From above I could see only a glimpse of the dark space below. The atmospheric lighting lured me downstairs deep into the Institute of Contemporary Arts where Paula Knorr‘s first collection for London Fashion Week was being exclusively revealed to its guests.
The set, which was in near-darkness, was lined with rich red velvet while warm ambient spot-lighting highlighted the details of each model and each look. The sultry yet sophisticated atmosphere had undoubtedly captured the attention of the audience; inviting them to engage intensely in the expressive details of each garment.
Obtrusive red blocks concealing digital screens stood among the models displaying pre-recorded videos as the models, turn-by-turn, strutted throughout the set, drawing us in closer.
Paula Knorr’s SS17 collection was about bringing back her faith in her artistic propensities. It was about starting back where she began: no fashion, just painting and sketching.
The collection expresses the fluidity and emotion behind female sexuality through the use of delicate fabrics and soft hues. Self-portraits and paintings were digitised into prints and can be seen on slim turtlenecks and relaxed tailoring. Knorr’s sketches became weightless embroidery on illusion tulle, and her signature designs of moulded shapes were redefined into satin pants, soft leather tops, and metallic dresses with a liquid likeness.
“Matted cotton velvets, waxed leathers, liquid silk velvets, satins, and metallic leathers enable me to translate my powerful emotions into the physical, while contrasting with the softness of my sketches and colour palette. Paired together they build an assortment of overlap and exposure; they complement and support each other – a prospective constituent of feminism’s survival.”
Words by Kristie Smith
Images by Andrew Gough