Alexandra Groover makes a votive offering to the Fashion Gods - S/S 2014
It was 13th on a dark September evening. The city streets were drowning with torrential downpours but the undeterred the crowds kept arriving to see a fresh Fashion Week show at Hoxton Square Bar - everybody felt something unusual was about to happen.
A crowd of bodies with hungry eyes engulfed the performers in the theatrical presentation of Groover’s work in a show created in collaboration with choreographer Christopher Matthews. Inside the circle the piece that played out was a live interpretation of the theme of Groover’s SS14 collection REBIRTH. A further addition to an already extended trilogy of films it follows BIRTH, LIFE, DEATH, AFTERLIFE, and RESURRECTION accompanied by a live atmospheric soundscape from musicians Christos Fanaras and Mark Wagner.
It may be a Spring/Summer collection but Groover’s style is never going to be the floral prints and pastels that flourish in fashion’s sunnier season. Her concept of Spring is embodied in the ethereal nymph draped in virginal white. She was then bedecked with large ceremonial jewellery in malleable copper; a clean, modern version of ancient cuffs and a large collar in the shape of unfurling petals. The metal’s warm tone in soft brushed finishes and burnished edges kept the pieces feminine yet bold. Further silver jewellery from collaborator Jane Groover of crescent moons and simple shapes married well with the rest of the plain black collection.
Don’t let the theatrical presentation overshadow how easy this collection is to wear and how well thought out the pieces were. Produced in East London from organic fabrics and English suppliers the garments enshrouding the rest of the other-worldly tribe were simple and easy to layer. The cape was a bold statement piece but in soft sporty fleece and gathered black dresses provided interesting and flattering shapes with room to maneuvre. Even in the case of the puritanical black bonnets taking them out of the moody back of bar setting and onto the streets of a wet and windy English spring of inverted umbrellas doesn't seem too incomprehensible (just don’t expect to see Goody Wintour just yet).
From her background with Alexandra McQueen & Zandra Rhodes - both renowned for their dramatic, flamboyant styles - Groover has not sacrificed good design over styling but, like these household names, has shown her creativity and personality in a collection of simple yet interesting staples, hopefully resulting in gaining more ground in the wardrobes of the future.
Words, photography and original illustrations by Jade Mellor