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Designer Profile: Charlie Le Mindu

More than just a commercial commodity, the fashion industry is also a hub of creativity and a perfect vehicle for escapism. From the impossibly lavish worlds of Donatella through to the war-torn sets of Galliano, the runway has always been a place for fashion-lovers to glimpse into the mind of fashion’s most radical thinkers, ditching the dreariness of everyday life.

The element of fantasy is at its best during Couture Week – a place where no outfit is too excessive, no idea too adventurous and no budget too extravagant. This year’s couture collections were no different, from the recycled fine art at Margiela to the surreal supermarket at Chanel, there was no shortage of spectacle. In this sea of established couturiers, Charlie Le Mindu stood out by creating a seapunk extravaganza for his Spring / Summer 2014 couture collection, transporting us to an underwater rave populated with psychedelic jellyfish.

Charlie-Le-Mindu-Haute-Couture-Spring-Summer-2014-9080-2-600x900Beginning his career at the French Hair Academy and now working from a salon based in his London home, Le Mindu has a reputation as one of fashion’s greatest showmen. A long-time collaborator with visionaries such as Nick Knight, his dedication to drama and penchant for controversy earned him a reputation as the go-to for show-stopping couture headpieces. This reputation was cemented with his latest couture collection, which showcased a series of neon-painted headpieces inspired by the markings of tropical fish. As the audience was bathed in darkness, a techno soundtrack filled the room; one by one, a slew of models descended the runway decked out in ultraviolet works of art, setting the scene for one of Le Mindu’s most impressive shows to date.
0001343f_mediumDuring the show, the important element was that the women on the runway were more than just models. They played an integral part in the magic of the collection as they furiously whipped their neon locks on the runway and played up to the cameras. Together, they writhed, stomped and vogued their way down the runway, showing off the ‘Haute Coiffure’ headpieces to their full potential. One of the most impressive looks of the show was a direct replica of a jellyfish, consisting of a huge cylindrical headpiece adorned with thousands of strands of neon-green hair under which the model’s face was scarcely visible. Elsewhere, Le Mindu used sculptural mohawks and carved neon pink petals to create a school of seriously weird underwater creatures decked head-to-toe in black latex. By combining an ultra-cool soundtrack with avant-garde designs and energetic models, Le Mindu created a true spectacle. He succeeded in catapulting us back to the heyday of couture, reminding us all that there is still room for performance in the fashion industry.

Visit Charlie Le Mindu online! 

- Jake Hall 

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