Lights were dimmed, music was thumping and drinks were in full swing as we were shown through Phonica Records on Poland Street and down into the On|Off space below. It was late on a Saturday night, day two of LFW, and it was time for the PA5H SS17 show, Tyred. A screeching wheel spin brought the babble of the room to a halt, announcing the arrival of the first model onto the catwalk.
Taking inspiration from an old racing jacket found at a vintage fair, the collection was centred around all things motor, nodding to Formula 1 with racing stripes, bold reds and jumpsuit styles. The key was in the details; shorts became works of art with thousands of beads hand-stitched into a checkerboard design, while dresses were held together with seatbelt-style tapes that unclipped in the middle.
Hair and makeup, too, reflected this stylised theme – hair flirted with the nineties trend with tightly-crimped sections forming tyre tracks amongst red go-faster lines, which were repeated on minimal faces above eyes and across cheeks.
Contrasting with the sleek, vinyl textures were distressed denim accents, featuring on cuffs and elbows and revealing just the right amount of skin as loose legwarmers, as well as soft, cosy sweatshirts branded with wordplay slogans that fitted the title of the collection.
We all love a good theme, and PA5H have hit the sweet spot between inspiration and overdoing it. Watching the collection as whole whilst the models did their final walk (to a car-themed soundtrack, of coruse), it works cohesively as an ode to motorsport, but each piece is individually crafted to have its own unique identity. The designs are fun, fashionable and functional, offering options for day or night, with as little or as much car as you require. And, after all, how could we possibly resist a bit of word play?