As guests were ushered into a dimly lit room in The Bloomsbury Hotel, basking in the red light was a Flaminco dancer accompanied by a traditional acoustic guitar. Illuminating a different atmosphere, it is brilliantly staged; Chilly London is forgotten and in its place, an inviting vacation in Spain. Puzzled guests to my left joked that we might just have to watch the entire thing in the dark. However lights on, gold walls and glimmering chandeliers came into full view as the collection strutting began.
Backed by a mash-up soundtrack that included a remix of the aptly chosen Lana del Rey’s Carmen and birds chirping in the background, the ‘UNA VIDA BIEN VIVIDA’ (A Life Well Lived) A/W 2014 collection whisked the audience away to Seville, Spain. The Ready-to-Wear looks were inspired by Carmen, an opera by Georges Bizet, an emotionally gripping story of a gypsy girl who falls in love with a bullfighter, to the anguish of a smitten soldier from her past who once let her escape to his own detriment. Exploring fearless passion between young lovers, we see a departure from his standard monochrome palette as the collection finds an infatuating balance between the classic Mediterranean blue and subtly sexual red. This season’s Éthologie by Jasper Garvida collection exuberates vibrancy. Representing the fearless, exotic nature of the Opera, Garvida takes a modern spin on traditional costumes and the prominent 19th century blue hand printed tiles.
Whether one likes stiff cut skirts or flowing frills – from gorgeous rose texture to delicate lace veils, colourful print details on both men’s and womenswear to black embellishments that craftily reference matador costumes, it was hard to find fault with this visually stunning collection. As the music tempo accelerated, the models returned to the stage and the Canadian-born Pilipino designer takes his bow.
Written by I Yune Hoe