Knitwear designer Mark Fast always finds a fanciful story to go along with his collections. Whether or not they always translate on to the runway is another story but this season it was about desert mirages and tropical exoticism. Unlike past seasons, Fast didn’t just stick with his steadfast tight and revealing knits but expanded into crochets and fisherman’s knits that added to the overall aesthetic change. Fast also tried working with non-knits for the first time, showing a lava toned print on a vibrant red neoprene that appeared on dresses and skirts. It’s an interesting position for the designer to be in because London, as demonstrated this week, has a number of successful designers whose entire appeal is based around their ability to manipulate print, but if Fast had stuck with his steadfast silhouettes, he surely would have received the one-note review that he’s been getting the past few seasons.
Buyers may be inundated with prints to choose form this week but more importantly some have pointed out, wearability and salability have never been high priorities on Fast’s list. He has long been criticized for the super revealing, unwearable nature of his designs and this season saw a number of the looks not translate well onto the runway. One model in particular had a very difficult time walking in her floor length dress. Seeing as superstar casting director Natalie Joos cast the show, it’s pretty clear that it wasn’t just a model with a bad walk. The palette moved from a cool sandy tone, to bright yellow, in through orange and red, and finally black with a finale dress featuring seemingly burning embers on the hem. While it was a more youthful showing from the designer, let’s hope he continues to move in a more wearable direction.