Ten principal dancers from the Royal Ballet glide down the catwalk en pointe; like models in heels, but oh so vibrant and joyful. Their movements are choreographed to a soundtrack which is mixed live during the show; it had previously been co-composed by the designer herself along with the Brit-award winning and Oscar-nominated composer Nick Wollage. For me, this added a glorious new dimension to the idea of what a ‘runway show’ can be.
Of course, there was design artistry and the collaboration of Jayne Pierson and Derek Lawler tackled pre-conceptions of textiles, like leather - often associated with fetish, and wool – old-fashioned connotations, but there was also a skillfully applied human connection so often missing from shows where young women, some incarcerated in rigid and restrictive sample garments parade gingerly and fearfully (ill conceived footwear permitting) down the runway.
Wearing their ballet shoes and sporting crimped beehive hairstyles, the dancers in possession of natural eleganceand muscular, graceful bodies, compelled every iPhone owner in the building to record the spectacle.
No, it didn’t obstruct the viewing of the clothes. Yes, I did feel uplifted and excited. Let others write about the collection.
I know I will be including this catwalk show in all the student presentations I do for All Walks this coming season, to show that diversity and individuality can be played out in many interesting ways.
Post by Caryn Franklin, Co-founder of All Walks Beyond the Catwalk. On Twitter @Caryn_Franklin
Photography by Ross Pierson