Marc Jacobs has been put on notice: when it comes to showmanship, he has serious competition in London from Hunter Original.

A label’s first fashion week runway show is always a big event, to be sure. Hunter boots has been around  since 1856 and their green Welly is by far and away the standard for rubber waterproof footwear. So, coming into the event, everyone pretty much expected to see plenty of sporty outerwear and variations on the boot that has become practically ubiquitous across all of Great Britain.

What no one expected was a full-scale production that included  a magician named Dynamo wearing the final piece. What no one expected was that models would actually be walking through water rather than the standard catwalk. What no one expected was a rain of magic cards at the end.

There was a lot in this show that was very unexpected and Hunter Original has set a standard for themselves that we fully expect them to continue in subsequent seasons.

As for the fashion itself, what we saw was largely predictable. Outwear was very high-tech both in terms of fabric and design. This is the type of stuff one wears when one is going to scale something that requires a Sherpa and lots of oxygen. Colors were  bright, so one can be spotted by rescue teams,  and accessories were the sort that fasten tightly and might actually survive a fall that the rest of you might not.

Understandably, we didn’t see anything formal or floor length. Most of the women’s skirts were quite short, rarely peeking out from beneath the heavy coats covering them. Pants coated in rubber still managed to be stylish. Many of the men’s looks involved rubber-coated shorts, which isn’t exactly seasonally appropriate but then we’ve all met that guy who wears shorts out in sub-zero weather.

The only part of the collection that could be considered a bit strange was the knitted ski caps that came down over the nose with requisite holes for eyes. While I totally understand the practicality of such a garment, there’s no way I can look at one without questioning which bank is about to be robbed. Someone really needs to devise a better way of protecting the face from the elements without necessarily looking quite so sinister.

After watching all those looks parading back and forth through the water, I was really curious how they would handle a finale stroll. While the water was only about a half-inch deep, that many pair of feet at once might have set off a mini-tsunami or something. Instead, the runway lights went down and lights came up on a set of platforms on which the models stood. Dynamo, who had gone last, took his place and then, with a display of extreme dexterity, pretended to fall … in slow motion. The demonstration was remarkable and entertaining at a level we normally don’t see at fashion shows, especially those in London.

So, kudos to Hunter Original on a spectacular first show. We will look forward to even better displays in the future.

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