened to Whitney Houston’s 80s classic ‘How will I Know’ with accompanying neon light sticks flashing at optimum multicolor fluorescence – something of an apt tribute to the late pop princess.

Lace, silk and feathers (in pastel shades of cerise, azure blue and lemon) high-brow swimwear, balloons and not to mention the stand-out showgirl piece (made by costume designer Stefan Wahlberg) that involved a white feather jacket and diamante (plus more plumage) headdress – were all strikingly reminiscent of a Victoria’s Secrets runway show. And full credit must be paid to the dazzlingly toned and beaming gang of  DON’T WALK’s very own Angels who pounded the runway with attitude, despite the constant distractions from the hungry crowd.  The 50s inspired swimwear ‘La Dolce Vita’ collection by Australian designer Karen Neilsen was an all round winner – bold colours and check patterns made for flattering high-waisted and frilly knicker bottoms, bringing summer into full focus.

The show came to a close with a gorgeous assortment of hats and fascinators from Edinburgh based designer Rene Walrus. Chunky jewellery, giant bow Alice bands and some particularly spectacular crystal studded sunglasses were just some of the sweety treats from this stand out accessories line. All aspects admired, DON’T WALK’s tenth annual show proved to be an all around feast of delectable guilty pleasures.

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