Ziad Ghanem’s show at Vauxhall Fashion Scout was more of a performance than your standard catwalk show. It kicked off with a woman appearing in a black dress cascading in ruffles and a pair of large green-feathered fans. It then turned into an extreme maxi dress as she grew up from the catwalk.
The rest of the show was a mixture of chiffon meets Tim Burton’s A Nightmare before Christmas. Ziad Ghanem took inspiration from the horror video game Silent Hill and the work of painter John Henry Fuseli. The inspiration led to a feminine and sensual silhouette with the focus on luxury and comfort.
One of the most stunning dresses in the show was a pale gold sequin dress with an extreme love heart neckline. The model wore this with attitude and the dress flowed with her as she stormed down the catwalk. She also wore a feather headband which had flashes of red and blue in the beautifully delicate plumes.
Ghanem believes that people perceive others by their appearance and surroundings and therefore can form contrasting opinions of the same garments. The same garment viewed in a dark, gothic context by one viewer will be seen as romantic and liberating by the next. His show at VFS defiantly worked these opinions by contrasting darker pieces with lighter and softer pieces.
Although he stayed true to these extreme contrasts he used the same techniques throughout. Using traditional Haute Couture skills and techniques, Ghanem has been able to eliminate seams and create dramatic draping and work with an extreme bias cut.
The materials used were sourced from old couture mills and included vintage silk chiffon, duchesse satin and Moroccan crepe. The designer used the natural flow to fit the body and create new forms and shapes. The collection is a tribute to the couturiers of the past who celebrated the female form and this collection certainly achieves that.
Image credits: courtesy of Vauxhall Fashion Scout