Funnily enough if you add a t into Les Biches, you get an entirely different English meaning to the French word 'Biches' which means female deer or in the context of this AW08-9 collection by Ostwald Helgason, a designer I discovered last season, the title Les Biches refers to yet another Ballets Russes production. Nope, nothing to do with Bitches, because Susanne Oswalt and Ingvar Helgason have drawn influence from a debauched drawing room party (where is that drawing room of mine to have such debachery...?) where an innocent-minded girl may be subject to corruption.
So pretty satins and silks teeter on the edge of ruin with the neoprene and nylon. Woodland prints and cute Bambi motifs are jostling with prints of deer fur and curtain drapes, suggesting the heaviness of old fashioned drawing rooms. It all comes off looking quite eclectic as a collection where people might question the 'flow' of it. I'd liken their work a little to what Giles Deacon does, that appealing randomness in his collection where you're a little like 'Eh?' but at the end of the day, you can't deny the beauty of it, even if it is a strange sort. I think if I was ever in a drawing room party (likelihood being zero...), then a bit of strange beauty would go a long way to making me feel comfortable in that slightly odd situation.