It’s so difficult to know what to say about a collection that has already been written about numerous times since it marched down the runway over a week ago. So too is it hard to approach things with a fresh outlook, when my opinions remain generally the same as they have been for the last couple of years. I’ve read all about the Elizabethan influences in various articles, and Edward told me personally that it is the first collection in a while that he was truly happy with.
The only insight I can bring now is one of a person who religiously searches for Meadham Kirchhoff items online, and has watched avidly as the exquisite collections have unravelled, much more so in fact than somebody approaching them from a buyer’s perspective of questioning what will sell in a store, or a magazine editor’s stance of what will jump out in full-colour spreads. This collection distils the Meadham Kirchhoff woman to a pulse, something that you could say was reflected in the soundtrack – a loud, dull heartbeat – and one that is not brisk, but flows with delicate sass. The mantra of an ‘uncompromising’ character is something that truly came out in these clothes, clashing natural snakeskin, gold and multicoloured embroidery in single looks; while achieving this truly Meadham Kirchhoff quality is something that felt slightly lacking in their AW13 collection (which of course is a bold statement considering the designs still radiated from the same heads).
I certainly derived the impression of traditional Alpine prairie outfits in some of the looks, not least because of the platinum blonde curls, which were layered at the back with silk bows, the Jacobean-style floral patterning and beautiful hats, which would surely look far from out of place in the Sound of Music. This all seemed to hark a little to AW11 (which had strong connotations with rustic pastures and frolicking, immaculately dressed goat herders), while the restrained colour palette reminded me of their earlier monochrome collections, perhaps also referencing last season’s muted vibrancy. The fact that even Edward was satisfied, which sometimes sounds as if it is a rare thing, really seems to come through in the clothes, and I am all too excited to see them up close in order to experience their true, un-virtualised beauty.
Oh and ‘Ante Dominai’, the ever-elusive title of the collection (since I haven’t seen this addressed anywhere): sort of translates as ‘Before the Lord’, except that ‘Domini’ would be the correct Latin – perhaps ‘Dominai’ is an East London take on this, influenced by the likes of Ali G? A powerful offering from Ed and Ben for SS14.