Sunday 16th February

| BY Claudia Croft

Halpern: Ready-to-wear AW20

The Brits are obsessed with class. Any good American can see that – and Michael Halpern is a very good American. But rather than reinforcing the way dressing up divides us and keeps us separate, he tore down the barriers. Halpern stitches politics into everything he does – he makes sequins sparkle with meaning. In his hands they’re not just armour for good time girls but symbols of freedom and defiance. He chose his venue, The Old Bailey, because everyone is equal in the eyes of the law and it’s opulent marble hall was a fitting backdrop for a collection where bourgeois codes and heiress chic were shot through with glam rock energy.

Adwoa Aboa, the very essence of a modern society girl, opened the show in a green velvet kaftan, that trailed behind her in a dramatic waft. The Halpern woman knows how to make an entrance. She also knows how to have a good time. Flared jumpsuits glimmered with ripple effect sequins. He recycled old and bent sequins for many of the looks. There was also python pant suit and glam rock satins which brought the rebel element. Halpern quotes British haute bohemians Zandra Rhodes, Bill Gibb and Ossie Clarke as inspirations. He also collaborated with J Brand – a flared denim trouser suit is a taster of what’s to come.

Photographs by Jason Lloyd-Evans.