Giles; What’s Going On?
For his latest collection, designer Giles Deacon took inspiration from the art of Walton Ford, who was famous for his paintings of wildlife. “I love the way his naturalistic paintings fluctuate between the comic and the sinister,” Deacon said. “I have tried to emulate this contradiction to give the collection a sense of playfulness and beauty.”
And that contradiction was one that shone through, balanced in every design. The palette was chiefly pink, sometimes acidic and sometimes sugary sweet; pink stripes, pink dresses wrapped and re-wrapped in fluffy sequin snakes, pink metallics and pink claws. Feathers sprung and floated from dresses and caftan, and a kaleidoscope of fractured animal prints spilled and tumbled across voluptuous gowns; and all of this was anchored to the catwalk by tasseled creepers.
Paler designs in white and silver also shone midst the forest of pink; perhaps my favourite design of the entire collection was that long white cape dress, with one of those sequinned paws just reaching over the shoulder of the wearer, giving the impression that a tiger is vying for her attention.
There’s a nice balance between these slightly more formal designs, and the fun, casual aesthetic of modern pop culture in which Deacon always excels. There are so many pieces in this range that I would love to own and wear on an everyday basis, but there are also gowns which I think could be a great red-carpet choice for some starlet in the very near future. These are quirky clothes, sure, but they manage to avoid veering into the realm of the weird, or indeed the laughable.
This was a completely creatively unique collection, a fizzy forest of wildness and demi-couture; it was the sort of pop jungle that lives in nightclubs and on city streets, managing to be both formal and casually cool, fun with just a hint of the wild and the sinister. Looking at this set of designs, it really feels like Deacon has found his niche; and I love it.