Little Shilpa’s Vesper Bloom presentation was a wonderfully dark and mystical event. Shilpa has become known for her eccentric and often magnificent headpieces and accessories, which in the past has been worn by the likes of Lady Gaga. This presentation played with the fascination of darkness and night, with models creeping towards the audience against a backdrop of haunting, black-and-white imagery.
As the name suggests, the event was concerned with the term ‘vespertine’, which in the life sciences refers to activity that flourishes in the evening. In an artistic sense, the event could have easily been clichéd; the background clips of Nosferatu, for instance, seemed to be there for the sake of being creepy, rather than offer anything meaningful to the presentation.
Yet the surroundings did not distract from the collection being presented. The contrasting textiles – feathers, tulle, fleece, leather, Perspex, lace – might have all been too much under another designer, yet Shilpa handled such a dizzying array of fabrics with elegance, using black as the only colour tone.
Statement headpieces along with neckpieces and epaulets were the focus of the collection, composed of sparkling cylinders, feathers, Perspex and lenticular eyes that blink. The batwings headpiece was reminiscent of the Maleficent pointed headdress from Sleeping Beauty, while another 3D statement piece reminded me of the monstrous bunny costume Frank from Donnie Darko. Others were striking in their own right.
But it was the small details amongst these statement pieces that stood out: the rosaries on one headpiece, for example, were a gentle touch, but added a religious component to Shilpa’s enchanting new collection.