For her SS16 collection, ‘Broken Machines’, Claire Barrow takes inspiration from man’s growing reliance on technology and our fear of lack of technology. The space, located in the basement of the ICA, creates an immediate eerie feel as models tap percussively on large steel boards, with ceramic hands. A shiny, satin cloth connects the pieces as it entwines around and through the models.
The SS16 presentation shows figures that seem to be under the control of a force greater than themselves. Androgynous three-piece suits are paired with cropped hair cuts and flowing silk petticoats are presented with poker-straight wigs. A two-tone pair of trousers is highlighted with a topless model wearing only loosely hung white beads around the neck. Ruffled dresses, jumpsuits and leotards in Barrow’s infamous drawn pattern feature heavily in the collection, in black with blue, green and pink detailing. Knee-high socks and arm frills accessorise the unique pieces, along with small satchels in block colours. The mixture of silks, cottons and leathers give the collection a lavish yet jagged feel, which is heightened by the mix of tight and loose items and the incompletion of full outfits.
The collection as a whole could be viewed as a series of opposing fabrics, cuts, shapes and ideas but join beautifully together to represent man’s fear of loosing our grasp of the technological world.
Written by Ella Peers. Images © Vogue.co.uk.