Monday, 30 May 2016

Central Saint Martins BA In-House Show- Ieva Hoffmane: Legend of a Laundry Lady

It may have started with an almost injurious trip of some towering espadrille platforms similar to that of Naomi Campbell, but the Fashion Design & Marketing designer Ieva Hoffmane debuted a collection that spirited the audience away on an enchanting journey suffused by a sense of tranquility and wholesomeness.

Though entitled ‘The Laundry Day’, which does not exactly connote scenes of the serene kind, there was a defining sense of calm beauty to the clothes, which featured sprouting shrubberies that effortlessly swayed from silver frames, like a MirĂ³ mobile.

The narrative stems from the 24-year old designer’s love of nature and the greenery of her native home, Latvia, as Hoffmane explains, “I am a child of nature, and this collection is a reflection of me.”

Soothing music may have been playing in the background but it did not counteract the infinite feeling of rawness, with rough stripy cotton drills and linens of natural stone hues scattered around the body like a washing line, hence the title. Inspired by the peasant washerwomen who go to the riverbanks to wash their clothes, the collection enlivens a clan of strong, nomadic women carrying their washing home through the woods.

Hoffmane achieves a purely organic silhouette from the sporadic layering of mismatching garments. Opening with a dainty cotton shirt with seamless sides, the lower body spills a flurry of fabrics that elegantly glide down the catwalk to the artificial motion of a wind-machine-, it does, in motion, look rather like a pile of floating bed sheets and tablecloths.

The bottom-heavy figure is supported by a pair of clunky, handmade platforms. Each garment is completed with a pair that contains braiding from the leftover fragments of fabric and string.

Upon the Baltic pursuit for clean clothing, Little Red Riding Hood makes an appearance in the form of a coral-red, hooded vest that is tucked into a pair of horizontal pinstriped flares, as well as a pleated apron with a juxtaposing, thick red vertical stripe tied to the waist. A (similar) Vision in Blue immerses the show in a sheer, cobalt blue nylon shirt with an adjoining collared headscarf. Such pops of brash colour and delicate textures generate an ambiance of femininity to the rather utilitarian look.

Not wind, rain or shine will stop this woman from completing her washing, or embracing all elements. A flutter of orange parachute silk cascades the catwalk in what looks like an oversized rain-mac, with billowing sleeves and a drawstring hood that conceals the face. And, kitted with a metal-wired rucksack, complete with compartments that hold potted plants, this woman is certainly ready to be at one with Mother Nature.

In what appears to be a declaration of love with the great outdoors, the manifestation finishes with the partnership of an oversized blue shirt, and a pair of nautical striped wide-legged trousers attached to what seems to be a cream tiered trail, similar to that of a wedding dress. Hopefully it will be a happy ending for Ieva Hoffmane as well.  

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