On the Runway

Day 4: London Fashion Week with Peter Pilotto, David Koma and Holly Fulton

Mark Fast Spring/Summer ’11; Photo by Anthea Simms

Mark Fast Spring/Summer ’11; Photo by Anthea Simms


The high point on my day’s schedule is certainly Winnipeg-raised Mark Fast. He’s made a name for himself internationally with masterful knits, so I’m expecting skillfully woven body-con pieces. As the show begins I can see what new elements he’s introduced to the formula; thick tails of fringe flying from knotted webs, 60s-style Perspex panels, and florid shades of hot pink, peacock blue, and teal. Cobwebby catsuits and micro-mini dresses drip with Swarovski crystals which rattle with each step. The finale gown is an incredible balance of fragility and weight. In pure white, a dense skirt of floor-skimming fringe streams from a fitted longsleeve body. It was a piece that deserved the solo spotlight walk that its wearer took.

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This sunny Monday morning, I’m already having great luck having scored a ticket to print whizzes Peter Pilotto. The design duo of Pilotto and Christopher De Vos produce optical illusions with their collections, employing their digital printing technique to bring vivid graphics to life on flowing garments. Inspired by athletic paraphernalia and retro olympians, the SS11 prints are overlapping circles and adapted muscle illustrations which look like marble. From a label so known for their prints there were also multiple elements of texture, like graphic ribbed knits, and thin floating panels that trailed behind the wearers.

A sprint to Somerset House lets me catch back-to-back shows David Koma and Holly Fulton. Well worth the rush since both are dazzling, high-energy collections. Koma does structure full-force but it never overwhelms its wearer. Ruffled peplums draw attention to the waist, especially in gold or black leather. Maxi-lengths are reached with sheer strips – sheer is a staple this week!

Fulton’s forte is bold graphics, which are delivered in deco patterns and whimsical cloud prints, all sparkling with Swarovski crystals. Chunky synthetic fringe is so layered that it stands stiffly along hems of dresses, or on its own in a chubby coat. There’s a nice range of silhouettes; if you don’t suit the drop waist short-sleeve look, she offers maxi-lengths, and swing skirted styles. Travel-ready models tote small hard-sided luggage cases. The standout piece is a yellow perforated rainslicker dress.