London Fashion Week: Let your imagination run wild with Gyunel’s AW15 collection
Azerbaijani-born Gyunel knows how to put on a show. On her runways fashion, art and music all collide to tell stories inspired by myths, steeped in history and foretelling the future of fashion. This season, Gyunel narrated the tale of the Post-Apocalyptic Survivor.
Singer Ella Eyre opened the show with an exclusive acoustic performance, her sultry voice echoing around the Bloomsbury Ballroom. ‘Not even gravity can hold us down’, she sang. Apt, given the birds-eye view of a frosty, post-apocalyptic cityscape emblazoned on the backdrop behind her.
With her AW15/16 collection Gyunel hopes to take us on a journey through her childhood in Baku, in and out of famous novels and her vivid youthful imagination. Together we soar in and around the city on a flying carpet, dodging, weaving, near missing running witches, chicken houses and aliens invading the sky. The power of past and future have equal and opposite pulls as the futuristic Post-Apocalyptic Survivor desperately tries to cling on to memories of the past.
The Baku skyline has inspired structured silhouttes, giving dramatic shapes to capes and dresses, while more relaxed separates give a nod to the sports luxe trend with leather bombers and sweaters. As always, Gyunel’s themes translate literally in to her designs as well as being implied. Panels on draping maxis and neat mini-dresses feature epic, eerie terrains in autumnal greens and wintery blues.
Layers of neoprene, woven silks and perforated leather are intended to pay tribute to mythical creatures, but also flesh out the story of the Post-Apocalyptic Survivor: she must pull together the pieces she has access to in this new, unknown world. An incredibly theatrical example of innovative layering, YCB’s favourite look saw the dipped hem trend of the last few years taken to the extreme. Cropped to bare a little flesh at the front, one of Gyunel’s tops billows to the floor at the back, enveloping trousers in an inside contrast print. Reminding us of Emma Watson in Dior’s trouser / dress ensemble last year, we’re convinced this is a trend that’s going to filter through to the high street.
Having enjoyed a career as a successful artist before turning her hand to fashion design, Gyunel never fails to astound us with her creativity. Like many designers this season Gyunel has played with the cut out trend, but has taken it even further. Whilst backs are bare, its almost as if the material that’s been cut away has been added to the front instead. Many pieces paraded down the runway featured elaborate 3D folds of excess material.
Depicted sometimes as a grungy warrior, dreadlocked hair twisted with thick rope, other times as regal in royal red, all Gyunel’s post-apocalyptic women have one thing in common: they’re survivors.