SS16 James Kelly: A Laura Palmer Love Affair

As the Vestibule catwalk filled to the brim, there was a hum of excitement and curiosity, it was already clear that James Kelly’s SS16 collection is going to be a highlight of this London Fashion Week. 

The catwalk was surrounded by imposing sheets of white plastic, transforming the catwalk into a cordoned off space, reminiscent of a crime scene. These sheets sliced the room in half, leaving all those seated toward the far end of the catwalk anticipating the garments as gasps were heard on the other side of the plastic. The ominous Twin Peak's theme tune scored this collection's debut, along with snippets of eerie dialog from the TV series.

With his established signature palette, which James describes as ‘rich, sludgier colours’, this collection continues with the earthy: natural greens, stones, khakis and charcoals featured, accentuated by moss embroidery and appliqué. Sheer, nude fabrics evoked a ‘second skin’ on the models. Utility style was also a dominant trend, with army boots covered in moss and clean cut straight-jackets reclaimed by lichen and rich green downy textiles. Several of the garments exhibited bandage-like restriction, contouring the models bodies and giving an impression of injury or contained madness. The hair was styled wet and loose, complimented by Body Shop’s watery make up of gold and red eyeshadow- the models looks drowned (in the best way possible), evoking the image of John Everett Millais's 'Ophelia', and of course Lynch's 'Laura Palmer'. 

Speaking to James after the event he confirmed our suspicions, naming David Lynch as one of his biggest inspirations. ‘The collection comes from the progression of women in film and photography,' he explained, referencing Laura Palmer (the centre of David Lynch’s Twin Peaks series) as a part of his main concept. James was rendered speechless after the show, and as he was whisked away to speak to proud parents, so were we.

Astonishing talent graced the catwalk this afternoon at Fashion Scout and we cannot wait to see what the future holds for James Kelly, or more appropriately, what he holds for the future.

Fashion Scout for London Fashion Week runs from 18th-22nd September 2015 at the Freemasons’ Hall, WC2B 5AZ


Words: Alexandra Craft  + Fiona Nicholls

Photographers: Maja Jankowska and Stefania Porcu

Editor: Fiona Nicholls