It was easy to forget the early-afternoon world outside once the lights dropped in Victoria House today, as Kwok set the scene for what could only be likened to a secret midday rave – models stomping to a filthy driving bass, illuminated by a light display that would leave epileptics running for the hills. Overall, the effect proposed what could only be assumed to be a creative nightmare for photographers, but for us journalists, it made for raw, goosebump-inducing fashion. It’s clear that Kay Kwok isn’t messing around this season.
We left 2014 at the door – despite all its new promise and novelty – to be wilfully plummeted into Kwok's futuristic vision. Said vision honed right into surrealism: transparent perspex neck pieces, hologram glitter - think '2001: A Space Odyssey' with a hint of drag glam and we'll be on the same page. Whilst the general colour palette revolved primarily around monochrome; the pieces that could be deemed as 'out-of-outfit' (referring to that appendage), were definitely something out-of-this-world.
Factor in a few graphic-print oversized garbs that could only be described as monk robes on acid, and I think Kay Kwok has thrown just about enough at us to handle without a party bag of psychedelic pills.
So I know I raved about the silky smooth running of Kay Kwok’s show earlier, but for the hugely acclaimed, Danish born Astrid Andersen I have a slightly different tale to tell. As far as smoothness goes, the inner diva of Fashion Week reared her (his?) pretty little head out of nowhere. We were soon met with that familiar sweaty crowd crammed into stairwells, photographers desperately trying to blag their way in, and a much delayed entrance to the location met quickly by the realization that we probably weren’t going to be in the ‘frow’ for this one. And all for a good cause – anything for a glimpse of that gloriously thrown together sports luxe mish mash.
Despite standing near the back of a bustling and heady crowd, you couldn’t deny the excitement across the room – even the security staff were larking about and throwing their hands up to the loud techno sounds intended to get us in the mood. And to talk of ‘getting in the mood’, the show itself was undeniably one of the most sexualized I’ve seen. Oiled up, incredibly built bodies paraded down the catwalk to the drone of a kind of a cappella rap music, with the presence of the masculine body at the forefront.
Typical notions of masculinity were drawn upon, confronted and contrasted with in the form of familiar sports wear set against skintight floral lace, fur lined backpacks and extremely tight cut out crop tops. The stark contrast between tracksuits and leggings was exaggerated throughout the show, with a keen focus on the sexual male body as a body to be shown off in a feminine way. Shorts were miniscule, and mesh featured heavily in the form of vests and t-shirts. The body was portrayed as powerful, powerful enough to take on it’s own stereotype.
Colours were minimal – largely white and khaki with a subtle injection of nearly neon green. Velour two-pieces gave an urban edge, and the whole collection seemed to hark back to the 90’s. And if a rehash of 90’s sport’s wear and ‘street’ sweats means that the odd topless man makes an appearance, then I’m game.