“Women must wear clothing much like paint slashes on a canvas – instinctive, alive, with no time to pause for the eyes of the critic”. ‘Les Guerriers’ is their first collection at Vauxhall Fashion Scout and Irish-born designers Joanne Hynes and Helen Steel did not disappoint.
A short video was played at the start of the show, which was inspired by the strength of the historical women in the Irish culture, it was set in County Monaghan, Ireland, and was filled with lots of colour and dancing in the traditional Irish style as well as more contemporary dance. This then brought on the models wearing colours much like the ones shown in the video – bright reds with splashes of electric blues and purples, as well as shades of beige, brown and cream for the more rural pieces.
With a combination of heavily embellished jackets, draped and gathered dresses, teamed with printed leggings and sky-high wedges; the collection also includes Helen Steel’s own paintings, that have been portrayed onto dresses, scarves and t-shirts – all of which have a graphic element filled with a colour scheme bold enough to take you to another world, all in silks, jersey, wool and painted leather.
With a mix-match of strong graphic designs and natural style pieces, the combination of the two should have looked quite odd and out of place, but they worked surprisingly well together, it almost seemed like juxtaposition of old and new in a way in which the colours and fabrics mixed together; which is outlining the shows title (Les Guerriers) as it means to forge ahead and is all about moving forward. The name of the show strongly reflects the combination of styles that the two designers share.
Quoted from the press release given at the show, we can see how Hynes and Steele describe their passion for what they do as they say “Joanne Hynes/Helen Steele is not just a designer label; it is a manifesto”.
Photography by Shaun James