Mark Fast shows knitwear to Kanye and Co. at London Fashion Week AW 2012
Mark Fast is the king of modern knitwear, and Autumn / Winter is his time to shine. But he chose to do so in a slightly grungy way this season, choosing a sludgy palette and sending models down the catwalk with frizzy french plaits and barely-there makeup.
Last season's rope-coloured macrame went dark for Autumn / Winter with thinner yarns, ring detail, sparkly beads and fringed ends; it was slightly 1920s inspired, but not costumey in any way. For some looks, the beaded ropes were draped around slinky long-sleeved dresses in oddball ways, for others there was more structure and shape.
Celebs on the front row (including Kanye West, Nicola Roberts, Mollie King, Gizzi Erskine, Grace Woodward and our very own Zara Martin) whipped out their phones to snap a sheer knit mini in nude and cream with pearl beading that gave it a 'mock crop top' effect, and a series of disintegrated knits with long, fluffy fringing in super-pale pink (below). There were also cropped knits; 90s style tube skirts and little tops in navy and cream.
Horizontal striped dresses also got people talking, especially a cutout number with long-sleeves and crossover straps that was like the sexy knitted version of an Herve Leger bandage dress; a throwback to Fast's earlier bodycon creations.
But where he really excelled was with chunky plaited cables running down ribbed dresses, and oversize knits that will no doubt inspire much of the high street's knitwear ranges for Autumn. A greige backless dress with a deep v-neck, tumbling cable and loose strands looked fantastic, while a big fluffy black and white number with vast layers and a big hood is exactly the kind of statement knit we wish we'd packed for fashion week. It's freezing out there, you know!