In Review

London Fashion Week: David Ferreira's 'Freakball' brings out the freak in everyone

Inspired by circus sideshows, the Lisbon-based newcomer took his collection to new levels at LWF

"The Freakball" rolled into London Fashion Week yesterday, as David Ferreira debuted his Autumn/Winter 2017 collection at the Freemasons' Hall.

His inspiration came from circus sideshows and so-called "freak shows" of the Victorian era, with the Portugal-born designer particularly drawing on the work of photographer Joel-Peter Witkin, the 1932 film Freaks and Robert Bogdan's book Freak Show: Presenting Human Oddities for Amusement and Profit.

"The Freakball collection is a celebration of individuality, of not fitting into society's stereotype of 'normal'. This collection plays with volumes created by ruffles, godes, gatherings, pattern cutting and straightened Mongolian lamb," says the designer.

Consequently, the models moved whimsically down the runway, posing and gracefully fluttering like birds while sporting clown-esque make-up worthy of Barnum & Bailey and candy-striped hair.

Fabrics included silk, satin, tulle, crepe satins and woven metal, in bright neon shades of pink, blue, green and yellow, with the designer displaying the female body through over-the-top geometric silhouettes and voluminous ruffles of tulle.

A collective gasp could be heard as a giant ruffle tulle dress took to the catwalk, the midnight-blue kimono-style top giving way to a confection of layers in pinks, purples and light blues.

Controversially, Ferreira also displayed a selection of furs, including a knee-length green and pink coat with heightened shoulders on top of neon blue tights and trainers.

Shoes were equally playful, from a canary-yellow pair of pumps to a vertiginously high platform in a mint, white, black and yellow geometric pattern, sneaking out from beneath an ankle-length magenta silk dress with a yellow peplum bottom, topped with a fiery pink, structured fur jacket.

The designer called the collection "a celebration of beauty of singularity, of individuality and of rarity" - and it certainly was. This was a catwalk of curiosity and beauty, with visions of circus clowns, freak shows and sideshows gracing the hall in a hypnotic manner.

It was also an assured show from Ferreira, who made his debut at New York Fashion Week Spring/Summer 16 after launching his own label. He is showing in London as the recipient of the prestigious Fashion Scout Merit Award, which features three years sponsor. Last October, he won the inaugural Les Etoiles Mercedes-Benz in Paris.

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