Monday, 29 February 2016

Zandra Rhodes AW16

We've been getting a lot of seventies and sixties trends on the runway for a few seasons now and the seventies party girl was particularly present at LFW AW16 but she was rarely so vivacious and as pure a channelling of this spirit as at Zandra Rhodes. Considering that this was the decade in which Dame Rhodes was at her most influential and she was alive during it, - unlike many other designers that drew inspiration from disco, Studio 54 and androgynous rockstars who had yet to be born - Rhodes seems like the best possible person to serve it up to us.

The party vibes at her presentation were palpable in both the crowd and clothes. In the crush of bodies, few weren't holding a cocktail or glass of something sparkling and groups stood around discussing the collection - some were even shimmying to the soundtrack of Bowie, Blondie and other greats of the era. The models above lounged or did some shimmying of their own, with one particular model seeming as if lost in a trance-like euphoria. Needless to say, the scene was very much set. All of this was complemented by Dame Rhodes' presence and amiability which saw her do the rounds of the room, chatting and taking all the selfies asked of her.

The clothes themselves were sheer and floaty but bold and bright, like the prevailing atmosphere itself. Kraftangan Malaysia, a brand specialising in fine Malaysian fabrics, partnered with Rhodes once more and saw the designer make use of songket, a fabric usually worn for ceremonial dress in sarongs and headdresses. Brocades, metallics, bell bottoms, head scarves, ruffles, chiffon sleeves, pussy-bow blouses, flowing silhouettes, off-the-shoulder tops, tiered dresses, oversized sunglasses, centre-parted hair and a palette of golds, emeralds and pinks, purples and indigos for both the garments and make-up meant that the seventies influence was very strong but the vision of it that Rhodes presented was so coherent that it could not be confused for pastiche. This collection could only have been produced today with the time and space to look back and pick out the very best that the decade had to offer.

If you're in the market for a party dress come AW16, this collection was simply made for dancing and a good time.












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