Mark Fast Ready To Wear Fall Winter 2014 London
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The clue is in the invite - a visitor's ticket that could either be for a gallery or an exhibition of sorts. Interestingly it turned out to be more of an all-access pass to the designer's archive. Mark Fast's fall/winter 2014 show referenced his biggest hits from the signature body-conscious dresses to oversized carapace tops. He also revisited the fringe trims in his debut collection from 2009 which put him on the map the first time.

In the past, Mark Fast's knitting techniques have often superseded, in importance, the narrative of his collections. Titled "Toxic Monsoon” the story this time was much more compelling, taking the audience on a dizzying spin around technicoloured cityscapes somewhere in the tropics, presumably. Fast conjured a scene where, "neon lights flash by illuminating an overloaded collage of shop signs and decrepit facades," the words on the press release that brought to mind an image of Shibuya, Tokyo on a high summer night.

The Fast girl this season is a hybrid of an urban wanderer and 90's club kid. Cropped tops and form fitting pencil skirts were styled with metallic creepers complete with devil-may-care tousled hair. To contrast, cocoon shapes as a variation of chunky night gowns served as comfort gear that one might just casually throw on to explore the city whilst nursing a jet lag. Fast also added a taste of the primordial with some of the raw finishing.

But the detail, as they say, is in the fabric. Fast showcased an impressive repertoire of knitting techniques in one collection. Waffles knits clad in indigo stripes; the melding of high contrast yarns to reflect the "colour bombs" of this mishmash of neon lights; the rich tapestry that include subtle graphic patterns only visible upon closer inspection. Much like the wanderlust spirit of the narrative, there was much to discover in the knitwear.

Some might say it might be premature for a relatively young designer like Mark Fast to do a reprise of his best hits but this collection should not be mistaken for a back-patting retrospective; instead it ought to be celebrated as an effort to galvanise the elements that have worked for the brand in creating something that feels entirely new.

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