Patrick McDowell Spring 2024 Ready-to-Wear Collection

Patrick McDowell certainly knows how to put on a show. For their latest spectacle tonight in the South Bank studios of the Rambert Dance Company, the designer collaborated with a number of the troupe’s dancers to produce an immersive runway experience that was cheekily titled “A Tragedy of Fashion.” It turns out that was also the name of Rambert’s first production in 1926: a radically inventive ballet that spun a yarn of a doomed fashion designer who ends up impaling himself on his own cutting scissors. “After discovering that, I went on a deeper dive into the archive, and the project really evolved out of that,” said McDowell.

Prints were designed to include photographs of the founder Marie Rambert’s dance shoes, while garment bags were recreated in luxurious silks and Tencel fibers. With the help of McDowell’s sustainable wizardry, many of the dresses featured upcycled vintage silks sourced from factories in Italy, mycelium padding, and a handful of textiles sourced from within Rambert itself—notably the closing look, delivered with suitably theatrical panache by one of the dancers, which was crafted from dozens of tulle skirts that were languishing in a cupboard from a performance many decades ago.

And in a moment of circularity—in both senses of the word—a piece from the collection will be finding a new home in the Rambert archives, to join the opulent costumes that first sparked McDowell’s inspiration for the collection. “Who knows,” said McDowell. “Maybe in another 100 years, it might inspire someone else.”

Recommended Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *