Malan Breton autumn/winter 2018 collection catwalk show for LFW
Featuring an unforgettably theatrical (albeit bizarre) finale and heightened infusions of mythologies, Malan Breton’s autumn/wwinter 2018 collection was not for the faint of heart, and it revelled in its edginess.
Inspired by everything from Chinese astrology to the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, there was nothing minimal about the collection. Structured jackets clung to models like armour, making movement wooden and slowed. Of course, the exaggerated shoulder pads, as well as adding height, emphasised the drama of these pieces.
Meanwhile, a series of lavish oriental-print dresses and suits in royal blue, golds and reds radiated in their sheer decadence. The fabrics were quite clearly chinoiserie-inspired; silk organza, tulle, brocade, and reimagined kimono fabrics. A cobalt blue suit with a kimono-style robe jacket and matching trousers came in his-and-hers styles, and were worn on models who walked arm in arm down the catwalk. Antique Asian techniques of weaving, embroidery and dyeing were all a part of the design process: a testament of Breton’s authenticity and craftsmanship – which is somewhat astonishing knowing that the designer is self-taught.
The flashy casinos of Macau and vibrant nights of Shanghai were also reminisced through a stunning strapless scarlet dress heavily fringed with what looked like confetti, and a sheer gown with red fringing draping from the sleeves and sequins forming an intricate web which wrapped around the body.
Despite the seemingly delicate glamour of Breton’s oriental creations, there was also Conquest, War, Famine and Death. The elegant was beautifully juxtaposed by the toughness of leather, shearling and tartan. Leather jackets and dresses were heavily studded and were accompanied by dramatic black gloves. Vinyl also made an appearance in a glossy black trench coat, an orange strapless dress with a daring thigh-high split, and a corresponding menswear overcoat.
The unusual combination of the Far East and rock’n’roll/biker chic verged on being campy, but, if anything, it must mean something to get so much public interest that swarming queues delay the show by over half an hour. Already a household name in the US, it won’t be long until Breton becomes one here.
Photos: Huw Jenkins