My dad is a magician (no seriously, it's true) so, you would think that tricks and illusions, being commonplace in my humdrum routine, become less than deeply effective with each passing day.
Well, you would be wrong. Perhaps it's my easily enthused, child-like innocence but magical game trickery constantly astounds me- especially when applied to the wondrous world of fashion.
Today, the thrill of my childhood amplified when, Manish Arora, the animated, effervescent, indian designing exuberance, conjured up some true style alchemy in his a/w collection.
Magician Benjamin Dukhan emerged centre-stage to open the spectacle. Using a metal cage, wooden chests, a glass case and a ring of fire, the magician entreated the audience with a houdini-style hoopla, puffing flawless models from thin air.
The clothes, however, bore no illusion- truly a wonder to behold. Each look was a complex, elaborate labyrinth of design.
A breathtakingly, inconceivable succession of artistry dazzled the runway. There were catsuits, body-con dresses, oriental caped jackets and velvet leggings infused with detonative firework displays of colour and showerings of glitter. Jewel-toned metallic pieces were fashioned with big-top circus roof panelling, while some were adorned with evolving crystal formation prints. Upon lengths of lycra, the designer imparted digital prints, swallowing us into a fantasy computer game with geometric movements and hypnotic webs of colour.
Beading went beyond the realms of intricacy, forming hauntingly beautiful designs inspired by German dolls and reminiscent of theatrical Chinese puppetry. Soaked with obscure trompe l'oeil detail, the result was tortuously entangling. It was an unfathomable, artistic enigma, unfairly branded as fashion. Costumery- perhaps but much too complex as clothing alone.