Thursday 28th September

| BY Richard Gray

Undercover: Ready-to-Wear SS18

Janus is the two-faced god of doorways: one way in and one way out; it’s an age old allusion to the split personality. Of two people in one.

Janus was the title of Undercover designer Jun Takahashi’s Spring show where identical looking models walked hand-in-hand to music which ranged from the lullaby-like, to something far more sinister towards the end.

The clothes spliced decades together with a big emphasis on the 1950s: nip-and-kick satin printed gowns for a big band be-bop, to pretty day-frocks for shopping. It was twee and innocent and had an unnerving edge.

Takahashi played with sporty shapes too, a t-shirt dress worn with long socks and wooden block wedges – very Shibuya. Throughout the show, too, were images of Cindy Sherman the American (and highly collectible) photographic artist, who stars in her own pictures, made up as strange characters using wigs and prosthetics and sometimes clown-like makeup. Sherman’s two sides (the one behind the lens and the one she projects in front of it) were yet another of the designer’s riffs on the power of two.

So what did it all mean? It’s up to you: with prints of UFOs on one dress and another covered in jutting red sequin lips; it could mean all manner of things. But in the main it meant duality and dual dressing. It also meant twice the ideas than everybody else. So there.

At the end the girls walked out in a second change – each in a pretty frock – one however, had threads of red beads hanging off it. Blood? And when the music from Kubrick’s fantastical horror classic The Shining came over the speakers, the haunting twin show models now made even more sense. Unnerving. And absolutely incredible. Incredible.

Photographs by Jason Lloyd Evans