#SuzyLFW: Fashion’s Reality Check
Marques’Almeida: All kinds of women
The opening of the Marques’Almeida show seemed as varied in colour, shape and drape as the graffiti tags on the walls of the abandoned train tunnel in which it was held.
The set, from what was once the British industrial heartland, is a familiar backdrop to the Portuguese duo. So is the idea of using ‘real people’ as models, which is fashion-speak for non-conformity of body shape or beauty.
This season the duo reached a height of sophistication (presumably with the ongoing support of their 2015 LVMH Prize), while remaining passionate about their beliefs.
“We have always done things the normal way in fashion. It’s slightly uncomfortable the way girls are treated and portrayed,” said Marta Marques. “You are trying to get 17-year-old girls to wear something that you know a 50-year-old woman is going to buy. So it made sense for us to really work with these girls and empower them. Inspiration comes from them and it’s for them as well. So we want do things responsibly in the way we feel is right.”
The designers once again used friends of friends, including three sisters, to show their own differences.
For a couple who started with street style and used mainly denim, they have moved towards greater variety. There was, for example, a shapely dress in bronze velvet or the same texture and colour for top and trousers. A white coat with rows of buttons was equally grown-up. Other pieces were more focused on oversized, not to say sloppy, sweaters.
Variety may be the spice of life, but why was it important to have different shapes and sizes?
“It’s massively important – it’s the whole idea. That is what we are saying,” Marta explained. “We have always felt something is slightly ‘off’ in the fashion industry. We need it to be more diverse and more inclusive. It is for these girls.”
Faustine Steinmetz: Variations on a theme
Previous shows at Faustine Steinmetz have been elaborations and revelations about denim, from indigo to weaving techniques. But on the runway, she worked around what she called “a series of archetypes”, from trench coats to cable sweaters and, of course, blue (or some other coloured) jeans.
She described the collection as “the typical Parisian wardrobe de-constructed”. But on the runway, as opposed to up-close, the exceptional surfaces and treatments could not be gauged – especially in the inventive denims of 2018.