At a glimpse, The Rodnik Band is just a bit of fun. It’s wacky, comical and fabulously British. However, taking a closer look – as we did last night at The Mayfair Hotel – it quickly becomes apparent that founder, Philip Colbert, is actually making a serious comment about the boundaries of fashion and creative expression. He bravely explores the shadowy distance between fashion, music, and art. The AW/12 collection boasts as much original flare as his previous designs. The label continues to take British musings and emblems such as the ‘Brasso’ label, and turn them into something utterly fabulous and curiously wearable.
After being greeted with the choice tequila laced vitamin water or a cup of rosy lea, the buzz about the room started to settle and we were able to take in the sights. The right hand side of the room was given to a red, blue and white a cake display. The models stood on British flag motif podiums to the left, presenting designs of an ironically regal nature. For AW/12, The Rodnik band has delved into the world of the Monarchy.
The red sequin shift dresses worn by the first and third models had a ‘Queen of Hearts’ feel about them, as if the models themselves had been transformed into royal caricatures. The second model had a more subtle gesture towards royalty with her soft black sequin crown and neutral shades. The ‘typically British’ inspiration behind the accessories made for bags that resembled a double decker bus, a black cab, and, wait for it, a fried egg. Colbert himself had a similar fried egg swinging from his neck. Genius.
Like the designs, the makeup was equally as elaborate and over-the-top. Each outfit was accompanied with pink shadowed, heavily lined eyes smeared to the cheeks, bright red lips, and incredible detailing on the nails. Despite the vast quantity, there was an element of perfection to the makeup, heightening the extent to which the models resembled cartoon characters.
After we’d managed to get a good glimpse at the three designs on show, we were ushered into cinema room. The Rodnik Band presented a very funny, mock-amateur film clip to exhibit further designs. Not only that, the film had an element of the uncanny about it, and had quite an estranging impact – not just because the fire alarm went off half way through! The clip was largely based around the notion of Kate and Pippa Middleton wearing The Rodnik Band. Two very good look-alikes were filmed meeting Colbert and having to come to terms with wearing his, shall we say, ‘out there’ designs. There was a constant rumbling of laugher from the audience. The film served to connect each spectator through their understanding of the hilarity of the notion suggested, which is turn reminded us of our good old English humour and wit.
When asked if the label sought to mock the royal family Colbert simply replied ‘No not at all, it’s all about making everything relevant’. Our national heritage is after all a huge part of our history and identity, whether we like it or not. What better way to show off this kind of identity than through the world of fashion? After all, we tend express the most about ourselves through what we wear. Why not express the best bits about being British too?
On a secondary note, The Rodnik Band organised a grand finale in the form of one of the models springing from a huge cake. Hats off to Philip Colbert for making fashion fun.