Cuckoo for Rococo: My New Favourite Designers – Meadham Kirchhoff

Ed Meadham and Ben Kirchhoff of Meadham Kirchhoff fame have become my new favourite designers.  WHY hadn’t I come across them before?! The SS13 show from the recent London Fashion Week was a Rococo-inspired fantasy which I completely fell in love with.  I know we’re supposed to be oh-so-critical of collections but I just have to gush a bit on this one.  Indulge me.

The Talent:

The British Fashion Council website sums up the designing duo in a somewhat hilariously succinct way: “Edward is English. Benjamin is from Sete in the South of France. Edward studied womenswear and Benjamin studied menswear, both at Central Saint Martins. They launched a menswear label, “Benjamin Kirchhoff”, after graduating.”  You can definitely see the french influence in the Versailles-esque styling (divine!) and you can certainly see the menswear influence in the deft tailoring (albeit gloriously deshabille) of the corsetry and jackets…these guys know their stuff.

The Show:

It was also refreshing to see how Meadham Kirchhoff chose to stage their latest collection.  I say ‘stage’ because they upped the theatrical ante with sets and props galore! The show hearkened back to the classic fashion shows held in lovely salons in the 1920s, 30’s and 40’s, where elegant models looking beautifully bored swish and sway slowly so that customers can properly see the clothes they want to buy (see scenes in Roberta or Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day to get the idea).  This really makes more sense than speed-stomping down a runway if you think about it!  The MK models lazily walked around several decorative screens and chairs like tiny domestic vignettes of Marie Antoinette’s Petit Trianon, while pulling petals from flowers and licking frosting from cupcakes.

The Favourite:

My favourite look is seen in the first photo above with the matador embroidery and the Zorro-esque spanish style hat.  It looks so fantastically feminine and masculine at the same time and is totally of the top, I love it!  This is a great example of the Baroque trend reffering back to it’s more elegant cousin, Rococo.  I think I will try to find one of these fantastic flat-top medium-brimmed hats somewhere as I’m seeing a trend!  Headonism at LFW featured a great designer, Charlie Le Mindu who created an entire collection called ‘Kosher Dreams‘  inspired by orthodox jewish style (but also Zorro no?).

I can’t wait to see what Meadham Kirchhoff might come up with next.  As fashion historians know, often the most exciting designs come out of austere economic times when we could most use a fantasy of opulence. I have certainly been dazzled.

Ruby x

Photos above are from style.com

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