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The thing one can always expect from Marios Schwab is a conceptually driven runway show, brimming with technically constructed garments, fused with traditional craftsmanship, and a considered analysis of an issue troubling him within society. His core brand aesthetic of bodily form and movement (Schwab’s childhood dream was to be a ballet dancer) sets him apart from the pack, too.

Yesterday’s dazzling spectacle introduced a modern-day Pocahontas, sheathed in contoured sheer tulle shifts showered with embroidered crystals, punctuated occasionally by raffia and tassels (below).

The downright modernity of his Marilyn-esque goddess gowns teamed with tasselled-front sandals prompted certain glamorous frowers, namely Anna Dello Russo, to twitch and salivate. They were that sexy. Yet they were equally riddled with clues about Schwab’s bigger message – a quote from National Geographic on tribal peoples explained the Native American feel of it all.

“We’re very much at a time when you should question things, look at nature and go back to basics,” said Schwab post-show. “In the past I’ve looked at the strength of the modern movie goddess. Now I’m embracing the warrior woman. Previously, decoration somehow seemed arrogant. I wanted to use it this time to put across the humbling nature of tribalism and explore traditions and rituals of threatened cultures.”

At a time when fashion has to acknowledge eco issues and a loss of craftsmanship like never before, it translated a poignant message. And yet even if you didn’t grasp what it was about, it wouldn’t have taken a jot away from its beauty.

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Anya Hindmarch
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