Walking around Somerset House during London Fashion Week can make even the most humble fashionista feel like they possess Rihanna-esque stardom with the constant throngs of picture-taking paps, street-style bloggers and journalists crowding the place. So walking to the last show at the BFC Show Space for Haizhen Wang’s AW13 collection was like approaching a hornet’s nest with swarms of paps going wild at the sight of the glam-squad fashionista crew in their last endeavour for ultra-vogue-dom. The reason for this pandemonium-chic becomes instantly understandable if you take a look at Haizhen Wang’s work and ever since he won the Fashion Fringe award last year his name is huge . And with Vitamin Water on tap, masses of people vying for seats, bright lights ready, paps prepped, the industrial tones of factory work (remixed by Andy Turner) started to crash out across the runway and the last catwalk show finally began (only fractionally – or should that be fashionably- late).
Haizhen’s collection was amazing and smart in the way that each part of the music, visors and dark futuristic fashion seemed to fit his vision for AW13 which I too could visualize and felt included in. Haizhen had such a unique Gothic , edgy interpretation for his AW13 collection which highlighted some of the other key trends across LFW AW13 shows, such as dynamic layering, visor headpieces and bold structural outerwear. The whole collection had a certain end of the world, new wave futuristic feel with the visor-mesh headpieces from our wonderful chum Maria Piana (whose wonderful warrior jewellery I have gushed about previously) set against the industrial clangs of the textile machines used in the music and the unusual architectural structure to Haizhen’s layering.
Admittedly the sleeping bag coats will never be for everyone’s taste, however their impression of volume and weight juxtaposed against the puffy, airy nature of the duffle material lusciously layered upon each other showed a great eye for architect and had a strong visual impact on the runway. I likened many of his looks like this to the iconic fashions of Jean-Paul Gaultier in the futuristic 90s film, Fifth Element. If you haven’t seen it a) what is wrong with you? and b) go and watch it now for the brilliant way Jean Paul Gaultier both layers garments inventively on Bruce Willis and exposes flesh seductively at the same time with Milla Jovovich.
Even the leather biker jacket was updated by Haizhen as he added some depth to his collections’ muted tones with a dusty red bustress shape for his leather jacket. Although black is huge for AW13 – which is a bit strange to say as black is one of those timeless colours that is always ‘in’ however it is even more ‘in’ next season – Haizhen sliced through reds, greens and cobalt blues to give some attitude and industrial accents to his outerwear, as shown below.
The statement finale piece for the collection consisted of a metal bodice worn under ribbed sleeveless jacket with a silky leg-slit skirt . This last look was truly fantastic because it symbolised the essence of Wang’s entire collection in as much as clothes can match the evolving nature of the city’s architecture and for that reason we must always be ready for what the future holds and must mould our clothes to the city’s urban nature.
AW13 gets us all ready for the future to come which can sometimes be a scary thing, especially if you just caught Chanel 4′s Utopia which I was hooked on. But for the present London sashays the fashion baton elegantly to our glamorous Milanese partners to see what Italy has to offer. Suffice to say Haizen Wang’s AW13 urban soldiers seem to be ready for anything . Are you?