When cult meets couture; you get an explosion of complete and utter madness and complete and utter madness was definitely the mind frame of Ziad Ghanem when he began the construction of his autumn 2011 collection, of which the entire fashion world wanted to ‘never end, never end, never end’.
The most shocking revelation to come out of London Fashion Week this autumn season was the gothic romance - meets Heath Ledger’s ‘Joker’ - collection of fashion designer Ziad Ghanem. Full of creativity, eccentricism and theatricality; his attention to details cultivated into the sensory overload of lace and feathers and sequins.
‘the same garment viewed in a dark, gothic context by one
viewer will be interpreted as romantic and liberating by the next.’
Among the obvious influences of Ghanem’s collection, Silent Hill – the survival horror video game – was at the heart of the collection as Ghanem seamlessly intertwines the characteristics of its monsters into each piece of the collection.
The show was unveiled by a stunning piece of performance; with the red-headed model’s black skirts tumbling as she grew before our eyes into a 12 foot burlesque bride. Her large emerald green feathered fans swooped as she sashayed down the catwalk on the 12 ft tall wheeled contraption. Ghanem toyed with an array of billowing Asian printed capes, figure accentuating embroidered bodices and gowns in a medley of vintage silk chiffons, duchess satins and Moroccan crepes, all of which elegantly presented by the most diverse assortment of models any catwalk has ever seen.
In the eclectic collection of models that Ghanem paraded down the catwalk of Freemason’s Hall in Covent Garden, there walked transvestites, burlesque artists and a giant lady in grey. Each model played a hand in painting their faces with reddened eyes, cracked cheeks and ‘Joker’ smiles.
One of the most interesting theatrics to come out of that evening was the particularly striking, Frankenstein inspired bride and groom. Together, they faced the photographers, hand in hand, wearing black and white bridal attire, trailing rumpled netting behind.
Taking a leaf out of McQueen’s book - when his show resembled that of a Victorian mental hospital with the pinnacle of the show being the unveiling of the entombed women with a body littered with live moths - Ziad definitely achieved the title of Theatre Master this fashion season by challenging every single tradition of Fashion Week and converting the typical catwalk show into a theatrical masterpiece that would even rival the eccentric factor of a Tim Burton film. Amidst the dramatics of the evening, his haute couturier skills stole the show creating a new edge to the gothic trend taking hold of the fashion world.
Being one of the most anticipated collections to come out of this season’s shows, Ghanem broke the boundaries of freedom of expression by not just manipulating but completely annihilating the traditions of Fashion Week.