Aesthetically and ideologically on day one of London Fashion Week; I'd reached the epitome of my experience. With floral girls with corsages in their hair, all prairie and elfin in sorbet shades of Peach, Cream and Candy Pinks, proudly boasting bodice detailing, ruffles, romance and extravagance of every kind; this was a very Carly Florentine collection. My penchant for sheer blouses, layers, pussy bow-ties, pleats and folds and quaint collars were more than adequately satiated. The depiction of damsels sashaying in Edwardian finery with their darling wispy low ponytails cut an enticing dash. 'The Unknown' for SS/12 contains a charmingly poignant quote central to it's underlying philosophy 'Have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves'.
It was inspired by the finding of four well-loved postcards at a Geneva Antiques Market of an elegant lady, beautiful in their images alone but it was the written message that served as the catalyst for the collection. "Written in France in 1905 by a young lady named Rose, they disclose her love for Charles. But as the fate of the relationship was unknown we are left to wonder whether happiness or heartbreak loomed ahead". This Edwardian element was showcased throughout but perhaps most dramatically in the epic cocktail dress where the labels demi-couture signature is shown with hand-sculpted leather roses, lace, draping and startling pleating.
As the runway graduated from garment to garment it was done in a synchronicity with the idea of Rose and Charles' relationships' trajectory, for example in dress silhouettes, the optimism is alluded to in their delicate taking on of the curved and flowing lines of Rose's handwriting- getting subtly saucier with the sweeping curves and lines forming more seductive shapes of cinched waist and corseted chests.
As well as the dreamy dresses; separates were key including blouses, jackets and trousers in Georgette, Cottons and Tulle's, to toy with texture. As the advancement of the show took hold we move on from the pretty pinks and biscuit tones, so associated with the coy days of early courtship to the striking and curious combinations of coral and cobalt and midnight blues with black which are more reminiscent of complicated romance and a souring of the sweet bird of love. Perhaps it was time for Rose to pack her bags, but while we don't know what happened to their affair, one can hope they find happiness ultimately.
As far as the showmanship was concerned, it was not only a beautiful and sentimental offering but also a rather thrilling one. Rock music played suggestive of New York City fun and had all the attitude and promise that a city of that pedigree inspires. While the ten models sauntered with swagger and calm airs- then culminating in a choreographed final parade like a sassy flock of birds enchanting the sky.