Malan Breton is known for putting on a spectacle of a show at London Fashion Week. His shows are filled with gowns, drama and the occasional raciness and the audience is as interesting as the show itself. For FW18 Breton’s Omega collection was something of a departure for the Asian designer’s self titled label and guests were treated to a show of calculated decadence rendered in a division between strength and seduction.
You’ll have to forgive my imagery for this show Voyeurs, Malan Breton is a show that is packed to the rafters and so seating is thin on the ground. I was offered a third row seat but opted to stand closer to the back so I could get as decent a view of the collection, as I could of the opposite front row. Seated opposite me were Fleur East, Rob Beckett and Romesh Ranganathan (if you know me IRL you’ll know that I’m a huge fan of Ranganathan and his solo show Asian Provocateur which saw his mum and young cousin steal just a little of his limelight). Lindsay Lohan was tucked away at the opposite end and a few other big names that aren’t really as interesting as my TV husband Romesh Ranganathan.
Anyway, back to the show, you came for the fashion so let’s start with that. Ok so my images aren’t so good but I wanted to include the show because it was so eclectic and unexpected. There are a few designers who fall into the same bracket (Mimi Tran, Zeynep Kartal, Rohmir et al) and sometimes the impact of the look can become lost, this season Malan Breton broke out of that pack.
You’ll have most certainly seen Breton’s designs, they’re worn on the red carpet for premieres and award ceremonies all over the world so his Omega collection was something of a departure from the grand gowns we’re so familiar with. The first look saw black silk tulle juxtaposed with leather to toughen the feminine silhouette. If this was the opening gambit from Breton, then what was to follow would see each look explore femininity a little further until it reached the epitome of female empowerment and exploration with an S&M couture bride clad in black leather flanked by two stripped down male bridesmaids who held the cape flowing behind her.
“This collection, has been a journey of self realisation, a point of gaining one’s hope back in humanity. Rebuilding one’s shell, one’s armour, one’s heart. Love lost, valour, and watching gluttony and greed change humanity for the worse.” Malan Breton
The journey from opening look to closing look was one filled with chatter and frantic shoulder taps from the audience. Brocade suits in shades of grey and opulent red topped with bow ties stood out from the collection and red was a commonality through the centrepieces – from full red organza gowns, to the flecks of detailing in chinoiserie inspired pieces. Renowned for his theatricality and artistic flair, Breton delivered a collection with depth and soul, taking inspiration from Edwardian tarot, Merlin, Chinese astrology and the myth of the four horsemen of the apocalypse. Put simply, I dig it.
The staging of the show was almost indicative of the leather clad finale, just as the delicate, intricate pieces in the first half of the show hinted at the softer side of femininity, the amber and red pieces hinted at the sudden darker twist ahead.
This was Malan Breton sexed up to the max in a dark and pleasing way whilst the designer remained true to his asian roots by using weaving, embroidery and surface dying throughout. Strong and seductive, empowering and personal, this is surely Breton’s darkest and most personal collection to date and it’s nice to see him sticking with his technique of using recycled bottles to create irregular paillettes instead of shunning this for more modern and readily available techniques.
If Omega signifies the end of a journey to one’s clarity and self, then this is without a doubt the real Malan Breton laid bare. One of my FW18 season highlights, but I guess you had to be there for the vibe. Oh and I totally caught Romesh and Rob laughing at a model who lost her footing on the runway. Busted.