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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

London Fashion Week: Giles

Daryoush Haj-Najafi reports...

While Gareth Pugh is set to show in Paris this season, that hardly means London's talent pool has run dry. In fact, I'd venture to say that Giles Deacon has never, ever had a duff show—and not just because his former girlfriend, Pop editor and fashion colossus Katie Grand, works alongside him. It has to do with taste, a quality not mentioned enough in show reports. Only yesterday, Fantastic Man's Charlie Porter and I were discussing the surprising lack of taste in so many young collections, but this has never been Giles' problem. He has the stuff in spades: color, cut, everything.

Giles' spring collection yesterday reflected a shift from his modernist baroque aesthetic to his hard-edged and graphic roots, when he worked at Bottega Veneta and Dazed & Confused in the 90s. Back then, his own appearance was not dissimilar to the Pet Shop Boys' Chris Lowe at his most iconic—in fact, their videos were cited as an early influence. At one time, Giles was even a Bang & Olufsen model. Now his collections have gone from angular sophistication to the embodiment of the moneyed life you imagine his dresses dancing off to, but married with a cheery English charm, hence the happy Pac Man hats.

So that's were the show came from, then mixed with a multitude of ideas, enough to sustain some designers' entire careers. There were the new season's bright colors (not primary, not pop, maybe plastic), the full spectrum of skirt lengths, a few patent materials, clean lines and, with Prada-like contrariness, gray camouflage prints—a collection both pro and anti-commercial.

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