Mythology came to life at Di Petsa’s inaugural London Fashion Week show.
The designer took center stage, literally, by placing herself on a gray rock surrounded by black sand, a day-old pomegranate and a few potions, wearing one of her signature wet looks in black.
Petsa acted as the Greek goddess Persephone, queen of the underworld, reading from a poem she had written about the female body and nature.
The runway changed atmosphere from the sun to the moon and then finished on an eclipse to foreshadow coming full circle.
On the runway Petsa’s collection expanded from her small presentations with knitwear that’s made to look like denim, silk and velvet to create draping that’s been broken down.
She had pregnant models walking, as well as non-pregnant ones with detachable baby bumps added to their dresses. One model even walked out holding two batches of sage, cleansing the Old Selfridges Hotel, where a majority of the Newgen designers are showing.
“It’s about how she went from a virgin daughter to being the ruler of the underworld. It’s really about rebirth and how at times you have to do some shadow work and break yourself in order to heal,” Petsa said of Persephone in a preview interview.
“Pregnancy is not something that’s for pregnant women only. Anyone of any gender can approach it as a conceptual thing — like you’re pregnant with your own self and constantly rebirthing,” she said later backstage at her show.
Petsa’s sensual and spirituality charged collection was upstaged by the designer performing on the rock. The whole thing felt like two shows happening at once with audience members constantly distracted between the clothes and the chanting of the designer.