The odd thing with IZMAYLOVA wasn’t that Planet Notion didn’t like it – something would have had to have gone seriously wrong at one end or the other if we had – but that no-one else seemed than keen either. The applause at the end of the Franco-Russian label’s show was rather lacklustre. Indeed, to your correspondent’s eye, some of the pieces weren’t too shoddy at all – a couple of long-sleeved bias-cut evening dresses were actually very pretty, if fairly straightforward transpositions of iconic thirties styles, while, if the panelled mini dresses with feathered skirts were never going to get PN’s heart racing, PN is hardly IZMAYLOVA’s target market.
Maybe the problem was the guestlist – the underwhelmed crowd seemed composed of standard fashion cool kids and not at all the Mayfair (and Essex) nightclub-frequenting good time girls to whom this kind of thing might appeal. Vauxhall Fashion Scout tends to be a nurturing ground for very young, very directional designers yet there’s clearly money behind this label – it exudes none of the grungy authenticity that endears the fashion press. The faded gold colourways were somewhat jaundiced and the silk satin suits were surely a mistake. The lavish set design of the runway and the complex and hard-to-follow narrative about a girl, her lover and the railway (the Trans-Siberian Express, maybe?) seemed incongruous at the notoriously edgy Freemasons’ Hall venue. If the muted response to this show proves anything, it’s that London show-goers are a discerning lot and can’t be won over by empty flash and glitter.
-Photographer: James Hawley