By Ross Pollard – Emerging Fashion Editor
Sometimes it’s a fashion show, sometimes a designer gives you a real show, and so it was that Malan Breton arrived at Victoria House with a catwalk that included musical interludes and a ballet performance.
This was a celebration of 15 years as a designer for the former model, dancer and singer. From tender young talent to a must see of London Fashion Week, we were treated to a new collection that borrowed from his past, this wasn’t just a collection, it was a deeply personal retrospective of one of the great talents of our industry.
At this point dear reader I should probably say as way of bias awareness that Malan Breton is a close friend of mine, and as such seeing him explore his archive of ideas had a deep connection for me, he’s also been a loyal supporter of mine so allow me the indulgence of telling parts of the story of the man not just talk about the clothes, it’s going to be a whistle stop tour so hold tight!!!
We saw elements of his love of film theatre and the red carpet in the gowns, and nods to the tailoring he learned under Arnold Scaasi that we’ll no doubt see during awards season, this was classic glamour, noir textiles glinting with crystals and sequins.
We were given the menswear which was added later when he launched Malan Homme, the Malan suit with it’s sharp edges and winged shoulders has become part of his signature were there as were the bold use of print and colour that he brought with him when he relocated from New York a couple of years ago.
There were also notes of his heritage with touches of Parisian couture, Malan Breton learned so much of his early needle craft at the feet of his much missed Grandmother in his formative years in the City Of Light, and of course the Hakka prints of Taiwan, the other half of his mixed heritage.
But there were also the lighter fun looks, ones that have led him to dress Kylie & a host of other stars, and of course seen occasionally on Ru Pauls Drag Race.
Malan Breton the activist also made an appearance, the ballet performance I mentioned, it was a statement by the designer relating to that weeks attack on a male dancer.
It’s hard to dip into your archive for inspiration without it feeling like a museum exhibit, but Malan Breton has with collection taken the inspirations and created a new life for the ideas. It’s as chic and full of life as ever, the dressing of a fabulous party with flowing champagne, dancing and joy until the early hours, it left me excited for the next 15 years.