Thursday, March 3, 2016


Anne Sofie Madsen

Anne Sofie Madsen gave a whole new twist to the idea of ready to wear during Paris Fashion Week: just grab whatever is at hand, be creative, and throw it on.

For her Elvis-Presley inspired collection, the Danish designer combined all sorts of textures and materials - be it leather, fur, feathers or, in one case, a sleeping bag. 
Madsen's artful combinations

Madsen said that her show was inspired by the fact that “Elvis Presley was a twin-twin and that his great-great-great-grandmother was Native American”. The singer’s lifelong eccentricity was apparently supposed to come across in the designer’s Fall/Winter 2016 collection, which was titled “Heaven or Las Vegas”.

“I like to challenge and push the boundaries for everyday wear and at the same time it is really important to me that the garments are in their own way functional and wearable,” Madsen has said. “It’s not about garments for princesses in a fantasy world, but I do wish to bring magic into reality and preciousness into fashion”.

Viewers could choose where they thought they were, as the setting of the show – the underground parking lot of fashion school Istituto Marangoni – gave plenty of scope for wild imaginings.

Madsen's use of fur and netting
Madsen showcased mainly flowing, loose-formed pieces, with intriguing asymmetrical looks. She used netting and rubber string to create blouses and dresses (if they could be called that), and the edginess of the designs meant that only the bravest of consumers, or exhibitionists, would dare to get into these revealing garments.

The muted browns, greys, and mustards let the real focus of the collection shine through: the textures. Every ensemble combined “spurious and glamorous, working class hero and tragic glam-clown”.

The brightest colour came from a red sleeping bag, wrapped artfully to form a sort of poncho or winter coat. The challenge was: could you do that with your own blanket at home? It was beyond cool. Or rather, it looked really warm.

The models sported short haircuts with natural makeup, in contrast to the offbeat designs. One model was completely bald, making viewers think that she was a survivor of some kind, and giving them an instant desire to know more about her story.

As discordant electronic music pounded, the models strutted down the concrete ramp, disappearing round the bends of the parking lot. Then they swaggered back into view, with their dangling belts, flowing sleeves, and wide-legged pants.

Some wore brown leather loafers, reminiscent of the Nineties, while a few strode insouciantly in cowboy boots.

At the end, several viewers seemed not to know whether to clap, chuckle or just shake their heads. 

The overall effect of Madsen's collection was one of confusion, awe, and yes, a certain admiration for this kind of audaciousness. - J.M. De Clercq / Tasshon

Madsen's ode to Elvis Presley?