Back into the hallows of what once was St. Martins, up the dimly lit corridor and in past the sign nailed to the door that read ‘Examination Room’ to a leafy fauna-strewn scene. Botanical oddities lined marble mantelpieces, and inky drawings clustered the walls, like clues to his muse.
This season, the alchemy was spellbinding, opening with austere judicial-like clerks, perhaps more suited to a luscious Tudor court ‘off with their head’ than the grandeur-stripped bureaucracy of today. Starched high white ruffle collars and cuffs, accented with pearl polka dots, and black swooshes of capes finished with cheeky leather bows tied at the bottom of the knickerbockers. The strict clerical black and starched white, styled with inky black lips, created a sterner Vogue version of the new romantics, the heels and the polka dot hosiery perhaps a nod to the Bananarama days. Giles cleverly creates characters through clothes, and this season was strict, seductive, Madame rather than Lady.
Bows and black duchesse satin capes or black PVC mini skirts were styled with crisp ruffled white cotton blouses. Bell sleeves and satin bows in peachy orange softened the severity and phased in an inky illustrative print of a forbidden forest that came into view just as the thunder crashed and rolled on the soundtrack. Giles is a couturier, and his world is not restricted to seasons; it’s a world where every emotion needs a different gown or guise, and he is one of few designers who has the skill and imagination to cut it. From bodice and form-flirting hourglass silhouettes to romantic billowing gowns, with toadstall print chiffons mounted on white or black, Giles dresses the theatric and the expressive side of your soul. If Miss. Havisham, Mrs. de Winter (the first) or Anne Boleyn were to walk again, accompanied by harpsichord choir, it would be in Giles.