For their spring show, design duo Charlotte Knowles and Alexandre Arsenault laid out a runway of brown asphalt, which the models nearly ground to dust with their thigh-high biker-cum-cowboy boots.
The footwear, HotPants and imposing biker jackets with built-out shoulders were all made of hefty bull leather, which fed the spring show’s subtle western twang, and matched the models’ don’t-mess-with-me attitude. Most of the other clothes were skimpy or slinky, done up in an array of muted plaids and mottled prints.
The show was titled “Petrol,” which made you imagine the commotion these fierce Knwls ladies would make if they pulled up to the pump on a Harley-Davidson — self-serve, of course — in their skimpy bra tops, corset-like bodysuits, low-slung jeans or a wispy dress.
Knowles and Arsenault seem gifted for branding — their clothes, handbags, headscarves, footwear and jewelry all speaking the same language. There’s a raw, cave woman quality to their fashions, but executed with finesse.
The duo aren’t shy about their admiration for Jean Paul Gaultier, having recently designed a capsule ready-to-wear collection with the French house.
The penultimate look of the show was an ode to the house. The green leather bodysuit with corset lacing was worn by Lily McMenamy, who strutted down the runway to Gaultier’s offbeat 1989 electro-pop track “How to Do That.”
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