The Elizabethan era is once again upon us and the Virgin Queen has taken the throne. Considering the overload of Elizabethan films and series within the past 10-15 years, it is almost exciting to see such costume style ready-to-wear designs appear on the runway, particularly a stage set as prestigious as the London Fashion Week. The Giles spring/summer 2016 collection looks intriguing and automatically leaves us baffled when we notice the strange looking prints, which soon reveal themselves to be based on a scan of a full length portrait of the first Elizabeth to reign as queen after the death of Henry VIII, her brother and sister respectively. The Virgin Queen certainly had a court that inspired a great many to find their way to her side, the protestant movement gaining speed after Bloody Mary’s endless persecution of the non-Catholics in her nation. We must say though, it is very interesting to see such historical moods become the inspiration for full collections wherein the key print is that of an esteemed queen known for her ability to bring about the Golden Age. The prints could be seen on everything from leotard style bodysuits to a diaphanous caftan.
Looking at the pieces that appear within the Giles spring 2016 RTW collection, we have to wonder at the mindset of the designer wherein it appears that good versus evil while the flowers bloom and the court is alight with festivities. We can see the Elizabethan nobility here, as well as a very modern rendering of it all, wondering if any of these will appear on the CW series Reign highlighting the life and struggles of Mary, Queen of Scotts and now moving into the spat between two cousins vying for the same thrones of England, Scotland and France. We can certainly see some of these fitting in beautifully with the modern rendering of the gowns of the nobility seen in the series. We have to say though, those black pieces are positively beguiling!
Among the pieces were also some dresses with Baroque wallpaper floral designs as well as embroideries that could be found on tapestries. Rubens paintings sure helped Giles Deacon with his focus as well, while his garments were given as much volume as his heart demanded. That means full bell sleeves or balloon shaped ones, frothy skirts and parachute hems, while the masculinity of the patterned tights mixed in with the voluminous pieces only added to the appeal and created a rather renaissance worthy air about the collection.
It is clear that Giles knew exactly how to apply himself this time around and really stood out for his mastery in bringing out emotions that tugged at the heart. The use of the English flowers on some of his gowns was genius as well, particularly since we expect some of these to be worn on the red carpet. The Elizabethan court looks we are not entirely sure of outside the context of the runway, but we have certainly fallen in love with his ability to bring renowned historical figures into modern fashion with relative ease.
Photos courtesy of Vogue