I’m not sure how to tell you this, Marc Jacobs, but any runway presentation you’ve ever done was just topped by Anya Hindmarch is ways so glorious we’ve no option but to stand and cheer. Ms. Hindmarch has done some strange and unusual runway presentations in the past, so to some degree we weren’t surprised to show up to an immense video screen behind several other screens offset over an extra-wide, extra-polished runway. We knew we were in for a show this morning.
Then, the screens came to life. The huge one, so bright as to possibly cause cornea damage to those sitting closest, flashed video of road construction, giving one the somewhat unsettling feeling of standing in the middle of the roadway as cars and trucks passed by on either side. Screens overhead flashed speed limit and warning signs in the brightest neon.
When the fashion came down the runway, it was often three models broad across the runway, similarly dressed, but differing in color and styling. There was a lot of fur with messages appliqued or directional arrows and such painted on them. There was a host of bags, which Hindmarch does marvelously, with traffic instructions such as “stop” or “Proceed with caution” embossed into the leather.
Hindmarch named this collection “Diversion,” and proceeded to make sure it lives up to that name. The knitwear, if anyone was paying attention to the clothes, was exquisitely sewn with stripes and jagged lines, soft collars, and loose fits. Jumpers were plentiful as was faux fur vests and jackets, and frequently humorous applique. Hindmarch does have an incredible sense of humor, after all, and isn’t afraid to show it. At times, she almost seems anti-fashion and one wonders if she’s not demonstrating her frustration with the industry with some of the messages appliqued on her clothes.
Then, as the last looks were leaving the runway, with the video screen showing what one might assume was a team of construction workers, men in orange construction jumpsuits and hard hats came out, surrounding the seating and taking over the stage. As models returned for their finale walk, the “construction workers” began singing. Beautifully. Why? Because this was the London Gay Men’s Chorus, thank you very much, elevating the cool factor of this show right out into space.
I’m not sure anyone can top this show in terms of emotional feels. By the time the men finished singing, my skin was tingling, and some were even crying. Hindmarch took what might have been a rather ho-hum autumn/winter collection (be honest, the clothes themselves are rather modest) and turned it into a statement about everything from traffic to fashion to society and life itself. We’re going to remember this show, and Anya Hindmarch, for a very, very long time.