Designer Diary: Melt London – Oooh La La
It seemed that the fashion companies of the world had all chosen the same morning to converge on these department stores. Fired up on lack of sleep and one too many cafÃ© au lait, teams of hunter-gatherers sketched at the speed of sound. Pencils flying through notebooks, and mobile phone cameras at the ready, they collectively sucked inspiration from the garment rails, leaving bewildered Parisians floundering in their wake.
Here the high-end labels are pacing themselves against couture, successfully opening a chasm of difference between the luxury and mid-market brands.
Designers are terrified by the ability of the high street to step so quickly and ably on their hem lines, toes and other on-line and over-exposed parts. This has now necessitated them to leap ahead in their fabric development, cut and trims.
Fashion has, of late, become an unexciting, dull animal, but in Paris that animal was sleek and groomed, resulting in originality, pedigree and bite.
On the down side, there is no known vaccine to protect the unsuspecting consumer from the very high pain levels induced by rabid purchase. Just reading the price ticket brings on feelings of dizziness, shortness of breath, and an irregular heart beat. For those of a nervous or weak disposition, Lanvin should be avoided as if it were the plagueâ€¦â€¦â€¦.failure to heed this warning could result in a severe shortage of money, possibly leading to starvation and homelessness.
Meanwhile at Premiere Vision and Texworld the scavenging continued, each visitor searching for â€œTHEâ€ fabric, that elusive cloth to make or break the coming season. The aisles of P.V. were awash with Brits. and some publicly quoted groups were spotted marching like excited schoolyard armies behind their revered leaders.
Nearby in Texworld the atmosphere was very different, more serious and subdued, with seemingly endless aisles of Turkish fabric or Chinese suiting. Dedication was essential to trawl through rack after rack of similar cloth without loosing belief in the joy of discovery.
At both shows the key words for winter â€™08 are texture and shine. P.V expressed this in the usual poetic manner that needed translating from English into English, but somewhere in their pretentious description of trend or â€œActualisationâ€ that definitely was the intended message.
Post Eurostar, I am back in the reality of Melt London. Winter has arrived, thatâ€™s next winter of course, and work on the collection now begins in earnest.
By Susan Royston
Creative Director of Melt London