House of Middle East autumn/winter 2016 collection catwalk show for LFW
Titled Reflections, the first designer to present at the MEA – House of Middle East and Asia show as part of Fashion Scout at the Freemasons Hall was Mumbai-based designer Felix Bendish. Watched on by the likes of Alien Uncovered and frower and long-time Fashion Scout advocate Tony Glenville, Bendish promoted a new feeling, injecting his collection with an air of light-heartedness and humour. Models zig-zagged down the catwalk, in circular prom dresses, layered black netted capes, all festooned with large circular silver and gold shaped earrings, necklaces and accessories – convex mirrors used to reflect and caricature in order to remind us not to be so serious within our hyper-digital world.
Glittering and glistening black crystals encrusted bags, skirts were high-waisted and the colour palette began with black satin gowns, shoulders embroidered with feathers, and full-length oversized sleeves laser cut to precision with repeated feather-like openings. Paint box blue, and an innovative transparent Perspex gas-mask style facial accessory added to the theme of the twisted cartoon version of ourselves evoked by these convex funhouse style mirrors. A standout piece was the finale outfit – a vibrant blue, befeathered duchesse satin dress with grotesque yet funny oversized necklace lips and teeth in a wide smile. Trompe l’oeil hands hung down on gold chains at the back covered in plastic stickers of mouths and lips, further adding to this humorous jester subversion of our oh-so-serious world.
Rocky Star followed, bringing bohemia and historic brocades with illustrative printed translucent skin tights, hand-crafted and showing immaculate craftsmanship with embroidered layered weaves in sumptuous reds, golds, blacks and lime greens. Bell sleeves and black welts at centre fronts of elegant almost regal dresses, were set against grey and demure work dresses with printed textiles incorporated into godets in naturalistic florals. There was a beautiful full-length coat in the deepest mauve with printed and patterned maroon silk inserts and coins and intricately complex beading weighed down and jingled down the catwalk on the dresses. Lucky front row-ers were even lucky enough to be able to take home a printed Rocky Star scarf.
The MEA – House of Middle East and Asia show is a fantastic initiative giving designers from India and Dubai an international platform to showcase their talents. Both Rocky Star and Felix Bendish are testament to the importance of Fashion Scout and London Fashion Week in nurturing such talented designers through incubation, support and promotion.
Photos: Olesya Asanova