60 Years A Queen. Harris Reed AW22

London Fashion Week started on a high note with Harris Reed‘s sophomore collection. The phenomenal autumn-winter 2022 collection, staged at the Saint John the Evangelist Church, was accompanied by Sam Smith’s live performance of Desirée’s “Kissing You”. The musician was surrounded by an elaborate set of paper clouds and models wearing creations made from repurposed fabrics. And here’s another magical detail about Reed’s latest outing: those fabrics came from the home of the heir to the Bussandri upholstery empire, who the designer happened to meet in a café in Northern Italy where his mother lives. “She looked like Donatella Versace’s twin sister. I said, ‘I love your bag.’ She said, ‘Oh, it’s actually from our villa…” And the rest is history. Titled “60 Years a Queen” after Sir Herbert Maxwell’s 1897 book about Queen Victoria, Reed’s collection investigated Victoriana through a “Yas, queen!” club kid lens. “I love how queer culture took on this regal fabulousness,” he explained, gesturing at a gender-nonbinary house model wearing an elongated plush golden suit repurposed from those Bussandri fabrics. As for the rest of the young designer’s silhouettes, they weren’t exemplary of a collection created to explore a specific design idea. Rather, they were DIY-esque explorations of the language of haute couture, and, to a larger degree, testament to the fact that the Harris Reed brand isn’t necessarily about design, anyway. It’s about him as a performative phenomenon rooted in the generational values expressed through his genderless creations and the nonbinary people he puts them in. The message was illustrated in a breastplate spliced from a male and female torso, then pierced with arrows Saint Sebastian-style. But Reed is far from a martyr to his cause. In fact, business is going so well he’s happy he didn’t go down the ready-to-wear route like some of his Central Saint Martins classmates.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Majestic. Harris Reed Ss22

Harris Reed‘s spactacular debut show took place in the Serpentine Pavilion with a performance by the artist Kelsey Lu, making this experience even more heavenly and as ethereal as the designer’s spotlight-stealing garments. As you may have already gathered, Reed isn’t your average emerging designer. While he was still studying, a chance meeting with the celebrity stylist Harry Lambert earned him a commission for Harry Styles, whose image was made for the fluid romanticism in which Reed deals. The pop star’s 39 million followers kicked in, and just like that, a star was born. As his debut show demonstrated, Reed thrives in the costume territory. He repurposed bridal and groom’s wear sourced from the British charity chain Oxfam into majestic hybrids of gowns and tuxedos, topping them off with enormous spherical headpieces that have become his trademark. The way he cut his dresses was imaginative and resourceful to say the least. Most successful were the ones that showed more silhouette, like a tuxedo jacket chopped into a bolero and elongated with a veil that cascaded like a waterfall, turning it into a dress. The hats made for the most DIY-looking element of the show and could perhaps have done with some less obviously recycled fabrication. But that wasn’t the point. “Everything is about being huge and being seen,” Reed said. It was true for the outfit he created for Iman at last week’s Met Gala. He spent the fittings talking to the supermodel about her late husband David Bowie, who featured heavily on his collection mood boards, and to whom he paid tribute in a striped glam rock suit made out of strips cut from said second-hand finds. Reed shares his Bowie mania with Alessandro Michele, with whom he interned at Gucci for nine months after being invited to be a part of the brand’s roster of cutting-edge cool kids, who get ferried around the world for events. Harris’ “demi-couture”aims to fly the flag for gender fluidity and nonconformity. He’s also an internet sensation and celebrity favorite, which is a major talent in its own right. And he’s only just begun.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Le Palace, Jane and The Past. Gucci SS19


The first day of fashion week felt like a present you’ve been waiting for for a long time, but in the end you didn’t really get what you wanted. Three collections: the boringly beautiful Dior (rumoured to be the last coming from Maria Grazia Chiuri), very obvious Jacquemus and the one-time-only Gucci show in the French capital, which from the three felt the most exciting. The last part of Alessandro Michele’s French trilogy (we had the 1968 student protest inspired advertising campaign and the memorable, ‘on fire’ resort 2019 collection in Arles) ended up in Le Palace, the historically famous club that used to be the Mecca for such night-goers like Yves Saint Laurent, Bianca Jagger or Karl Lagerfeld. Through the film that was played in the beginning of the show, we learned that the experimental theatre of Leo de Berardinis and Perla Peragallo served as a reference for Michele’s spring-summer 2019 creations. The clothes couldn’t be more theatrically dramatic, in the designer’s signature, eclectic sense. The models seemed to have played historical dress-up in an old, costume treasure chest just before the show. The overall style was quintessentially Alessandro: vintage-y, opulent, at points simply kitsch. Even though the designer champions gender fluidity in his collections, which is wonderful especially at such a globally renowned brand like Gucci, I honestly think that his latest line-up dug too deep in the past. Additional nostalgia was brought by Jane Birkin, who in the middle of the show stood up from her front row seat and started to sing the melancholic Baby Alone in Babylone. Don’t get me wrong. The spectacle (it can be hardly called a ‘fashion show’) was a masterpiece. But the fashion part, even if tried hard to remind of Parisian clubbing chic, was monotonously Michele who we see every single season. Aesthetically I absolutely can’t relate to this collection. How about the true Gucci customer? I guess anything goes.


Collage by Edward Kanarecki.