Inside Bukowkis, Berzelli Park, Stockholm on Wednesday, away from the stiflingly hot Fashion Pavilion, this Midday offering was rather a nice change. It was still repressingly warm – one model had to be flattened on her back, fanned and offered water – but after shows of fast-paced, strutting catwalk models, to sashay around a beautiful building at leisure was very welcome.
Aside from the heat-induced melodrama, aesthetically things appeared calm and collected at Alice Fine next season.
Karin Bjurström, the designer and founder, appeared in front of her muses sporting a black hip-hop-huge sweater with race-track curve – one of the pieces from her spring/summer 2014 collection.
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Her models, however, were less sporty more Terminator, shielded from unseen foes in shiny black masks covering two-thirds of their faces, hard black neck-braces and patent stilettos.
If there was possibility Bjurström’s spring/summer offering was going to be too laid-back, one needn’t worry; these space-age masks and sharp edges ensured sloppiness wasn’t to be a problem.
Neither was it scary. These weren’t dominatrices – allusions to nature in splashes of pale gold, green and blue-grey played up the femininity with dignified reticence. Three-quarter length culottes and a feathery print silk gown were easy and carefree.
In a collection inspired by natural and man-made forms of protection, attention to shape and cut-outs seen in previous collections were remodelled in cropped, layered pieces over silks like body armour. A dove-grey sleeveless coat and combatant stilettos echoed the defensive strategy of Alice Fine next season.
Why were they preparing for attack? No one knows. But what is known is that Alice Fine’s women next season may not be as hard as nails but they are certainly prepared.