Hats off to Treacy for thriller show

Tue, Sep 18, 2012, 01:00

IT’S NOT often that a fashion collection gets a standing ovation, but that was the case after Philip Treacy’s thrilling show at the Royal Courts of Justice on Sunday night. Declared open by Lady Gaga in a transparent pink burka (though she toppled over a few moments later), the show featuring sensational millinery creations on an army of black models led by Alek Wek left the audience spellbound.

Linking Michael Jackson’s stage wardrobe with headpieces, the show was a prelude to the forthcoming sale of the late singer’s costumes, which have already been exhibited in Chile and at Newbridge Silverware in Co Kildare.

From flamboyant feather and gold creations to crystal-studded fedoras, miniature carousels and a white galleon in full sail, there was no limit to the freewheeling imagination of this master milliner. The final item, a moving wire cage lit up by LED lights, was accompanied by a gospel choir singing a Jackson song.

After a 12-year absence from the London catwalk, Treacy said it was the most exciting show he had done.

Millinery has transformative power, but there were other excitements yesterday. Burberry’s show, with its latest line-up of trench coats in metallic car-paint colours, was live-streamed from Kensington Gardens.

Paul Smith located his show in the renovated Granary Building near King’s Cross, now home to Central St Martins fashion school.

Smith’s colour blocking on sporty blazers and mix of shiny and matte, of plain and patterned fabrics came in artful combinations – bright yellow with navy, mustard with tobacco – in his usual upbeat casual way.

Print princess Mary Katrantzou made her mark with a play on stamps and out-of-date banknotes, but who wants to look like an out-of-date drachma? Her overprinted dark denim jeans were a welcome new development, however.

But the star of yesterday’s shows was Erdem, whose beautiful dresses in lemony prints overlaid with sheer grey veiling and devore brocades in hot dayglo colours of orange, red and yellow were utterly feminine and romantic.