Thursday, February 15, 2007

London Fashion Week

This week sees London Fashion Week, held twice a year, where the top designers and fashion houses come out parading their latest works of haute coutre. It’s not something normally up my alley, but my hall neighbour the Singapore Doctor, who’s exceptionally well-connected, managed to snag a couple of tickets to an Autumn/Winter 2007 presentation by Ashley Isham.

We wended our way to a makeshift British Fashion Council stage erected outside the Natural History Museum in South Kensington, and, after an interminable wait, punctuated by untidy helpings of mini salmon bagels and blueberry muffins, we were ushered into the catwalk area – pardon my ignorance of fashion terms – where we assumed our exalted backrow seats.

The lights dimmed dramatically, the music came on, and the models began sashaying out, one after the other, in costumes that reeked strongly of bright colours, with lots of red and green. I guess they were okay; I won’t be wearing them, obviously. And I found myself more disturbed by how the girls on stage looked.

Yes, they were girls, not ladies. They couldn’t have been a year older than 17 or 18, although many of them looked even younger. There was this pale and wan appearance to each of them, as though none had eaten anything for more than week, surviving instead on a diet of water and cigarettes, and maybe a bit of the white powdery stuff as well. Virtually all of them looked like nothing more than skin and bones. The make-up made them seem even more ashen. It wasn’t a very pretty sight. I wondered if any of them might faint on stage.

Over the past few weeks, the British media has been seized by stories of so-called Size Zero models – anorexic girls weighing barely anything who presented a danger to impressionable youngsters and to themselves. But at the end of the brief 20 minute presentation, the designer emerged, flanked by two of his models, and wearing a T-shirt which proclaimed, on the front, “I’m Size 00”, and defiantly on the back, “So What?”

Although I had heard of the label, I had no idea that Ashley Isham was Singaporean. For some reason, I figured he must have been Malaysian. So it’s good, surely, that someone from home has achieved some degree of fame over here? His creations have a certain sense of elegance. But do the more fashionably-inclined individuals out there really like his designs? I don’t know.

This was my first fashion show. I can’t say much for what I saw on stage. I think I had more fun looking at the audience members, all the luvvies and fashionistas - Oh, Dahling, how lovely to see you again! Muah! Muah! – including several stern looking mature ladies perched on the front row who bore more than a passing resemblance to the Devil who wore Prada.

I’m the antithesis of coolness. Thus it was nice to be able to come attend an event such as this. There were quite a few TV cameras around. So catch me soon on Fashion TV.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Still wish we had had some Moet before the show ... DH

7:02 PM  

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