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Show Report

Show Report: Undercover S/S 18 Womenswear

by Lucy Norris on 29 September 2017

Lucy Norris reports on the Undercover S/S 18 womenswear show.

Lucy Norris reports on the Undercover S/S 18 womenswear show.

Having grossed $500 million at the global box office, Stephen King’s It has just beaten The Exorcist to become the highest grossing horror movie ever. For the Undercover show, we found ourselves in a hotel with the soundtrack to Stanley Kubrick’s cinematic adaptation of another of King’s novels, The Shining, playing over the speakers. Placed in circles, we sat in little clusters amongst the ballroom in Le Grand Hotel. Pairs of models holding hands arrived and stopped a while in each circle. Goblet sized pearls were worn in the ears with spotted tea dresses and glitter shoes. Matching printed headscarves and roller set hair added a thirties/forties retro vibe. One girl would be wearing a dress costume covered in surrealist red lips, whilst another girl’s dress with a picture of Cindy Sherman on it zoomed us forward several decades. Other surrealist motifs included red sequinned strawberries popping out of the end of a saxophone. By the time a pair arrived with the words 'Love animal' and 'Hate human' written on the back each one's respective jackets, it became apparent that this was a collection about oppositions. These women walked as couples - connected yet different. They might wear the same shape dress, but one would be leopard print, the other printed in a baroque motif. Nurses, girlfriends, wives, enemies, twins, strangers, the alliance between these girls was open to interpretation. The way they spun around in each circle was like they were in a musical box. One suspected it might happen but when the twins from The Shining arrived, it was a seriously 'good-scared' moment. Floating across a magenta-lit room, identical twin models wore knee high socks and matching long locks of blonde hair – with red blood like sequin trails down their white satin dresses.

Backstage, after the show, Undercover’s Jun Takahashi told us that every single piece in the collection was completely reversible! Like a kind of two-for-one, he talked about Cindy Sherman being one of his muses for this split personality style of dressing saying; 'She is a 'normal' person and then there is her as an artist – they are two completely different people.' Chatting about surrealist concepts, such as 'the uncanny', he said, 'Twins look identical – but they are different people.' A delicious experiment in post-Freud 'mirror stage' theory by Jacques Lacan, this show was a psychoanalytical feast. When asked whether this collection’s theme of unhinged horror had anything to do with female empowerment, and/or the confusion of the 'fake news' era, Takahashi replied: 'Everything in this world is upside down and inside out. No one knows what reality is anymore.'

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