Model turned designer Mimi Wade took to Fashion East’s Topshop Showspace to show off her Fall 2017 collection, what she calls her alternative school uniform (which was also served as a fabulous and a dazzling tribute to The Pink Panther). “Without realising I’ve designed an alternative to my school uniform. At school, the uniforms were so ugly that everyone would put their dark green skirts on a boil wash in the machine 20 times over so they would become a more attractive pale, blue-y turquoise.” The greens, blues and browns were in stark contrast to the pastel pink hair styled in the same tight curls as Shirley MacLaine's hairdo in What a Way to Go. Another lively addition were the sparkly earrings and choker necklaces, a collaboration which came about through Wade’s mother who works under jeweller Vicki Sarge. Intimate family ties and a childlike imagination are among the strengths which have helped Mimi’s career as an emerging fashion designer, and made it all the more interesting to observe.
The dresses came decorated in tiny pink pawprints, mini magnifying glasses and fluffy white clouds on metallic blue sweaters, it’s evident the devil was in the detail. Neck ties sporting digital prints, lurex socks, tennis shoes and acrylic brooches made by London-based jewellery house Tatty Devine helped add a touch of realism to the whole affair. It’s those finishing touches which helped Wade bring her trademark tongue in cheek humour to London Fashion Week. Like previous seasons, this collection with her was inspired by her fabulous grandmother, actress Pamela Curran, as well as magic mushrooms, hand-painted and digitally printed on velour. Moving away from old school Hollywood glamour, a motif which has become synonymous with Mimi Wade’s body of work, her inspiration this season was the classic murder mystery. It follows another designer's presentation at London Fashion Week, 'An Accessory to Murder' by Charlotte Olympia. This season, don’t bother dialling M for murder. Who you gonna call? Dial M for Mimi!
Wade has her finger on the zeitgeist when it comes to outfits celebrating all things girly with her own distinct take on the femme fatale. She's both humorous and sexy, doesn't take herself too seriously and experiments with her hair and outfits. She also dresses within a very characteristic silhouette cinched at the waist, emphasising the hips and skimming just above the knee. The shape and form of these dresses is secondary to their embellishment and decoration, with motifs and fictional characters from popular fiction bringing each and every one of her super girly and ultra-glamorous designs to life. In addition to vibrant prints, ruffles and ostrich feathers adorning the shoulders, hemlines and satin evening gloves gave a certain air of theatrics to the entire show. As we get older, nourishing our inner child becomes more imperative, and Wade’s designs do just that. Think of it as dressing up for a more mature audience – more in the vain of Advanced Style and Man Repeller rather than Fifty Shades.
Photo 1 via interviewmag instagram. 2 and 26-34 via Mimi Wade Instagram, 3-18 via British Fashion Council, 19, 21, 22 via aamo_casting instagram, 20 via eugeniawein instagram, 23 via zarahkofler instagram, 24 via Tatty Devine instagram, 25 & 27 via Fashion East instagram.