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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

London Fashion Week: Marios Schwab

Anticipation was thick for Marios Schwab's fall collection at Topshop’s University of Westminster show space, where I was squeezed into a banquette with the Daily Rubbish’s Piers Atkinson and ex-BoomBox don Richard Mortimer (whose Ponystep.com project is under construction).

And Marios didn’t disappoint, inspired by The Yellow Wallpaper, a feminist short story by Charlotte Perkins Gilman in which a woman goes mad after being confined to a small room by her husband. (Marios also had a little help from the Swiss Textile Federation, whose prize of 100,000 euros he won last November). Out came models in double-layer stretch dresses (which were cut out at the hipbone to reveal fleshy patterns or skinny stonewashed jeans underneath), cropped deep-blue furs (with dramatically high funnel necklines), Swarovski beads, and even giant circular bags and variations on the peacoat (yes, Marios does bags and peacoats). Designed by Tom Gallant, the busy wallpaper-like prints were stunning, particularly on a black shredded dress.

This was Marios' strongest, most complete, most cohesive collection to date, one where his graphic leanings met soul (if tortured). London Fashion Week might have been up and running for two days, but now it feels like it's started.


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