Against a vast backdrop of a russet moon (that quite literally filled one end of the show space) Dany Tabet presented his Spring/Summer 2016 evening wear collection.
Rather boldly for spring/summer, the opening looks were all black. First came a slash fronted, floor sweeping wrap dress in sheer chiffon.
Next came dresses with boned bodices and long black lace gloves, reminiscent of Victorian widows weed’s. Theatrical and attention grabbing, the scene was set for the arrival of the star of the show: heavy beading that appeared on nearly every look that followed. First on a rich encrusted body suit, then seen again on gown after gown, wrapped around necks and snaked across bodies.
Simple black dresses were laden with silver beading, so heavy it almost looked like jewellery. Neck lines became beaded chokers and waists were wrapped in shimmering spangles.
Then, like the dawn breaking, came a drastic colour change into pale blues and creams.
Long, draping chiffon gowns fluttered down the runway, flowing with every step. The embellishment continued, too, as fitted racer tops over full lace skirts were followed by bolero cut crop tops.
As the palette deepened again, this time into darker blues (more sea than sky), gowns became swathed in intricate pleating around the torso.
Against a soundtrack repeating the phrase “the heart of the sun” came deep rust tones, layered under black lace, giving way to the standout look of the evening: a simple, high-waisted two-piece bodysuit overlaid in lace and draped with a black lace cape.
His closing looks were bridal dresses in two guises: the first, a shorter and sassier take on the modern version, while the final look was more expected — full skirted and laden with yet more heavy beading. This was a fitting end to an evening wear show.
And yet against this elegance and sophistication, Tabet spoke in his show notes that he was inspired by the plight of the Syrian refugees. Quite what the migrants themselves would make of this remains a mystery. As I struggle to make the connection between political migrants and bespoke evening gowns, I feel this statement detracts from the clothes. It is a beautiful collection consisting of well-cut, beaded evening wear. Why muddy the waters?