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16 Sep

The Show Must Go On: Harris Reed Injects Drama

LONDON — It has develop into tradition for Harris Reed to kick off London Fashion Week with fireworks, regardless that his show shouldn’t be on the official calendar. 

This season was no different, despite the indisputable fact that the country is in national mourning for Queen Elizabeth II. Reed’s first physical runway show featured a live performance and swanning models, nevertheless it was also was tactful and majestic.

He hosted his sixth collection inside Dutch Hall, a renovated church that dates to 1550, a time when King Edward VI was welcoming Protestant Dutch, French and Flemish refugees to England.

On Thursday evening, Reed channeled the majestic mood with 150 guests seated for a spectacle. His shows are sometimes like a debutante ball inside “Hotel Transylvania” with the drama of “Dynasty.”

Queen’s frontman Adam Lambert took to the red velvet-draped stage to perform “Nessun Dorma” from the ultimate act of Giacomo Puccini’s opera “Turandot” about royalty, love and death.

He was wearing a black suit with power shoulders and a floor-length cape.

Reed continued in his demi-couture model using 60 to 70 percent of deadstock fabrics to create a jewel toned cornucopia of 12 looks.

Marc Hibbert

“We rejigged the music and adjusted the mood to make it feel more appropriate, especially as Adam performed on the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee earlier this yr,” said Reed after the show, adding that, as a young designer he needed to “keep working, as things had been paid for. I believe the queen would have wanted the British economy and art scene to flourish.”

Reed’s show was full of jewel-toned demi-couture looks made mostly from deadstock fabrics.

His color palette was inspired by what he found on the “LVMH deadstock showroom [in London] and Fabric House, a deadstock place out within the countryside. I’m attempting to explore color in a little bit of a fun, different way,” he said.

“My challenge that I desired to push with was find out how to have wearable art in a semi-couture approach, but even have it’s on the MTV VMA,” said Reed, who collaborated with jewelry brand Missoma.

Marc Hibbert

His silhouette this season felt more regal and wearable, without compromising his signature theatrical designs. His last collection was successful editorially and has been selling well, and he’s been working toward getting the pieces on the red carpet. 

“My challenge was find out how to have wearable art with a semi-couture approach,” and have it worn on the red carpet at events similar to the MTV VMAs, said Reed, who also collaborated with jewelry brand Missoma for a silver sequinned ensemble for the show.

The show was larger than life, and it was unimaginable for guests to snapshot the clothes on their small iPhone screens. “I wanted people to literally get hit within the face with silk taffeta — they usually did,” Reed said.

The British American dressmaker ended the show with a brief strapless bridal gown.

Marc Hibbert

The British American designer ended the show with a brief, strapless bridal gown accompanied by an oversize fan hat inspired by his nights out in London at Metropolis, a former five-floor strip club that has develop into the stomping ground for a lot of queer Londoners.

“It was all about my friends in go-go boots and ripped up bridal dresses,” he said, adding that he included a bouquet of lily of the valley flowers with the ultimate look in a nod to the queen. It was her favorite flower.

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