It was her debut runway show, and shoe designer Charlotte Olympia Dellal took her piles of platforms, glitter and velvet to London’s Roundhouse for a rich — and slightly eerie — spectacle inspired by Forties science fiction film noir, vintage posters and comic books.
Models, clad in black dresses, coats and bodysuits that were made for the event but will not be sold, moved in a circle around the audience, showing off sparkly shoes, bags, eyewear and jewelry in the vast dark space. The catwalk was raised so that shoes and bags were at eye level.
There were clothes, but the real emphasis was, naturally, the accessories. The footwear was signature Charlotte Olympia — big, bold and sexy — as in sparkly platforms, some pink and adorned with chunks of Lucite, others covered in supernova star cutouts; high-heeled glittery ankle boots that could have been swiped from Ziggy Stardust’s shoe rack, and chunky platform sandals done in a leopard print or crushed velvet.
Bags — some transparent, boxy and hard-edged, others as round and flat as Frisbees — shone and glittered along with the fancy heels.
Not every model stood sky-high, though. Dellal also sent out flat lace-ups done in shiny pastel calfskin patchwork; leopard print sneakers that morphed into thigh-high stockings, and patent leather kitten heels with skinny straps encased models’ calves.
Dellal loves conjuring a mood but while the Roundhouse — a concert and show venue — was certainly theatrical, it was too vast for a show of such detailed designs. The designer’s quirkiness, craftsmanship and sense of humor — the glitter-drenched platforms that closed the show featured a pair of fat red lips at the toes — cried out to be examined on a small, friendly planet rather than in a big black void.