In the shadow of the Horse Guards Parade and the Ministry of Defence, Markus Lupfer invited us into the barren wasteland that was the set for his SS16 collection.
Sipping on a Peyote chilli margarita, served with a little bottle of Ambar Tequila to pour at will, we wandered through the wild flowers sprouting up between wooden floorboards, coming across models set against the rocky, arid landscape as we moved around the room.
The collection is playful yet moody, setting fun motifs of cacti and Mexican luchadors against sheer, dark organza, reflecting the contrasting nature of the Mexican deserts which inspired the designer. Whites, taupes and light pinks filter through, reminiscent of early morning sky, bringing lightness to the collection.
Almost as if growing out of control, flowers creep from the floor onto the garments themselves, enrobing shoes, adorning pockets and even cascading from the models’ ear lobes. A clear favourite in the room is a sheer bomber, embroidered with florals, layered over a dress of yet more delicate flowers.
As we’ve come to know and love him for, Lupfer’s chosen motifs recur throughout the collection across a range of garments, from laid-back separates to dainty evening dresses. He once again astounds us with his intricate craftsmanship, using masterful techniques to apply them in patch, printed and embroidered forms.
Regarding the collection as a whole from the balcony overlooking the Thames, it is a gorgeous array of fun, yet sophisticated, femininity. Through his use of contrasts, Lupfer has turned Spring florals into something fresh and exciting, appealing to both our senses of fashion and humour.