When the first model walked out in what looked like a wedding gown with a vast train, made from what looked like a parachute in army green, at the AF Vandevorst show on Friday, one had to ask if this was supposed to be a déjà vu couture moment, as in those fabulous wedding gowns that often close those shows, or a design intended to chime in with the WWI centenary events this year.
It was a striking beginning for a show which started as it meant to go on. What followed were other eye-catching looks that put a new spin on sculptural fashion. Think starched embellishments attached to outfits that were structured to jut out at angles like literal walking sculptures.
Beyond the fashion, the designer also managed to transport his audience with a hypnotic sound track which sounded like Bjork, and the simple, yet dramatic staging of having models walk onto the catwalk through a veil of smoke and lights, with the smoke rolling over the runway like mist.
There was definitely a hint of the army or a Lawrence of Arabia type in the sexy, utilitarian gear of these women who walked in beiges, greens and browns to begin with, showing what looked like stiff sculptural flourishes added to some of the designs, like a hairdo sprayed tight that winds out at an unthinkable angle from the side of the head.