Among the trends to emerge from the northern hemisphere’s recent fashion month, including prom dress shoulders (Lanvin), barn chic (Chanel) and knee-high socks (Alexander Wang), Paris Fashion Week’s “horror” was the most unsettling.
Was it an attempt to shock desensitised critics, or had the designers just watched a few too many terrifying movies?
English designer Alexander McQueen, known to many for his use of tartan and penchant to shock, conveyed the horror theme by using unnerving symmetrical prints and having the models’ hair molded into horns. While McQueen’s shapes were princess-like and regal, fangs, eyes and claws could all be found in the abstract prints.
Alexander McQueen Spring/Summer 2010
Taking a literal approach to horror, Ann Demeulemeester sent models down the runway with chains caging their faces, conjuring up images of the film The Silence of the Lambs. Black leather, with its power, pleasure and pain connotations, featured prominently in the collection in the form of high-waisted pants, mini-skirts and biker jackets with oversized, slouchy lapels.
Ann Demeulemeester Spring/Summer 2010
Similarly, Belgian husband-and-wife team A.F. Vandevorst incorporated Hannibal Lecter in their collection, not only in their beige, fawn and tan colour palette, but also in their bolted body casts that looked as if they had been taken straight from the aforementioned film’s costume department. To make the collection work on a commercial and non-theatrical level, the couple also included delicate and sheer shorts, shirts and slips. The underwear as outerwear element provided a subplot of confusion and ambiguity.
A.F. Vandevorst Spring/Summer 2010
With Christophe Decarnin at the helm, French brand Balmain continued with the slashed-and-trashed theme it has propounded of late, and for good reason – the brand’s sales have doubled in the last four years. In terms of the horror theme, the collection featured a raven-esque black mini dress, resplendent with exaggerated shoulders, fabric that looked like reptile skin and a jagged hem. Holed tees in slate grey and khaki green, laced-up “witch” boots and leather cigarette pants also featured in the collection.
Balmain Spring/Summer 2010
For more designers dishing up harrowing collections, visit MiNDFOOD.com. Scary stuff, indeed.