“Medieval fantasy world…fantasy role-playing games…being who you imagine your best self could be.” – Kate and Laura Mulleavy
The Mulleavy sisters have quite an imagination and an even better talent for rendering their imaginings into reality. They have dreamed up a sartorial armor of sorts for Spring 2013. Intricate folds of leather, brocade, and silk are fashioned into breastplates as if they were modern day coats of mail while even the more ethereal gowns of flowing chiffon are toughened up with leather insets and chains. And I love how geometric print is woven into the collection, adding a sci-fi element to this trip into medieval cosplay. The color palette is beautifully done with bold unusual combinations. One might expect the result to feel rather eclectic in the end, but the Mulleavy sisters have an exquisite sense for detail. The audience is never overwhelmed by the numerous print or a potentially clashing color scheme.
Moreover, this collection is fanciful and yet intriguingly “unpretty.” It is certainly not romantic in the usual sense–with frayed leather biker jackets and samurai-like bodices in the mix. Traditionally soft fabrics are stiffened into sharp pleats and structured lines, beautifully holding shape in origami-like folds. The cutting technique, of course, is superb. And while there is certain sense of whimsy to this collection, each look is still utterly wearable. One never has the feel that any piece is too precious for every day wear. Of course, my takeaway from this would be the fabulous platform shoes and the even more fantastic ear cuffs, so what do I know?