For some mysterious reason (call it our primal, animal instincts, call it our insatiable gluttony), food used as a prop in fashion is, almost without exception, a recipe for success. Just ask Anya Hindmarch or Jeremy Scott. However, none of their Frosties bags or Skittles dresses would exist today without Elsa Schiaparelli and Salvador Dali’s lobster dress. To this scandalous garment - created in 1937 for Wallis Simpson – Bertrand Guyon paid homage with today’s collection. Inspired by the arts de la table and with each of the 43 looks bearing names very similar to those in Dali’s Les Dîners de Gala, it was a playful offering, even if it lacked the intoxicating, erotic element so central to the collaborative work of the Italian designer and the Spanish artist.
Here, it was all about whimsical femininity explored through tableware inserted into dresses as dévoré, antique tea towels woven onto jackets and skirts in arabesque motifs and scintillating bejeweled vegetables embroidered on tops. Pretty delightful pieces overall, in spite of the fashion school-y styling and hair not doing them any favours. The simple bias-cut dresses printed with seafood, cherry, root vegetables and cutlery were particularly tempting, as were an embroidered bib top worn over an organza skirt, a take on lovely white dress embroidered with sequined plates and Dali’s infamous lobster. The raffia details in other looks worked less well (one dress, called The Cherry on the Cake, featured a raffia top with twin cherries hanging from one nipple, left very little to our sartorial imagination), as did the draped, twisted organza gowns in shades of pistachio, violet and raspberry. There’s no doubt about it: just as the most uncomplicated recipes are often the tastiest, Bertrand Guyon is at his best when playing with simplicity and subtlety. We’ll drink (and eat) to that.