#SuzyLFW: Marques/Almeida – Frayed Elegance
Fragments of frayed denim or ripples of ripped-edge chiffon trailing to the floor… There is something raw, undone and undeniably sexual about the clothes that Marta Marques and Paulo Almeida sent out in a dilapidated hall on the final day of London Fashion Week.
This is the Portuguese couple that, under the joint name of Marques/Almeida, won this year's Louis Vuitton Prize.
Their style is sharply in sync with brands such as Gucci and Saint Laurent, where designers are tearing off the polite and polished luxury surface to offer something new.I would described the Marques/Almeida clothes as "unravelling", but not exactly as in previous periods, when cool creatives like Martin Margiela or even Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garçons presented clothes that were deliberately destroyed.
This new duo are born of the digital age, when the concept of unravelling can be made actual on screen. I am not saying that the effect of disintegration is made by computer; if anything, the clothes have the look of handmade. But worn as a cream sweater over a floor-sweeping skirt made up of chiffon bits and pieces, the look is highly sophisticated.
And the duo are no college kids. They may have been trained at the magical Saint Martins, but that was a decade ago.
The show had a hot colour sense, using deep bougainvillea pink or swimming-pool turquoise suggestive of the designers' sunny Portuguese roots. But there was also a lot of creamy chiffon, which increasingly shredded like water-soaked tissue paper. The legs and body undulated beneath.
It is hard to put a fashion finger on the style. I am tempted to say "undone" - although that does not really capture the frayed elegance of the look. Floor-sweeping denim overcoats were positively grand.
A new vision is always intriguing in fashion. These two are ones to watch.