In a global climate of fear, political unrest and uncertainty about what’s coming next, the graduates of La Cambre Mode[s] in Brussels decided to embrace the lyrical, expressive and opulent side of fashion last weekend, delivering a show that was energetic, inspired and powerful. The creativity nurtured by the school usually leads to striking and impressive results, enhancing the individuality of each student. This year, it was lovely to see graduates purely enjoy fashion and go for it. Gangsters, rock stars, dissidents and rebels were some of the evening’s key protagonists.
The menswear collections clearly stood out, with some bold and directional proposals. Is it because we are tired of seeing so many generic -and meaningless- womenswear shows that menswear suddenly feels fresh and transgressive? From Loubna Ouaqqa’s flamboyant bad boys to Claire Delahousse’s punk renegades, it was fascinating to see 3rd year female graduates reinterpret the male wardrobe and add their own take on gender fluid looks. Presenting a stunning collection -and although still in his 3rd year- Mathieu Goosse offered dramatic shapes, refined fabrications and strong lines, which echoed traditional Couture while remaining current. The 4th year graduates also had strong messages to deliver, from Abdel El Tayeb architecturally-minded frocks -he walked away with 3 prizes- to Marguerite Tenot’s luxurious brocades and unique sense of prints, which struck a fine line between deranged and elegant.
Surprisingly perhaps, the 5th year graduates were much more subdued -and rather strategic- in their offerings, which in the end felt like an anti-climax. Even though some of the collections were beautifully put together, technically accomplished and artistically inspired, from Louis Appelmans’ exquisite tailoring to Marguerite Barroux’ deconstructed femininity, they failed to convey the necessary emotion and excess, which had been building-up throughout the presentation. We all know that final year collections are walking portfolios for the graduates -and in that sense they delivered the goods- but more madness and spontaneity would have been welcome. After all, our world has reached new heights of insanity, and fashion should have no qualms reflecting it.
/ Words by Philippe Pourhashemi /
/ Runway pictures by copyright ©catwalkpictures /