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#SuzyLFW: Erdem And Simone Rocha – Can The Past Be Present?

作者:Suzy Menkes 編輯:yijie.zhang 時間:2020年2月22日
內容來源:VOGUE時尚網  圖片來源:VOGUE國際網站:英國

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Designers have to decide how much history can be stirred into modern shows.

敬請期待中文版

This London Fashion Week, two designers looked for inspiration entirely from the past: Simone Rocha, who imagined the life of women in her native Ireland; and Erdem, who reinterpreted the world of English photographer and aesthete Cecil Beaton.

Here is my perspective on what worked, and what did not.

Erdem: Celebrating the first 20th century cult of style

At Erdem’s show of silvered dresses and feathered headgear, he acted as though there was only one thing that counted – the image backstage of Cecil Beaton wearing a slim, silk, feminine outfit, playing dress-up with his sisters.

Inspired by Cecil Beaton, Erdem modernised references to the past.

? Gorunway


“Here is one of them! And here! And another!” Erdem exclaimed, showing his mood board of historic references – and current photographs of new designs – to illustrate how he had turned fashion history into a modern wardrobe.

Erdem was polishing up an era from nearly 100 years ago – inspired by the exhibition, Cecil Beaton’s Bright Young Things.

? Gorunway


In several ways, that was correct: there were long, slender dresses with metallic surfaces shimmering over silken patterns that are the designer’s stock-in-trade. These outfits, which included narrow trousers, were beautiful, elegant and pure – even timeless – but for the mad-cap feather headdresses. 

But, overall, Erdem was polishing up an era from nearly 100 years ago – inspired by the exhibition, Cecil Beaton’s Bright Young Things, which opens next month at the National Portrait Gallery in London, where the designer showed the collection. The exhibition focuses on Beaton’s work from the Twenties and Thirties, when he launched a career that took him up the social ladder to become photographer to the Queen of England. 

‘Mad-cap feather headdresses’ at Erdem during London Fashion Week.

? Getty Images


It is impossible to concentrate on such an era and not chase the beauty of the past. Even though Erdem did his heroic best, the stories he spilled out suggested that he was tied to Beaton’s heyday.

Timeless narrow trousers at Erdem ready-to-wear autumn/winter 2020.

? Gorunway


“Yes, it is very much his story,” the fashion designer said, after clothes with a sheen dominated the collection. “You see the stripes and stars – Beaton was obsessed with graphic motifs and tin foil. He covered everything in foil and cellophane."

Silvered dresses and feathered headgear at Erdem.

? Gorunway


“It’s also very much inspired by this image of Stephen Tennant,” he continued, referring to the socialite called “the brightest” of the Bright Young Things. “His waxed plastic coat was literally my first look. I love the idea of having Cecil opening the show, and Cecil as a boy, and then closing it with the same model, with a woman in a drop-waist lace dress embroidered with pearls."

As the designer continued with microscopic details from the past, showing the exact three outfits that he had researched, I had to ask the question, ‘is this right for now?’ With all that women have achieved over the past century, is it fair to focus on what was relevant 80, 90, or 100 years ago?

That question is difficult to answer, because Erdem is so excellent at what he does, and so clever at deconstructing the internal undergarments to give the body a modern freedom and bringing a freshness to the old.

Erdem ready-to-wear autumn/winter 2020.

? Gorunway


I asked the designer if you take all these references from the past how do you then make them modern?

“It’s about capturing a spirit and, to me, that idea of something undone and mixing things is very modern,” he replied. “And the idea of taking something that’s very feminine, like a silver gown, and putting a masculine coat over it feels to me quite modern. Actually, Cecil Beaton was so inspired by French Surrealism, he was quite rebellious.”

I looked backstage at the silvered raincoat and slender satin dresses and agreed that these seemed modern. But fashion’s future demands styles and materials that have never been imagined, let alone given a rebirth from the last century.


Simone Rocha: Homage to Ireland’s coastal communities

Simone Rocha is a poet with cloth – and with words. Her brief show notes read, “Birth, life, loss.” Followed by “Coming in from the sea ... pray for me.” She conjured “Lurex tweed with lurex teeth, shark tooth and pearl bones, sea salt eyes, ribbons and ties, with fishermen’s nets catching pearls.”

Simone Rocha struck a fair balance between a dramatic story and pretty dresses.

? Gorunway


The show, with its slithering fabrics and early tones of white only, brought in six impeccable outfits, from a soft coat with a giant satin bow to a white cotton shirt wrapped in Aran knitting in the shape of a wounded animal. 

Black coats with blood-red stitching at Simone Rocha autumn/winter 2020.

? Gorunway


Everywhere there were questions unanswered: were those soft satin trousers stained with muddy, reddish brown? Was that smart blazer partnered with a fishnet bag? Where was that colour dredged up? Were those messages patterning the surface?

Simone Rocha ready-to-wear autumn/winter 2020. 

? Gorunway


There were references to Riders to the Sea, a play written in 1904 by J.M. Synge that illustrates the hard and lonely life and death by drowning of communities in the Western Aran Islands off Connemara.

Simone Rocha's collection featured references to Riders to the Sea, a play written in 1904 by J.M. Synge.

? Gorunway


“You can’t really look at Ireland and not be influenced by the obsession to life and loss,” the designer explained. “The play is about a community in a small town. I broke the story down into three pieces – birth, life and loss. It felt very layered, with tied and untied, things taken from the sea. The nets are made of macramé and they were catching the pearls.”

To lighten the heavy sadness trailing from the sinking boats and drowning people, Simone added colour: the pink of a dawn sunrise; papal purple decorated with a gilded cross and the word “Saint”; and black coats with blood-red stitching.

Simone Rocha is a poet with cloth.

? Gorunway


Much of the deep feeling and religious imagery was mixed into the clothes in such a way that a white skirt patterned with roses appeared to be just that. Whatever Simone’s feelings and emotions, she knew how to reign that in so that the garments could be seen just as decorative dresses.

The finale at Simone Rocha ready-to-wear autumn/winter 2020.

? Getty Images


The show struck a fair balance between the dramatic story telling of Ireland’s past and pretty dresses with a forlorn sweetness. Even if the show ended with an all-white dress, where head and shoulders hidden behind white lace were seemingly committed to a Roman Catholic world, the Simone Rocha Autumn/Winter 2020 collection was a perfect balance between story telling and desirable clothes.                    


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