‘Reject everything!’ read the invitation to Meadham Kirchhoff’s S/S15 show. This phrase certainly foreshadowed things to come.
The designers used an open casting to select their models, celebrating diversity and breaking free from the conformist attitude towards models – 80% of them had never walked in a runway show before. The collection, designed to be alienating, was punk in every sense of the word. From the latex, Stephen Sprouse inspired graffiti pieces and hairy knee-highs to oversized jackets made out of old towels, everything rejected commodification. Vivienne Westwood eat your heart out.
Their signature chiffon dresses made a comeback, albeit slightly more dishevelled.
Placed on the seats at the show was a Hate list, next to a Love list, which included points such as “men in white vans”, “straight men”, “fathers”, “brothers”, and “teachers”. All of these things, according to Meadham, add to a society where men like him are confronted on the street on a daily basis. “We’re really affirming how there’s no such thing as equality, there’s no such thing as actual freedom,” Ed Meadham, who has a ‘unique’ male dress sense himself, told i-D subsequent to the show. “It’s a complete lie, and everybody sort of exists in this f***ing sick way and culture where it’s still okay to harass people like me constantly — and women — and there’s no actual equality. It’s all a pile of shit.”
Audience members were also faced with bloodied tampon earrings which were not for the squeamish of souls. It’s anybody’s guess as to what they were trying to achieve with this particular element. Was it to banish menstrual shame or used purely for shock factor? Take it as you wish.
Fashion Week can often be mind numbing if several designers are going for the same look. Being challenged to think about the deeper meaning behind a collection rather than just an era/trend reference is refreshing. The basis of the collection was so personal to Meadham that it was more than just a runway show. It was a protest, a movement, a battle cry.