Youthful aspiration was the theme of Amy Thomson’s AW18 ‘Chasin’ Dreams’; the sophomore collection from this eponymous brand bridged the gap between fashion and illustration, incorporating elements of surface pattern design in bold silhouettes. The models wore tongue-in-cheek headpieces by Sassy Freak using iconic childhood toys to create tiaras of brightly coloured troll dolls, My Little Pony, and Barbie heads. Each piece in the collection of eight complete looks embodied a magical aesthetic of whimsical wonderment, with metallics, volume, and unusual textiles in every shade of pink from palest blush to bold fuchsia and vibrant rose, offset by royal blues and crisp lilacs.
Here models played characters, each a persona or a profession as seen through a child’s eyes. Whether a Princess, a Baker, or a Hairdresser – what do these roles look like in the innocence of childhood? How do children define adult professions without preconception?
Volume was key; frills, crinolines, and structured shapes emphasised exaggerated silhouettes and fullness in bold garments amidst a backdrop of cotton candy clouds and oversized soft toys. Hand-rendered illustrative drawings gave a charm and naiveté to the collection, in keeping with the dreamlike narrative and ensuring no two pieces were the same. Textiles played on texture and shine, with metallic leathers and lamé in rosy shades of pinks and purples, plush faux furs, and the lustre of smoothest satin; models sporting lavender eyelids and glitter highlight hugged teddy bears in place of handbags in this amped up, uber feminine slumber party.
Thomson was influenced by designers Claire Barrow and Shrimps, and the illustrator Frida Wannaberger; the collection tells a narrative through her love of surface patterns, but one that is open to interpretation by the viewer. The interplay between childlike and almost primitive illustrations of ‘ugly’ faces across beautiful garments in a ‘pretty’ palette of almost stereotypically feminine shades was a motif throughout the collection.
Each piece had a three-dimensional feel, with bows, ribbons, and frills atop lustrous silk satins and metallic leathers, with embroidered embellishments adding a playful element to a faux fur coat in dusky mauve. Standout pieces reinterpreted silhouettes and garment construction, with an ankle-grazing structured frock in a pastel lilac foil and a voluminous dress in bubblegum pink satin with tiers of ruffles a stunning play on proportions. ‘Chasin’ Dreams’ positively sparkled.