Beam me up :: Backstage at Belle Sauvage
:: Dispatches from London Fashion Week ::
It is amazing how fast a runway show goes by. In some instances, it’s as though you are waiting in line longer than the actual experience.
Often its easy to forget the blood, sweat, tears and dedicated team that works to pull off a show seamlessly. Each collection, like any work of art or good idea, began as just sketches on a page, or ideas in a designer’s head before becoming a reality. The process is crucial to any successful end result.
This Is Worldtown had the opportunity to backstage at the Belle Sauvage show for their Autumn/Winter 2010 collection. Check out the slideshow for all the action, from start to finish.
The womenswear label started by Virgina Ferreira and Christian Neuman in 2008, has taken off in a short while, now counting Kelly Osbourne, VV Brown and the Ting Tings as just a few names among its celebrity fan following.
Known for its signature digital prints and striking silhouettes, this latest collection did not disappoint. Using a palette of jewel tones, matte metallics and bold black & whites– mixing structure and softness, the collection plays with shape and volume, as well as prints.
The industrial imagery found in 1920s German expressionism served as inspiration, and H.R. Giger, a leader in the fantastic realism movement, served as muse.
The elaborate braided and teased hair for the show reflected the post-human silhouettes in the collection’s graphics. The elongated outline of the strongly defined eye mirrored the heavy angular shoes, and followed the lines of jutting shoulder and hip bones of some painfully thin models– overall giving the runway models a look fit for a vintage horror/science fiction flick.
The collection featured industrial leather dresses with gold zipper details, printed jersey dresses in the designer’s signature graphic prints, a variety of leggings– patterned, cutout, sheer– exaggerated knitwears and bold shapes, utilizing embelishments like thick leather piping– a personal favourite. Among the finer construction details, Belle Sauvage played with quilting technique, and Swarovski stones.
Being backstage, This Is Worldtown got up close and personal with many of the design & construction details of the pieces. Especially finishing details that sometimes do not translate to the runway. Meticulous work goes in to hair and make-up to get the mood just right. It was surprisingly calm and focused backstage– a hushed intensity– as dozens of people: production assistants, interns, hair stylists, make-up artists, models and the odd journalist all tried to just get their job done in a tight space and on time.
True to form, Belle Sauvage gave us a spectacle, even if some of it was a bit reminiscent of McQueen and Balenciaga of seasons past. Set to a steady, hypnotic, pulsating beat, the pieces walked down the runway in an almost robotic fashion. It is apparent that much of this fun and edgy collection will easily be commercially viable, and the rest? Well, perhaps it should go in a time capsule, only to be opened when aliens land– as they would likely be the only ones to look any good in them.