This season we've had the pleasure of a sneak peek at Carlotta Actis Barone's collection when we were invited to shoot the Behind the scenes images at her Look Book shoot, and then enter the dragon's den by coming backstage at Vauxhall Fashion Scout to shoot the show preparation.
So this Fashion Week we thought we'd be watching the show as ever, grinning like doting parents at their kid's graduation, but that perhaps the goosebumps from the surprise of the collection would be gone.
We were wrong.
They were on top form once again, the concepts were flawless and the collections bigger than ever before (literally about 15 looks for each designer).
Carlotta Actis Barone...
Carlotta takes her inspiration this season from the protest against illegal prostitution. Looking at enforced prostitution vs prostitution by choice. Her in depth research spans Geishas, Victorian Brothels and French Boudoir, all of which is very apparent in her collection.
I loved the fact that given the concept has such serious and sometimes said "sombre" connotations, it has a very distinct use of bright colours. This really shows the research of the Geisha, while also reminding us - Hello! this is a spring summer collection!
An interesting addition were silk ropes added to some garments to give shape in the right places, but also to represent being bound and restrained.
The existing following of Carlotta won't be disappointed to hear that her signature tights are still featuring in the collection. This season new fonts and colours give a twist to what we have previously seen from her.
The final piece, and a surprise for us as it was still in production at the time of the Look Book shoot was a wedding dress. Silk, lace and completed with a veil. A stunning piece which managed to sit perfectly, not only with the rest of her collection, but also with her concept.
The choice to put a wedding dress within a collection inspired by prostitution I initially felt was quite a brave decision, however now I think it is a great reflection of the desire she has to convey her message and make it just as important as every other part of the creative process.
For me, Carlotta's SS 11 collection is still my firm favourite, however this is just my personal taste. Whether a fan of this Italian designer or just discovering her for the first time, it is quite clear that she will be turning heads with her clothes for some time to come.
For the rest of the Fashion Mode reviews see James Hillman in Part Two and Florian Jayet and our round up in Part Three!