Sunday 17th February

| BY Claudia Croft

Halpern: Ready-To-Wear AW19

Is there life beyond sequins? For Michael Halpern, who made his name with bedazzled, defiantly sparkly glam rock inspired looks that are as life-affirming as they are ostentatious, the answer is, yes. Halpern’s sparkles have always had a political element. In his Kira Kira world, the freedom to be daring, to stand out and express yourself with impossible-to-ignore clothes, comes hand in hand with his anti-Trump, pro-freedom stance. This time the designer looked further back than the disco era that had informed previous collections. The opulence, exoticism and spectacle of Erte’s drawings fed into AW 19. Halpern’s signature paillettes were still in play, on flared party trousers, swagged bustiers and draped mini dresses, but no designer, (with the exception perhaps of Bob Mackie) can live by sequins alone. So Halpern deftly explored other high-vis, high shine options. Shimmering silk jacquards were fashioned onto opera capes with coordinating cocktail gowns. Intensely printed jersey was artfully draped and gathered around the body. Rainbow ombré ciré gave a glassy look to high necked mini dresses and swathed bustiers. Halpern gave one daffodil yellow floor length halter-dress a high necklace of glittering crystals. His clothes, like his women are irrepressible.

Photographs by Jason-Lloyd Evans.