Fringe award winning Corrie Nielsen’s SS13 show was certainly one of the most looked-for ones in the first day of this London Fashion Week. “I’ve put my all into this collection. It’s probably my most stressful to date, but it will be the most remarkable!” stated the rousing Central Saint Martins graduated designer days before the show. It certainly was.
Jungle ambient music immersed the crowd in an exotic world where the models emerged wrapped in pastel palette luxurious metallic silks, walking unhurriedly the catwalk in sculptural shapes. Among paradise bird chirps, statement lightweight red carpet ready dresses which would delight Florence Welch – who’s regularly dressed with Corrie Nielsen designs- appeared along with tailored separates with the indispensable signature tie-neck blouse. After a couple of lily a-like headdresses and a palm tree embroidered dress, it soon became clear botanic was the reigning motif.
The floral story idea started out with the time Corrie Nielsen spent in the quintessentially British Royal Botanic Gardens. It’s this impressively beautiful outdoor space in London where she started cultivating the floral story that she decided to plant in her studio based in the vaults of Somerset House, precisely the venue where the show took place. Even Florilegium, a Medieval Latin word which means the gathering of flowers, chosen by the designer to summate her latest collection already suggested the Leif motif.
But it was not all about the perks of being a delicate flower, it was the mysterious wild character of nature which was portrayed. Opposed to the subtle fine layers of silk there was the complexities of petals, sepals and anthers recreated in intricate shapes and exaggerated elements like peplums and jacket bosoms. The most primary aspect of the flora was depicted in restricted sleeved coats which wrapped up the models in a rigid cocoon.
The endpoint of the show was an avant-garde dip-dyed wedding dress in a gradient of grey with large sculpted petals at the waist followed by trailing swathes of layered ivory silk. This showpiece condensed both the calm and the dramatic hues that filled the collection. The charm wild nature lures us in with and the complexity that might sometimes go unnoticed but Corrie’s modern coutourier skills masterly brought out.
By Marta F. Diaz-Alejo