The mayhem, the makeup and the madness greet me backstage at the first NicoPanda SS19 London Fashion Week show – the first fashion show I have ever been to.
Nicola Formichetti is the man behind this madness, cultivating the funfair of fashion and future trends. Formichetti, an Italian-Japanese director and fashion editor, is most widely recognised as the artistic director of Italian fashion label Diesel and frequent collaborator with singer-songwriter Lady Gaga.
As I’m guided through the back entrance of what appears to be a warehouse in Covent Garden, I suddenly feel transported into the era of the Club Kids and Basement Jaxx remixes. Makeup artists, set designers and models are scattered everywhere, whilst models are being glittered up in their fluorescent outfits, setting the scene for the show.
Models are sporting highly-structured brows and neon lips, a must-have as the MAC Pro team favour the colour fuchsia. Gender boundaries and social perceptions of masculinity are destroyed in this show, as male models are sculpted and contoured by the artists.
“Divas to the dancefloor please,” blares the opening beat of the runway. The models strut down the catwalk one by one, and immediately the audience are immersed in the air of the 90’s.
The atmosphere is buzzing, with fashion-lovers draped in party wear. It feels as if we are stood outside Studio 54 gazing upon the deranged. Velvet tracksuits, mesh dresses, and a lot of jersey. This was activewear, but not the kind made for hiking or running. The only activity the NicoPanda lot have on their mind starts with a p, ends with y, and has art in between.
The star-studded audience is filled with the likes of Liam Gallagher’s daughter Molly Moorish, Hilary Alexander accompanied by Daniel Lismore, Tigerlily Taylor, and Chief executive of the British Fashion Council, Caroline Rush and Felicity Hayward. The list is endless for the elite and exclusive to flock to witness NicoPanda’s SS19 collection.
The show wasn’t just a preview of what’s to come, but a glimpse into the glitz, glamour and madness of the era of the Club Kids. Formichetti certainly took us all there with the massive disco ball glimmering speckles of the distant 90’s on to the faces of the audience, creating a new wave of pushing boundaries.
You could call Formichetti’s collection garish, but rather than that being an insult, it would be a compliment. Each look screamed boundless optimism and fearless expression.