Photography by Lucas Seidenfaden
Illustration by Yiunam Leung

Bach rang through the speakers as the scene was set. Jacob Kimmie’s minimalist Baroque collection was set to paint the clean white runway with a modernist take on the exuberant grandeur of this classic style. The classical music overture set the pace for the restrained and buttoned up SS12 line. There was a demure elegance in the air as the show began with a tailored black dress. With strips of fine mesh down the sides and arms, exposing brief glimpses of flesh that tantalised the crowd. As the show went on more flesh was available to be consumed, but everything was with a sophisticated buttoned up finish. Sheer materials offered playful teasing, disguised by lady like cuts.

Sheer cream ruffles bubbled up around the neck to create high collars and sheer blouses tucked neatly into fitted pencil skirts.  It was grown up, sensible, yet flirted wildly with the camera. Black shift dresses with fragile net capes hinted at the habits worn my nuns and delicate white dresses were virginal. At times there was definite religious connotations that later made them selves apparent with the solid jeweled crucifix that hung around one models neck. Interaction between a new innocence and restrained sex appeal was at work

The collection was heavily monochrome with attention paid to graphic prints. Long silky black dresses swept the floor, printed with doves. Talking to Jacob Kimmie after the show he revealed that the birds were chosen to symbolise light and purity.  With purity in mind, it is hard not to mention the fine web like white gown with floor length veil that lay over the models dark eyes. As well as bridal it held references of the Catholic conformation. As she walked down the catwalk she carried with her a birdcage, a symbol of confined femininity. In fact the only break from the monochrome palette came when a rose pink printed dress floated in, dragging its small train behind.

The music cut to a church organ they seamlessly flowed into Rhianna’s ‘Run This Town’ while the models made their exit. Running backstage I caught Jacob who was happy to talk me through this breathtaking offering. “ Rococo and Baroque, but not as we know it.” He worked to reform these extravagant styles with a modern, minimal edge. “That sounds like a contradiction doesn’t it?” he joked. He wanted to pare down the style while keeping the elegance. Of course there was a little divine inspiration in there too. “Next season I’m thinking ‘Turner’, but that’s all I’m giving you” he said as we finished up. Well Jacob, looking at SS12, we will be staying tuned to see what comes next. 

Text: Samantha Farr

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