John Alexander Skelton said he wanted to show the beauty in upcycled “humble” fabrics and while the message may have been a positive one, the show was unnerving.
Held in a cramped pub on Fleet Street, famous for its “Sweeney Todd” connection, the performance/show featured older male actors shuffling eerily between the venue’s two rooms. They chanted in unison, stomped their feet, banged their fists against the furniture, screamed and breached personal space, going so far as to touch members of the audience.
The experience was jarring, and the actors’ aggressive behavior made it difficult to focus on the clothes in the dimly lit room. Asked why he chose to show his fall 2019 collection this way, Skelton said he wanted to transport audiences back in time to “an era of lawless London, and to take people out of their comfort zone” while shaking up the traditional fashion show format.
In the midst of the aggression and chaos, there were plenty of outerwear options, including Renaissance-style, double-breasted wool coats, striped blazers, an Elizabethan-style vest and a red plaid coat. There was also a pair of trousers with one plaid leg, clearly only for the boldest of consumers.
Other commercial pieces included brown wool trousers and a black-and-white diamond patterned sweater. Skelton saved the best for last, sending out a soft white shirt with an illustration of Elizabethan London printed on the back. Hopefully the audience can watch this show in peace next time around.