Little Shilpa catwalk show report S/S 2016 for LFW
The whimsically glamorous setting of The Library, a private club in Leicester Square, soon proved to be the most perfect setting for Little Shilpa’s incredibly creative, thought-provoking S/S 2016 collection. Entitled The Madness of Muchness, the show dragged you down the rabbit hole and into a world of elaborate headpieces, intricately-designed dresses and afternoon tea.
Models wandered the multi-level space, drinking from teacups filled with sweets or carrying flamingos tucked beneath an arm. In case you hadn’t guessed, the inspiration was Lewis Carroll’s iconic fantasy, Alice in Wonderland, which this year celebrates its 150th anniversary. The imagery and characters are some of the most recognisable in modern culture, and this was designer Shilpa Chavan’s way of translating those tropes into a set of contemporary clothes.
She built upon a textural foundation of denim with panels and folds of crêpe, silk and polyester. The apparel portion of the collection was focused around the basic tee, which appeared in various guises – sometimes the hems were mid-length, and sometimes they were asymmetric. Sometimes they were shorter, paired with a sheer maxi skirt, or black leggings that seemed to morph into the black wedge heels that each model wore on their feet. Often, they were built upon with pleated ruffles and patches in various prints and textures.
It was the striking headpieces, however, which really stole the show. They also took inspiration from the theme of Wonderland, exploding and swirling from the pony-tailed heads. One monochrome piece evoked the ears of a gothic White Rabbit; another stood in disjointed monochrome stripes like a Queen’s crown. A particular stand out was the headpiece built entirely from swirling playing cards.
There were also masks that completely covered the face: one in a mixed black and white pattern, another shaped like a black heart.
The existentialist show notes discussed the often confusing relationship between dreams and reality, and sanity and madness, suggesting that we are all capable of using our minds to escape the real world. For some time today, it felt like Little Shilpa had given us a magical space where we could do just that.
Photos: Erol Birsen