There was a sense of heightened urgency building towards a climactic crescendo throughout Carlotta Actis Barone’s Autumn/ Winter collection. As the dramatic soundtrack rose to a striking summit, Carlotta’s hems lengthened with sheer, asymmetric trains billowing ominously in the catwalk’s bed of smoke- a physical element touching on the show’s theme; honouring the memory of Holocaust victims.

Despite the show’s macabre inspiration, there was beauty in the details of the rich, blue and purple jewel toned silks, and intricately embellished, iridescent uppers that proved testimony to Barone’s skill as a designer. Always one to make a sartorial, social statement, the feminine silhouettes- cinched tightly at the waists- were intermittedly punctuated with stark, nude body-suits blazoned with the motto of a war gone-by: “Arbeit Macht Frei”- “Work Liberates”. A message suited to the stripped back, cut-away bodices exposing panels of flesh, vulnerable to the elements suggested in the accessory details: polished, barbed-wire rings. It was a collection that brought together the politically astute designer’s intended message, whilst also maintaining an opulent femininity with full-bodied fabrics, and cleavage bearing bodices; proving a success in marrying Barone’s two passions.

Images and text:
Sara McAlpine VFS Sub-Editor
Follow her @sara_mcalpine

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