- Photography Ben Parks
- Text Lisa Walden
- 9th January 2017
Debuting their inaugural collection with Fashion East for FW17, ART SCHOOL designers Eden Loweth and Tom Barratt took a nod at art collectives Ballet Russes and Bauhaus in a performative presentation and collaboration with Theo Adams Company. Soviet reds, bright yellows, and lime checks were the colour of choice for the duo, as the legendary British filmmaker Derek Jarman’s work Chroma served as the inspiration.
“It’s all about a celebration of queer the queer form,” the pair explained before the presentation. “We work a lot on the queer body. Everyone here is a non-model – the people here are our friends who we love and care for.”
Surprise cartoon motifs and a collaboration with Swarovski were transferred onto logo t-shirts, loose clusters of crystal, and a gender-fluid whirlwind of brilliant ideas. “The all-over embroidery in Swarovski gives this kind of blanket coating to the more workwear inspired pieces, but there’s also a more elegant and decorative, Hollywood use of crystal,” explained Loweth and Barratt.
Non-binary identities were examined by the boys, as thick pastel paints were smeared across the models’ faces in their usual expression of freedom and daily dose of agenda-setting quirkiness. “The designers have re-interpreted key pieces from their own wardrobes and those of their close friends into a into a cohesive collection that reflects non-binary identity,” read the show notes. “The designers elevate queer style as a response to the times in which they live.” It was a promising debut, full of queer joy.