RCA Fashion Show – A Walk Without a Cat

  • Photography  Courtesy of RCA
  • Words  Abi Buller

Marking their seventieth year with the same boldness and rebellious spirit historically associated with RCA Fashion, their recent graduate show, A Walk Without a Cat, displayed a sense of radical transformation. Offering a viscerally holistic approach to a traditional catwalk, graduates showcased their collections through a multi-faceted experience hosted at 180 the Strand on 14-15 June 2018.

Fifty students and an abundance of creative freedom offered an overarching sense of dissatisfaction with current fashion systems and a prevailing technological discourse. Incorporating dance performances, installations, static exhibitions and moving image, the presence of self-expression present was all-encompassing. From futuristic space suits to crystal accessories grown from human sweat, the garments were created to push the boundaries of new materials and sustainable concepts.

A dystopian view of youth was apparent in Anan Hu’s virtual toys, with models dressed in warrior-like forms that played on alternative dimensions in an ode to anime, comics and video games.

Inspired by the politically turbulent year of 2016, Archie Dickens engaged with the spaces that exist in between reality and dreamscape to create unusually draped textiles.

The overall energy at this event was powerful in a cult-like atmosphere. With moments of severity uplifted by more playful styles, the show was somewhat of an oxymoron filled with melancholic joy, which exploded into an unconventional party scene merging the models and audience in an effervescent blur.

Clothing by Archie Dickens photography © Pedro Covas
Clothing by Hannes Wandaller, photograph © Iolo Lewis Edwards
Clothing by Anan Hu