The three major labels were FADE OUT Label, Guinevere Launcelot and Gender Free World; however, the exhibition included student designer’s Madeline Beach recycled kimono made from a duvet and models’ own clothes, used to complete some of the outfits and for the lingerie and ‘self-expression’ sections.
Despite presenting a very specific and distinctive aesthetic ideal, each of the brands displayed follows the same principle: no distinction between male and female. Their creations are effectively unisex, meaning that they fall into both women’s and men’s wear at the same time. It was incredibly interesting watching the same designs on male and female models walking together the non-runaway in the Beacon Bar, especially because we rarely have the chance to do so in fashion shows which for definition follow the rules of gender diversification. Looking at the way each piece fitted differently depending on who was wearing it enhanced the meaning of the show and gave even more value to the uniqueness of both clothes and models.
Guinevere Launcelot was founded in 2013 from the creative minds of Meiki Kyo and Hyeyeong Hailey Kim, main designers of the brand. The use of natural mulberry silk and digital printing technologies to personalise the fabrics is what distinguish their work. It is impossible not to notice the importance of natural elements in the designing of the prints, in a certain way reminiscent of Marcelo Burlon County of Milan’s trademark t-shirts, playing with graphic renderings of snakes, eagles and roses, just to cite some of the most famous subjects. Reproducing hand drawings made by the same designers, Guinevere Launcelot’s prints on the luxurious silk and punto di Roma fabrics are elegant and romantic. Among the pieces shown during the exhibition, the peacock and the ‘modified’ hibiscus flowers dominating the mini collection QUIETUDE OF FLORA, designed by Meiki Kyo, and the chiasmatic mix of crystal butterflies and arabesques for Hyeyoeng Hailey Kim’s REINCARNATION certainly made a strong statement about the aesthetic of the brand.
FADE OUT Label, however, was in my opinion the real revelation of the night. Brand designers Andrea and Nicola started working with denim, the exclusive fabric employed for the collection, in 2013, developing their initial personal project into an actual label in 2015. Their brilliant creations, experimenting with shapes and juxtapositions of different denim washes, ultimately break the barrier between male and female clothing in such an innovative way that I just could not stop staring at them. A new detail came up at every blink: first, the colors, mainly white, black and different shades of blue; then the fabric, a meticulous denim patchwork that, despite hiding the sewing lines, enhanced the different geometries of each piece of cloth; finally, the amazing designs, cropped oversize jackets, high-waist pegged jeans and overalls, my favorite bit of the collection, which conveyed a general sense of smoothness and playfulness, together with a clear hip vibe.
Beside the fashion, the incredible energy models transmitted to the audience was another factor that made the show so enjoyable. Fun was the keyword of the night and the general atmosphere was extremely positive and exciting. Despite the obvious anxiety before the show, models said that the whole experience was confidence-building and a great opportunity to show themselves for what they really are. The notes of Born This Way concluded the exhibition, in an explosion of dance and laughter and a true celebration of self-empowerment through fashion!