Marta Jakubowski was one of the few designers selected for the BFC NEWGEN award and her show went *spinning around*her carousel live today at the venue for London Fashion Week. Her theme seems to revolve somewhere between Sophia-Webster-femininity and a grunge 90’s 2012 LV carousel and Instagram was awash with spinning Boomerang videos of the models draped over pink rails and horses in garish pink creations standing stock still as Rolf Zuckowski’s ‘Die Jahresuhr’ played on. There were silk veils in white, black and pink surrounding the heads of some of the models made them look covered, almost suffocating under the squares of silk. Holes and cuts appeared in the fabric as the carousel lazily spun around, and the general collection gave off a feeling of languid elegance with a touch of coloured frivolity.
In varying shades of pink, raspberry, tangerine and black and white, the long fluid shapes of the fabrics hung on the models well, with most of the longer bottoms coming to puddles of fabric at their feet. There is something vaguely Asian-style inspired through the oversize and the bell-bottomed trousers and sharp suits, echoing a more modern type of tailoring designed for a relaxed evening. Some of the clothing items had slits in the sides or sudden holes at the knees or on the thigh, and they added an element of surprise and daring to the block coloured pieces from her collection. The rolling German’s children’s song was oddly discordant from the models aloof positions on the carousel, and it added an element of strange uniformed hilarity to the whole pink and red explosion.
Most of the clothing items were surprisingly wearable, with a focus on suiting. This jacket in shocking pink with uneven lapels could easily be taken from day to night with its simple styling and block colours and the dress underneath wouldn’t be seen out of place at the Oscars, especially considering it’s (gently revealing) high double thigh slit! The twirling carousel and the varying colours gave it the appearance of the life cycle of a flower- from the delicate blooms in pink, to tangerine as it withers, and then black as it rots, then white as it turns to dust. Very memorable!
Another interesting aspect of the show was the minimal (almost lack of) makeup, with only stencils of flowers and shapes on some of the models’ bodies, and a light line stencil design on the faces and on each finger. It looked very delicate painted on so lightly! The slightly androgynous vibe from the show echoes quite strongly in most work from London art school graduates, as the emphasis on fashion creation there is also in creating fine items of clothing with the fluidity not only in material, but also in the shapes of the clothes (so they suit either gender). This artistic approach is more freeing as well, as the measurements and colour combinations given for women and men can be quite restrictive. As collections later on with big fashion houses can sometimes become too much about pleasing the customers with ‘tried-and-tested’ staples, it is refreshing to see someone pair wearability with more bold fashion choices. These loose, flowing garments are exactly the kind of laid back style options that are presented by the fashion houses where Marta did her apprenticeships (Helmut Lang, Hussein Chalayan), and echo a more utilitarian fashion.
Her previous collections have been similar, with long shapes adding a dramatic elongation to the bodies of her models, but the unexpected addition of colour here at her SS17 show has certainly added a pop of something different to her now signature pooling trousers and long, silky dresses.
The smoothness of the lines and the delicate touches in the flowers and the geometric face ornaments add a finesse to the designer’s collection. Her materials and colours seem saturated and well-made, with a focus on fine tailoring and juxtaposed classic and more modern shapes. Marta has previously said in an interview for the LCF’s ‘Pigeons and Peacocks’ that no one really takes the time to look at fashion and is always rushing towards the next big thing. Many people don’t quite understand how much time goes into creating one garment of clothing and how each decision along the way has so much importance to creating the final product. Through the trials of a fashion student, I am sure the designer had to spend many days cutting out samples and trying, shaping, cutting and dyeing each part separately. Her work at the SS17 show seem more refined than previously, and I wonder whether all that cutting and re-designing has made her hone her technique? I am sure that now that this is the designer’s consecutive collection this process is getting easier, but I still believe she wants to instill this in this constantly rotating carousel. I can’t wait to see what her next collection will be like!