During LFW AW11, I went to the Charlie Le Mindu Off-Schedule show and was shocked to see models walk down the runway starkers, only wearing overly eccentric Gaga accessories. Now, a little bit of flesh isn't such a controversy, but it makes me wonder how on earth would the average woman wear such a collection! Sometimes, fashion has to be looked at like an art form or expression and not simply as garments we clothe ourselves in - Central Saint Martins graduate, Shao Yen, fits into this category for me.
When I first saw this collection, it evoked images of Asian fishermen. The triangular black weaved net hats, sheer satins and brushed mesh dresses inspired me to imagine a life at sea - sobre and somewhat macabre, perhaps even a shipwreck but somehow with elements of Asian culture and ancient tradition. However, when reading about Yen's actual inspiration, I couldn't have been further off the mark! It's all a matter of interpretation and to have a collection translated through another's eyes, especial through those who created it, can be fascinating. Yen's inspiration came from prostitutes!
I was interesting to see how the body could be shown or exposed in a different way and the different meanings of that. For example, if it's tribal it might be for decorative reasons but the prostitute has to show their body to earn a living. So I am trying to bring those elements together and they all have the same kind of raw and rough finish. - Shao Yen
Waist high splits, chest cut-outs and mesh bodices were certainly one way to experiment how the body was put on show. Sheer fabrics and body clinging silhouettes didn't leave much to the imagination either. Leather straps across the body clearly evoked a bondage and darker side to the collection while a seasonal mustard was a refreshing splash of colour.