London Fashion Week SS2013: Antoni & Alison
London Fashion Week got off to a rousing start at Somerset House this morning as a brass band in full regalia marched on to the BFC catwalk ushering in Antoni & Alison's S/S 2013 collection. Billed as a celebration of the label's 25 year anniversary, this was no nostalgia-fest: the presentation we saw this morning was very much the work of a label looking forward.
The show did not provide the immediate start that some individuals in the tent had clearly been expecting, as there were audible groans from the photography pen as the second of two monologues introduced the collection! Onlookers couldn't wait for the action to start but this background information was crucial to enjoyment of the show: details on the pair's origins as impoverished graduates, their similarities and differences and their own take on their approach to style gave an insight into their 25 year career that was both informative and quite charming.
'Never quirky or kitsch', the label remained true to its core values in this collection: comprising only dresses, each cut with the same pared-down approach but made individual with hand painted and printed motifs. Used like blank canvasses, the garments were defined by chic, clean lines with Antoni & Alison's character coming through strongly through the colourful designs.
Some of these designs were largely abstract, while others created a trompe l'oeil effect of hemlines, belts, bows, cardigans and other features breathing life into garments that were in actual fact largely absent from the simple slip dresses. This was 'wearable art' at its most expressive.