At the show, Todd revealed his starting point was Heart of Darkness, a Joseph Conrad novella from 1902 in which, the narrator of the story, and Englishman, becomes the captain of a trading river boat in Belgian Africa, to discover during his journey three levels of darkness... First, the darkness of the Congo wilderness, the Europeans' cruelty towards the natives, and finally, the darkness within all humans, capable of the worst acts of evil. In the novel, as he tells the story back in England from dusk to late into the night, the darkening sky parallels the events he recounts...
The pre-show darkness first came alive with nature's grand orchestra of a tropical forest. Then the whoosh a single pair of wings in the night. There..., and back. Drums, followed by a host of percussion instruments, as coloured lights came on.
Safari!, I heard myself announce the obvious, but the reason for my excitement went well beyond that recognition. It's great, special, unique, sleek, structured safari, at last.
Safari pieces have been around in film and fashion for decades and decades (just look up photos of Yves Saint Laurent in the 1960s), and they keep coming back around, but finding great staples and well-made unique pieces can be a real challenge. So, a first look of Todd's current endeavour screamed success as soon as the opening look came into view. Besides, the feel of many of the outfits took me back to his a/w 2010 show, my favourite thus far (see why).
Now, besides safari, tribal touches add to the never-fading sophistication of Todd Lynn's collections for next spring. Apparently, the themes lend themselves well to that signature body armour concept we have come to love.
The colour and print blocks, the necklines and the cutouts enhance the same effect as the tough and dramatic collection unfolds to reveal softness and structure. It does so via intricate draping and pleating, the signature figure-hugging, and also the new, fuller pieces in an abstract jungle shadow print combined with an earthy colour spectrum of sand, yellow, red, forest greens and black chocolate.
In that order, just as the sky turns a deeper shade with each step until you arrive in the very heart of darkness. It seems we have been taken on a well-guided tour around the cradle of life.