Luxury knitwear designer Mark Fast was one of the rare designers at London Fashion Week who decided to stage a traditional catwalk show. In the past, he was vocal how only a live show can create that special moment when a collection truly comes together. “By not having a show we wouldn’t be able to witness the moment and therefore we wouldn’t be able to share it digitally with our audience,” he spoke to Fashion United about the previous season. “When it comes to fashion and creating fashion/being part of a movement, contributing to culture, we aren’t simply creating clothes/garments - we are creating a look,” he added. This season, the show was staged in a space without guests. The only audiences were bright lights and cameras.
In the new collection, we can recognize two separate worlds: reality and fantasy. Unisex pieces, lifting restrictions of gender norms, were accompanied by feminine demi couture dresses, celebrating femininity and sexuality. As a response to a world of realistic casual dressing, there were more ready-to-wear dressed down pieces. We saw cropped oversized puffer coats, waterproof coats, colourful cardigans, miniskirts, and winter scarves featuring the Mark Fast intasia signature. A wide-leg demi couture jumpsuit was paired with a cotton trench coat, a sign of the ‘now’ merging with the fantasy of ‘what will be’. 
For demi couture dresses, Fast imagined a colour palette of under the sea tones ranging from dark blue to lighter greener shades. He invited us into a new space of mystery of the seas, on the quest to find beauty within the darkest spaces. It was his signature knitted dresses with sensual silhouette, imitating delicate movements of seagrass, that truly transported us into the most remote corners of the world under the sea. Daydreaming of an imaginary underwater civilization was hinted at with mermaid-like sequins and nets, celebrating the ocean as a constant source of stability.
While Fast successfully merged two opposite concepts, one wonders if – at least in this climate – a live show is really the best way to translate the emotions and atmosphere of the collection. Can a show without guests still create that same magical moment the designer strives to achieve? Or could a different medium allow a more vivid portrayal? Truth is, by embracing a new, more current way of presenting during fashion week, he might have been be able to uncover yet more intriguing layer of this imaginary winter ocean drive.
Words by Ana Abram
Originally published on Original Magazine 

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