Science and chemistry were the lessons of the day at the Bloody Gray showroom, with designer Martina Spetlova giving us all a fashion tutorial outside of school hours. So important to our roster of talented designers is an ethos based around difference and creative freedom, and Saturday’s presentation by Martina was no exception.
Transforming the neoclassical exhibition space at Somerset House into an enchanted forest-meets-science lab, for her third collection Martina created a static installation which broke down the elements of her pieces. Comprised of a series of lightboxes, she explained the process that goes into creating the sustainable knits and leathers which form the basis of her new collection. “Martina as a label breaks down into sustainable and experimental,” the designer explained. “I wanted to create a formula to show what makes the pieces what they are.” With her end-of-the-line threads in petri dishes and an accompanying minimalist video, the installation gave the LFW crowd a much-needed shot of creative inspiration and brought energy to the historic exhibition space.
“We want to inspire people to experiment, to not think like the rest, ” Bloody Gray director Rebecca Gray explained. “We also wanted to do something different with Martina and give people the opportunity to speak to her about her amazing work.” With crowds gathering, Martina’s lesson attracted a who’s who of the fashion glitterati, all ready to learn more about the designer’s unique way of producing her beautiful (and sustainable) garments.
The accompanying absinthe demonstration and tasting by La Maison Fontaine kept us in an experimental mood, as we headed down to catch Henry Holland’s S/S12 collection where UK punk clashed pleasingly(and surprisingly) with Miami Beach. Models strutted down the catwalk in bleach-splattered jeans, metallic jewellery and pastel peach tees paired with snakeskin detailing, all to the sound of The Clash and Madness. With a front row filled with the best of British talent – Jaime Winestone, Ellie Goudling, Eliza Doolittle – the collection kept us in the mood for a youthful British summer, despite the pouring rain outside. The homegrown British talent continued as earlier in the day when we caught Ashish’s playful and romantic gardening-inspired collection of bright and bold floral prints, before catching a glimpse of Jonathan Saunders’s colourful collection of dresses.
As day one of LFW was drawing to a close and the rain over, we got the feeling that the Bloody Gray chemistry lesson went down swimmingly. Only at LFW can designers really show off their skills, talent and individuality in such an interesting way, and the unique BG installation was an object lesson in creativity.