Let’s begin with the final look. As a result of that laser-cut, micro-pleated, satin organza robe goes a good distance towards explaining what was happening on the Giles present tonight: Flame-haired Karen Elson emerged, seeking to all of the world just like the genetic clone of Queen Elizabeth I, reanimated to preside over some postapocalyptic England (or, at any charge, a United Kingdom of which Elizabeth’s thorn-in-the-side, Scotland, is now not an element). And that was exactly Giles Deacon’s level. The present was held within the Elizabethan-era Banqueting Room in Whitehall, a spot to which the designer would usually retire as a scholar to get away from hustle and bustle and take within the Rubens murals on the ceiling. He’d booked the area for this season a 12 months upfront, and a deep dive into the historical past of the place led him again to Elizabeth, and supplied him the inspiration for his new garments.
In different phrases, this trip, Deacon was in one in every of his historic moods. It’s a way of thinking that often ends in maximal seems, and on that rating this assortment didn’t disappoint. Working with print designer David Holah of Bodymap, Deacon created a print based mostly on a scan of a full-length portrait of Elizabeth I, which discovered its manner onto silhouettes as diversified as a leotard-taut bodysuit and a diaphanous caftan. There have been additionally Baroque wallpaper florals and embroideries based mostly on tapestries. However the actual drama right here was primarily to be discovered within the assortment’s skirts and sleeves. Deacon didn’t stint on the amount, chopping full bell- and balloon-shaped sleeves and frothing his skirts and attire with parachute hems or underlying layers of tulle. The patterned tights made for a pleasant complement to all that quantity, they usually conjured a masculine Renaissance-era look.
Then there have been the showpieces. Alongside the satin organza robes worn by Elson and Erin O’Connor, Deacon displayed his couturier expertise in clothes embellished by an overgrown English backyard’s value of tulip-shaped florets and completed different, extra plainspoken attire with tender little frills. As is usually the case at Giles, the showboating craft threatened to change into the gathering’s entire level, and this season, that menace was significantly acute: The development of a robe in a brown-toned, understated print may wow you, however the identical materials, performed up right into a matter-of-fact silk jumpsuit, underwhelmed. It might have been good to see Deacon apply extra of his consideration and artistry to his simple appears. The designer was at his greatest right here when he pulled out all of the stops, and anytime he did, it was not possible to not be swept up in his storytelling. One sight of Elson in that robe, and all quibbles had been forgotten.