It has been pouring rain in London all morning. The entry way to Somerset House is filled with small puddles of water and enough umbrellas to stock every flying nanny in the city. People couldn’t wait to get in from the weather and either this show was over-sold or else the dear folks at the door were letting in every poor soul who was looking drenched. The facility was filled beyond its capacity and ushers kept asking guests if they would “scootch in” just a wee bit more. Funny, I didn’t see Anna Wintour move one centimeter.
So there sits everyone all damp and squished together and the pre-show soundtrack is … a bunch of screaming girls recorded prior to a Rolling Stones gig back in the 1960s. Now, if there had been some sense or even some ebb and flow to the sound track it might have almost been tolerable, but there wasn’t. The screams just kept going and going and going. I do try to be reasonable about this sort of thing, but if I really wanted to hear a bunch of little girls screaming non-stop I would have gone to my niece’s slumber party last weekend.
Fortunately, British fashion shows don’t delay forever before starting and it wasn’t long before the screams were replaced with, you guessed it, a mix of the Rolling Stones biggest hits. I am a very horrible old man, though. One of my first thoughts, while watching the lovely fashion parading in front of me, was to wonder how many of the models were conceived to one of the songs on this sound track. I then corrected my math and re-thought, I wonder how many of the models’ parents were conceived to the songs on this sound track? The Stones have been around a very, very long time and yes, their influence on fashion has been considerable.
Korean-born designer Eudon Choi has adapted himself very well to his London home and has done an excellent job of capturing the British aesthetic without severely sacrificing his generally minimalist style. However, while the sound track might have inferred something a little more wild and unruly, the only thing on the runway that would fit that description was the hair style, which, yes, looked as though the girls had been out all night chasing Mick Jagger. The clothes themselves were more on the well-tailored and rather refined side of things.
What we see in this brief collection (only 28 looks), is a lot of blue-based tartan, cigarette pants, and knit sweaters under masculine styled pea coats, parkas, and the occasional fur wrap. Once again, Choi infers but fails to wholly commit to the retro look, choosing instead to put his stamp on it with some interesting details.
Probably the most noticeable touch of uniqueness is the backward shirt collar, popped up of course. The element is sewn in on some looks and then comes rather like a dickie on others. I am a little concerned as to exactly how this might play on women with shorter necks. In fact, I have a feeling shorter people in general are going to be challenged by this look. I foresee it causing some problems come meal time when one would really like to get the food to their mouth.
Another interesting touch comes in a few dresses toward the end of the collection. Darts sewn in both above and below the waist have an interesting effect. Where the darts occur only below the waist they provide some volume and room for the hips to move. Where the darts occur above the waist, though, the visual effect is to infer a tummy pooch you know good and well doesn’t exist on any of these models.
Overall this is another very general audience, very wearable collection. To date, Choi’s designs have not been readily available in the US, but Anna Wintour is a big fan so I would fully expect that to change sometime soon.