Designers like to riff on ecclesiastical themes – Dolce & Gabbana do it obsessively, while Thom Browne had pews, incense and robes at his New York show earlier this month – but few have done it as subtly and beautifully as Marios Schwab this season.
The designer’s catwalk was lined with votive candles and his models wore dog collars, some of them dangling with swinging silver rosaries. Delicate chiffon dresses in nun-like white or black came with trailing, sheer robes.
But that’s as far as the religious references went. A lot of this collection was seriously sexy – sinner more than saint, perhaps. There were mini dresses with corset tops, buckled chokers and little leather skirts, all typical of Schwab who says he like to bring a “hint of the erotic” into his clothes.
Minimalist make-up, fuss-free hair and boxy bomber jackets kept the look modern rather than va-va-voom. There were clever twists like a chiffon white shirt with a train paired with black leather pants, a high-necked cape worn over one shoulder and a petrol blue satin jacket with sparkling starry constellations on the sleeves.
Silver brooches in the shape of a fan, a feather or an anchor were pinned in clusters, adding interest to the largely monochrome palette.
Schwab, whose show notes said the collection was designed for girls who “move to their own rhythm” has a growing army of famous fans, so don’t be surprised to see any of these looks popping up on the red carpet.