Here comes the hot stepper....
Mark Fast, the edgy Canadian cob-web knitwear body-con devotee showed his latest collection to a packed audience of discerning fashionistas yesterday morning. The collection was one of the hottest tickets in town, for the third season in a row after his debut collection was met with critical acclaim, much name checking by Jefferson Hack and the like and all of the pieces were snapped up by Browns FASTER than you can say butter my nose and call me motel.
All the ingredients you need for a superstar designer in the making: So far, So predictable.
Although always a coveted and lauded collection, Fast's super-short, super-tight dresses have come under some criticism for only appealing to the super-skinny or super-toned. Yesterday’s collection stayed true to his body-con knitwear roots – but this time he chose to weave some reality into things by featuring 3 plus-size models. Of course, plus size in fashion terms means size 12-14 - in other words, curvy women.
"A lot of people think it's not appropriate to use plus-size models," he said. "But I met these girls and I loved their charisma. They're just jewels, you know?"
According to Amanda May, Fast's managing director and one of the sexiest and most fun girls you’ll meet, his show stylist quit over the designer's insistence on including three models from a plus agency on the runway amongst regular girls. Amanda blamed the walk-out on 'creative differences' over the use of larger models and defended their decision in media reports.
'There was a team change and we are glad we stuck to our vision,' she said.
'The decision to use fuller girls is something we have been talking about. There's an idea that only thin and slender women are able to wear Mark's dresses and he wanted to combat that.
'We wanted women to know they didn't have to be a size zero to wear a Mark Fast dress - curvier women can look even better in them.”
Amongst all of the furor surrounding the choice of models, the quitting of the uber-stylist, ect, nobody seems to be reviewing the actual collection, which is a missed opportunity because every single garment he sent down that catwalk is a showstopper: combining sassiness and finesse, with a bit of Sacred Babylonian whoredom thrown in.
His third collection is a testimony to just how accomplished a knitwear craftsman Fast is. Nobody is doing what he is doing with knitwear right now, and like Rick Owens, he is creating a need which is outside the fashion fad norm, by sticking to the same key components and refreshing them with different tonal palettes and styling season after season: in other words - the ingredients for a timeless collection.
The sculpted futuristic necklines which are part Cleopatra-going-to-war, part emissary from the future are exactly what women are looking for right now.
Not many designers are paying attention to what is going on at the back of dresses, but Fast seems to understand that it is an important aspect of any dress. Some of the best impressions are made from behind.
Who cares what size someone is when wearing his creations, as long as someone out there is wearing these pieces.
To watch the show, click here