Monday, April 16, 2012

BEAUTY: Clothing--Lee Paton

Lee Paton is a new British designer to watch. Coming from the London College of Fashion, followed by time spent at Alexander McQueen (although in what capacity I cannot discover--but I did discover that he was there while the man himself was still alive), he showed his third collection (his first full collection) a few weeks ago. Inspired by the centenary of Robert Falcon Scott's doomed voyage to the South Pole, Paton has named his collection "Haakon's Plateau," a reference to the fact that a team led by Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen beat the Scott expedition to the South Pole. Amundsen claimed the South Pole for Norway and called the region Haakon's Plateau, after King Haakon of Norway.

Scott and his defeated crew perished while returning home from finding that the Amundsen team had already been at the South Pole five weeks earlier. The idea of the intrepid adventurer, the Victorian sense of exploration, and the tragi-Romantic feeling from this memorial inform the theme and mood of this spectacular collection. Pieces reference an Edwardian sensibility with military influences, and of course the kind of fur clothing necessary to take a voyage to the frozen wastelands of the South Pole. Although Paton is certainly in McQueen territory, the execution of the collection feels organic and unique to Paton.

And I adore the cable knit sweater with antler buttons.

Regular readers of my blog know that I usually only post men's fashion, but Paton's collection is so lovely, I am making an exception. The women's pieces are even more exquisite. Of particular note is the stunning dark gown, fourth look down, and the last dress with its stunning gradated edge and ragged fur collar. And for a laugh, notice the whimsical wolf ear muffs in the sixth look!

Paton has become very interested in the Victorian art of taxidermy and uses recycled figures (no animals are killed for his creations) in some of his more esoteric pieces. He created a harness mounted with foxes that has been worn by many people for many different functions. Here is a shot of Paton himself wearing it at Hendrick’s Gin/Dan Hillier’s “Feather & Claw” at Wilton’s Music Hall, London, 2011.

The most high profile appearance of the fox harness seems to be in the Patrick Wolf video for his song "Together," from his most recent release "Lupercalia."

No comments: