Mark Fast’s dramatic autumn/winter 2013 collection set a change of pace in sharp contrast with his upbeat, disco-fantastic offerings last season. The collection was a collision of darkness and romance – strong and sexy but revealing a brooding, even melancholic, side to the Mark Fast woman.
The introspective mood of the collection, aptly entitled ‘Through The Darkness’, is due at least in part to Fast’s inspiration this season: legendary Japanese art director and costume designer Eiko Ishioka. Known for her striking costume designs, including her Academy Award-winning designs for Francis Ford Coppola’s 1992 film Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and show-stopping costumes for the Opening Ceremony of the Beijing Olympics, Ishioka’s grotesque yet glamorous creations influenced Fast’s autumn/winter aesthetic. The collection was a tribute to the late designer as well as Japanese visual allusions more generally; a celebration of the drama of costume and its role in performance.
Fast’s spectacular, fringed pieces stole the show with their stunning, voluminous silhouettes and graceful movement. Made from a myriad of distressed threads, fringed pieces had the appearance of beautiful, dishevelled feathers. According to the show notes, Fast was inspired by the idea of a fallen angel at work on earth during the night – between heaven and hell, darkness and clarity. There was certainly an otherworldliness to the designs and a touch of the fantastical that moved me.
His signature tight-fitting knits were present too, peeping from beneath dramatic bias-cut cashwool capes. An intense colour palette of black, soft pink, fuchsia, orange and red accompanied the intricate knits; my favourite piece was a lurid pink cape with the aforementioned feather-effect, which gave the appearance of a spectacular bird of paradise.
For AW13 Fast collaborated with celebrated footwear designer Eelko Moorer to create elaborate, stocking-style footwear, which managed to be at once delicate and bold. Black knitted headwear became a severe motif of the collection that tempered the form-fitting shapes and sumptuous textures.
The collection was considered, refined and concentrated in its visual impact. I can’t wait to see where Fast goes next.
The show took place in the stunning new ME Hotel. Just opposite Somerset House on the Strand it was the perfect location for the more intimate shows and presentations. They also have an amazing roof terrace, with beautiful views across London from Covent Garden to the Southbank – I can’t wait to visit in Summer!