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Tuesday, April 08, 2008
Faster than a fighter jet, hotter than a bomb...

...is one of the reactions that Sophie Hulme's collection has elicited from me. Hulme's concept for her A/W 08 collection is "concealed combat, an armouring of womenswear". I'm not talking about metal breast plates and medieval knight's armour, but a subtle combination of military shapes with embellishments that keep in touch with the army theme.
Usually when I see that designers are using military styles for inspiration, this frequently roughly translates as 'copying exactly'. As it's announced as a seasonal trend, I mentally groan and get out my checklist: big buttons - check, braids - check, gold piping - check, a wool trench (as if every member of the military is also involved in espionage) - check, epaulettes - check. It's like a bloody Sgt. Pepper fan club meeting!
What I really like about Hulme's collection is the use of materials, unusual translation of combatwear, and the fact that she seems to understand that she isn't actually creating a collection that is going to be worn in battle - this is army luxe for keeps, not for just one season.

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