The olfactory companions to complement some of our favourite collections
Between live-streaming, real-time hashtag feeds and an abundance backstage documentation, one can achieve an almost complete fashion show experience from the comfort of the sofa. But there is one element missing; what would (or should) the collections smell like? Here are some of our olfactory imaginings of the A/W15 collections.
Gareth Pugh – Boadicea The Victorious – Complex
Gareth Pugh’s return to London showed a deep patriotism that extended beyond just a love for contemporary Britain, all the way back to our ancient, war-torn past. His warrior women, their faces daubed in blood, were 2015 Boadiceas – and thus, what could be more appropriate than Boadicea The Victorious’ smoky, resinous and deliciously tarry perfume, Complex? A scent that smells like sitting at a Celtic fireside in 60AD, it has found its sartorial partner in Pugh’s A/W15 collection.
Comme des Garçons – CB I Hate Perfume – Black March
Black March is inspired by a Stevie Smith poem, a deeply melancholic reflection on death which, to her, seems veiled in grey chiffon; "At least / I think it is chiffon. / It has a / Peculiar look, like smoke." The aromatic incarnation of her words, created by CB I Hate Perfume, is a strangely damp and earthy scent – the sort of smell that you could find kneeling at a newly-turned graveside, soil-y and fresh. Rei Kawakubo’s offering at Comme des Garçons took a similarly "deathward" direction – or, in Kawakubo's terms, showed a "ceremony of separation." For A/W15, she explored tragedy and loss with funereal shrouding, lace and mourning dresses – not to mention an emotive grace that saw her audience moved to tears. It seems like the perfect pairing to CB’s fragrant anguish.
Marc by Marc Jacobs – Nasomatto – Black Afghano
For Marc by Marc Jacobs, Luella Bartley and Katie Hillier sent out an army of girls wearing berets, their clothing emblazoned with protest slogans. Clearly referencing a politicised rally of activists, the designers termed their models “charming vigilantes” – but explained backstage that, "it’s more about youth culture than it is about politics." For that, we are pairing them with Nasomatto’s Black Afghano: a wonderfully hashish-centric creation that conjures nostalgia for a seventies revolution. And, because what student revolution would be complete without some element of hashish, even if it is in perfume form?
Gucci – Byredo – Gypsy Water
The debut collection from newly-appointed Creative Director Alessandro Michele, Gucci’s A/W15 show was like taking a step into a Wes Anderson utopia. The chiffons and pussybow blouses that floated down the runway are perfectly paired with Byredo’s bergamot, sandalwood and juniper berry Gypsy Water. A softly outdoorsy scent (they describe it as a "glamourisation of the Romany lifestyle"), the fragrance is bohemian but without feeling twee; essentially, capturing the same free-spirited aura achieved on Michele’s runway.
Rick Owens – La Fin du Monde – Etat Libre d’Orange
For A/W15, Rick Owens managed to combine the historicism of ancient Mayan culture with abstract futurism. What resulted appeared like a beautiful rendering of a post-apocalyptic dystopia, and thus what better scent for his collection than Etat Libre d’Orange’s La Fin du Monde – the smell of the end of the world? Popcorn, cumin, iris and gunpowder combine for what the French perfumiers imagine it’s going to smell like. And, if it looks like Rick Owens and smells like popcorn, then it doesn’t seem like such a terrifying prospect.