The London shows have opened with even denim given the creative, crazy and cool spirit that defines British fashion
Faustine Steinmetz: Jean Genius
Something new in denim. Really? That most familiar fabric was given a twist of artistry by designer Faustine Steinmetz, whose presentation included women laid out in windows as if in an anthropological display.
Their bodies, faces, eye glasses and even legs were filtered with blue, while the sporty clothes were created in natural indigo — for example a cotton and polyester yarn mermaid dress.
Another outfit used dip-dyed cotton with an overshot weave technique to produce the name Steinmetz on a denim base.
"I wanted to affirm that my label is about reproducing denim in many different ways, with everything in shades of blue because it is the archetype of denim," said the designer, who is starting a collaboration with artisanal African weavers in Burkina Faso.
Faustine also works with Swarovski to create sculptures, while her love of shimmer and shine inspired reflective gradient textures.
"This is the first time I think we got the balance right — machine-made fabric and an artisanal part," said the designer, who has that rare combination of gesture and detail, offering originality with craft at its heart.
Jasper Conran: First Dibs With Denim
"It's the first time I have ever used denim," said Jasper Conran, referring to the slim dresses in pine green and brown — and a touch of blue — that opened his show. This over-dyed denim led on to more graphic outfits, with patterns mimicking marquetry on crisp white cotton.
"And I am using cotton for the first time too," said the designer, who is best known for winter woollen tailoring and summer silk
Using casual material — and especially denim — in a relatively formal way made a real impact.
"My role as a designer is to push my own boundaries, but within a framework that is always to do with dressing real women," Jasper said.