Fresh off the back of her 2016 Britain’s Top Designer win, Helen Woollams has created what’s surely her best visual spectacle yet for Hellavagirl’s FW17 showcase at Fashion Scout. I headed out to the Freemason’s Hall in a leather A-line skirt (to protect me from the elements) to share this awesome collection with you. I got to go backstage prior to the show too but that’s a whole other story…..
The Last Dawn on Mars FW17 –A Post apocalyptic inspired couture collection with dark undertones and a regal rock and roll edge, a dys(co)topian future if you will, filled with couture robots to blow your circuits.
The opening look set the tone for the show, a shimmering oversized gown masked the model’s limbs giving the illusion of exaggerated height, topped off with a ginormous flower crown beyond even your wildest dreams, fashioned out of paper by specialist crafters, Tissue Blossoms.
A silver two piece consisting of harem pants and a metallic, frilled top dripping with emerald coloured stones (one of my favourite looks) gave off a space age mermaid vibe as an awesome follow up to the opener. From the Frow, in the VIP section no less, I had a fantastic view of this exciting showcase, a collection which tests boundaries and challenges proportions. A glittertastic, brocade wrapped, flower topped collection of couture for confident, powerful women who don’t fall at the feet of men.
Woollams’ collections are always strong, but FW17 is the dark side of the fairytale. For every wooded tower that hides a princess there’s a gothic witch just wishing she had Hellavagirl on speed dial; it’s exactly that kind of devilishly flirtatious drama. A hybrid of couture and RTW, this is a collection available to buy and wear but it’s not for the faint of heart. Filled to he brim with sequins, sparkle, tulle and brocade, it’s dramatic, confident and filled with personality.
Personally, I adored the show, I was keen to see how Woollams would build on her 2016 national recognition and was pleasantly unsurprised. It’s great to see that she’s stuck to the principles that made her stand out from the crowd in the first place, staying firmly within her talent niche there’s a definite Hellavagirl aesthetic developing. Creating unapologetic proportions and dramatic shapes that scream “Don’t fuck with me” – a bold trouser with added width at the hip, or a voluminous jacket with looping shoulders, the knack for creating these exaggerated silhouettes has become Woollams’ signature and it’s one I hope she’ll keep as she’s edging the pack.
When I started writing this post I knew it had to be image led as The Last Dawn on Mars is a collection that has to be viewed to be appreciated. A distinct Bowie influence makes the collection beautifully bittersweet, but I’ll leave you to make your own assessment. I can’t wait to see what Hellavagirl brings us in September for SS18 and I’ll be waiting with bated breath for another look inside the mind of Helen Woollams. So for now Voyeurs, enjoy The Last Dawn on Mars…….