Hermione de Paula, Vauxhall Fashion Scout’s Merit Award winner for AW10, follows in the footsteps of previous venerated winners William Tempest (whose fans include Emma Watson and Victoria Beckham) and David Koma (who has dressed Cheryl Cole and Beyonce). Understandably then a huge buzz had been building around de Paula’s first solo show and the press were out in force with Vogue’s Jessica Bumpus and Caryn Franklin among the faces on the front row.
The collection entitled ‘Polly Crystalline’ was inspired by the poly-crystalline structures of ice, and tones were suitably cool and frosty hues of glacier-blue and arctic white set against black. Iridescent fabrics mirrored the effect of sunlight on snow. De Paula’s signature rose prints reappear, gone are the flushed red tones of summer, instead they have been tinged with frost and become predominantly monochromatic.
Every curve and line of the female form was celebrated with body conscious mini-dresses, leggings and figure hugging softly tailored jackets. No mince pies or cheese for us next Christmas. Overtly sexual pieces such as a transparent plastic corset are followed by chastity belt inspired keyhole motifs and laser cut monogrammed Hermione de Paula “skeleton” keys, embodying the faceted nature of the female character.
The show presented some of our favourite hair and make up looks of the week so far with Bladerunner-esqe pastel rinse bobbed wigs and eyes colour blocked in cobalt. A suitably strong look for de Paula’s futuristic ice queen. It was a collection of contradictions: elegant yet sensual, powerful yet vulnerable, edgy yet (for the most part) wearable, soft silks and chiffon juxtaposed with metal and plastic. De Paula is sure to enjoy the success of Tempest and Koma and find favour among fashion savvy celebrities.
Words: Hannah Kane
Images: Doh Lee
Images: Doh Lee