FELDER FELDER AUTUMN/WINTER 2015-16 READY-TO-WEAR LONDON
In late-1960s West Berlin, Uschi Obermaier was a profoundly hot, first-wave radical-feminist commune member and enthusiastic proponent of free love who devoured rock-and-roll alpha males like a big-game huntress with unlimited ammunition. As Daniela Felder, one half of the Felder Felder sibling design team, said after this Obermaier-homage show: “Half the time she was basically naked; it was all about the liberation of the woman. Back then it was a shock, women showing their bodies, but today less so.” And that last sentence pointed to the conceptual misstep in this abundantly revealing collection, which went large on a series of transparent separates in sheer organza shot through with a fragile check of metallic green and blue, as well as the mini-est miniskirts London fashion week has seen since 2008-ish. For, evoking the spirit of boundary-pushing political permissiveness five decades on rings just a tad tinnily in an era of commodified, Photoshop-mediated exposure.
Still, the nudity was perfectly fine, if spiritually anachronistic (although those sheer pieces will be lined in the showroom). When the clothes on the runway solidified enough to rank as such, they were often patterned in butterfly-dashed zebra stripes, either in laser-cut leather minis or printed on flowing double-slashed chiffon swirlers or racerback minidresses. Where the Felder sisters’ reference to counterculture really advanced the argument was in the outerwear—oversize emerald and ruby furs and some Jimi Hendrix-touched afghans (Obermaier and Hendrix’s morning-after moment lives gloriously on via YouTube). Those pieces, like almost everything else in the show, were made from nonanimal products; the Felders are committed vegans. Annette Felder said the only animal product on their runway was the human hair used in the models’ Obermaier-esque artificial bangs, which took 14 hours for Schwarzkopf to color just so. Vegan permissiveness? That is something new.