LFW - Rachel Freire's Liberated Restraint
I'd better explain that title. But first a little background. I wasn't able to make London designer Rachel Freire's show Future Noir last Tuesday - part of Vauxhall Fashion Scout and a designer deserving of the attention she's commanding - as I was only in town until Sunday. However, I had the opportunity to see many pieces from her A/W 2010 collection up close and personal (the rest were still on their way) at the London a la Mode Pop Up Showroom which was heaving with amazing, diverse, independent talent. More to come on that...
A quick glance at the rack and the dress form beside it was enough to clue in that these were special, impeccably detailed, handmade pieces that needed my eyeballs and fingertips all over them to see exactly what was going on here. Rachel Freire's costume design background was evident in the pieces, they displayed elements of costume in that they made you pay attention and were almost other-worldly, yet they were rooted in the kind of clothes you would wear to a really cool club. Or to dance with a lobster around your living room. The point is, the woman (or man) who wears these clothes is someone who does whatever they please!
This tulle ruffle collar leather vest was amazing from the back but I didn't get a shot. However, this screencap from the show exhibits its peacock-like effect. Funny, it's the male peacock that has the pretty tail feathers and fans them to show them off and attract females and I'm pretty sure that's a guy wearing it in the show. Rachel explores the dark sexuality of the androgynous form with this collection and had both male and female models presenting the clothes.
Now for that paradoxical title! Rachel has a thing for garments of restraint such as straight-jackets and corsetry. She incorporates zippers, ties and intricate lacing into her many of her pieces, or uses a second-skin thick latex to craft a catsuit, among other crafty tricks. Yet there's this explosion of texture worked into some of her creations that whether it be an erect spread of tulle ruffles or shredded leather all entwined and reaching out from the body, there's a distinct feeling of uncontained, wild energy emanating from the source.
This catsuit was made with reflective strips that glowed when I used my flash:
The ribbons can be arranged any way you please by using the little rubbery loops:
A little raw-edged ruffle jacket that offers the apocalyptic feel that Rachel explores in relation to organic elements. She uses salmon skin and stingray in her work which offers a naturally derived texture that sits mysteriously next to the more ornate surfaces she painstakingly builds with her hands.
This suit made of thick latex was intriguing, it zips all the way down the front and under so you can get in and then seal yourself inside:
You can view Rachel Freire's current spring collection at her website.