London Fashion Week is by far my favorite occurrence on the fashion month calendar. Why? Artists have given themselves permission to unabashedly be themselves and create collections which give shape to their own unique visions of a perfect universe. For Mary Benson this came in the form of a gig complete with merch desk manned by colourful cast members sporting green and blue hair, respectively. How did Benson find these enchanting creatures? Through the Internet of course, in an open casting call held in January. Not everyone is capable of finding models through open casting, only those with a strong sense of self and the right audience i.e. those who believe in their vision can come together and work collaboratively. Indeed, that's just what Mary Benson has done and in spectacular fashion with her models creating music and adding to the soundtrack of this punky awkward collection. It makes my heart ache for when I was still sixteen and hating high school, going to under 18's shows with my friends and desperately trying to find 'my people'.
The collection is a hodge podge of references to late 90s and early noughties, bound by tulle, endowed in Swarovski crystals and worn with low cut Converse sneakers. In addition to heat pressed vinyl, which Benson frequents to create eerie abstract faces on many of her dresses the designer also dabbled in screen printing and embroidery to create DIY inspired slogan t-shirts. For those pop culture nerds the styling may remind you of such figures including (but not limited to) Willow from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Avril Lavigne during her Sk8er Boi phase, Greenday, Blink 182 and trashy pop punk. It's everything I never knew I wanted in a fashion collection and more. The first teaser leaked via Mary Benson's Instagram was a shot of the most perfect customised guitar picks which is when I knew it was going to be good. From there I watched the collection unfold from my feed, yearning to watch model's play covers of Blink 182 and listen to Sum 41 at the 100 club in London. Post LFW madness I still have the privilege to see more and more of the collection as new photos are posted but left wondering what will happen at the next show in six months time.