LFWM: Katie Eary SS18

13 June 2017

Photographer Caoimhe Hahn
Words Jonny Clowes

The first few recognisable bars of 'Born Slippy' (a song we have already heard this season during Astrid Andersen’s show) teased us into thinking that we were about to see another slippery, silky selection of designs by Katie Eary. But as Underworld’s well-known song was remixed by Aymen Ahmed and a trap beat kicked in, the clothing took a similar urban twist. Katie’s signature printed silk still held its ground in the collection, but this season saw a collaboration with BOY London, Pretty Green and Spliffy, and the streetwear brands’ input was evident. A welcome invigoration for the brand.

Delicate materials of past seasons strengthened into heavy trims and neoprene. Katie’s recognisable soft palette of turquoise blue and rose pink took an acid trip at some point in the show and transformed into psychedelic vibrance - high-vis greens, highlighter blues and day-glo splashes led the press release to compare the show to a ‘post-apocalyptic MTV beach party’, and we don’t disagree. It was like a dance off: the tie-waist kimonos and shirts vs. the short-sleeved jumpers and hoodies. The beautiful boys and girls let loose as personified Party vibrated down the runway, sexual tension growing in the steps between them. Their track tops matched their tracksuit bottoms, which were crawling with clashing insect prints - held up by bungee-cord belts, but slung low to expose silky boxers.

Cheeky and playful, the outfits revisited the designer’s own streetwear-obsessed adolescence. Carefree. Youthful. For young people, high fashion (like many things - I’m looking at you, Politics) often seems inaccessible and intimidating, not to mention pricey. But Katie turns her attention to accessibility, designing from the bottom up and resting somewhere between elegant luxe, hip-hop and those kaleidoscopic market stalls you always walk past. Katie has always wallowed in comfort, smooth and flowing, but this menswear and womenswear show was different. It was for the young, and it was of the young. Politicians take note.

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