By Wanda O’Brien
Photography by Marcio Madeira
It was a fully packed event at the Mark Fast show at London Fashion Week on Feb.20. The Somerset House venue, on the bank of Thames River, was packed with fashionistas and fans, who awaited to view what the well-known knitwear designer would bring to the catwalk for his autumn/winter 2012 line.
The audience was not to be disappointed with the show that featured knits in various styles, from tattered and edgy to structured and tight, in a palette of greys, black and whites, and neutrals, finished with a pop of colour in the final hip-hugging dresses.
When the houselights dimmed and the runway lit up, low-back ribbed dresses, knitted hats and hooded scarves took to the floor. Striped sweaters and skirts with slits running up both thighs made their way down the runway a few minutes later. Tousled braids completed looks with a whimsical romantic tone.
The clothing transitioned from greys and darker tones to beige and cream garments, starting with a loosely fitted open sweater. The delicate-looking piece had slits at the shoulder and free-flowing woollen threads that floated away from the body and caught the runway wind.
Dresses with sharp black-and-white lines made their way down the runway next.
The designer himself has described the Mark Fast woman as “strong and enthusiastic, with great legs,” which is definitely shown off in this collection. Black hats completed the black-and-white wear, and were paired with bare-shoulder tops or long sweaters.
See-through striped dresses took centrestage next, with opening slits that showed off backs and hips. One-toned, chunky, ribbed knit dresses with interwoven woollen designs and v-neck lines displayed the Fast knitwear craftsmanship.
Fast also focused on the colour spectrum that included deep blue.
Front and centre in the crowd sat Kanye West, Marina Diamandis, Portia Freeman, Mollie King, Zara Martin, Nicola Roberts, Gizzi Erskine and Grace Woodward. Kanye also attended the designer’s creative talent dinner in early February.
Fast hails from Winnipeg, Canada, but is no stranger to London, having studied at the London-based Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design. His signature items are handmade knitted dresses. He utilizes lycra in combination with wools to create his design pieces.