Diane Pernet has described Ann-Sofie Back as a "strikingly satirical" designer. And that she is. The Swede, who now chooses to show her collections in London, takes inspiration from popular culture, and her references are often extreme and blunt. Miss Back does not do subtlety. For example, her AW 08/09 show was based around celebrity culture, and the clothing featured: delicate pieces of lace work reflecting the underwear certain celebutantes like to show off when stepping out of their cars; rips, tears and twists, recalling the famous incident when Kate Moss ripped her couture gown, and to save face, twisted and tied it up to make a new fashionable statement; safety-pins and studding reminiscent of the multiple piercings sported by some celebs:
SS09 saw Back's celebrities decide to take the plunge and go under the knife. The dresses were cut and sewn back together, or the models were literally held together by bandages. The beauty look for the season? Felt-tip pen markings showing where incisions were to be made, and plasters protecting their new nose-jobs...
In theory, I like concepts behind Ann-Sofie's designs, and I do enjoy a fashion show which has a fully-developed thought process behind it. Unfortunately, though, sometimes the clothes which she produces just aren't very flattering/attractive/chic, and she has had limited commerical success or press-coverage. However, her AW 09/10 collection attracted a lot of attention. Entitled Ann-Sofie Back burns in Hell, Back referenced 90's American horror films, painted the models faces a ghoulish white, gave them demonic contact lenses and ordered them to stalk down the catwalk like zombie brides after their prey. Naturally, there was a soundtrack made up of horror theme-tune classics, and the run-through ended a bit more up-beat with Ghost Busters :-) It was a refreshing, strangely energetic, tense and beautiful show. And the clothes weren't half bad either.
There were the blood-dripping sunglasses (that I neeed to buy), dreamcatcher jewellery and dresses, the obligatory torn wedding dress, and a series of sexy slouchy sweaters (the one shouting BOO! will be mine, it's available on ASOS, thanks Susie!). There also some very wearable trousers, jackets and coats. I loved it. And the press did too. In fact, even Grazia loved it!
After all the hype of this collection, Ann-Sofie got picked up to be the designer of ready-to-wear at cult Swedish jeans brand Cheap Monday, and her new collection for TopShop just came out this week, but luckily she has decided to continue showing her own line in London. We look forward to seeing where you go next!