Louise Goldin AW10
Peter Pilotto AW10 showHussein Chalayan AW10
"Designers came face to face with fashion's final frontier this season, with space-age sculptural pieces that owed more to 2001: A Space Odyssey than to A/W10. Hussein Chalayan gave us swirling tube dresses, embellished with intergalactic glitter and finished with spiralling headdresses that looked like a hungry galaxy eating a model alive.
And Peter Pilotto's signature mineral prints – which always look like so many stars twinkling in the night sky – came on soft dresses, structured and made sharp by delicate, neo-classical drapery. This dichotomy of fluidity and rigidity mirrors that romantic but very visceral maxim of even the wispiest-looking constellation: they have witnessed tremors and upheavals in time and space that we will never know of, and we just think they're pretty.
Louise Goldin's collection had this fearsome but delicate feel, where dresses and skirts had an armour-like quality of protective cladding, but swooped out at hips and shoulders in ethereal and decidedly un-ergonomic ways.
The look recalls the fusion of femininity and futurism that the likes of Cardin and Courreges were striving for in the Sixties. Against a backdrop of science-fiction and the Space Race, designers became concerned with modern dressing. But how to soften the austerity that inevitably came with the hard angles and rigid geometry associated with ideas of modernity?
By moulding them into something more fully three-dimensional. The flat-cut A-line shift was contoured with circle-cut coats and capes – early incarnations of Margiela's circle coat of black leather for S/S09. Cardin's balloon dress of 1959 stood away from the body but could be reeled in by way of a drawstring, while André Courreges' Couture Future line, which launched in 1968, was based around circles and tubular lines in clinical white.
Cardin is also known for his space-age tube dress, made from his own patented 'cardine' fabric (a sort of stretchy viscose), made rigid with integral rings spaced along the length of the body. They're a cross between a black hole and those tubes that children crawl through during obstacle courses.
So, to recap, how do we reconcile the romance of star-gazing with the unknowable chaos that lies beyond our skies? By sculpting our own universe, from the flows and folds of fashionable futurism."