Kristel Kuslapuu hit the stage on day 3 of LFW AW18 in an almighty bid to validate her victory in Fashion Scout’s ‘Ones To Watch’ awards. The Estonian knitwear designer has taken the fashion world by storm since her graduation in 2017, and isn’t showing signs of slowing down anytime soon.
With a few awards in her pocket and recognition from some of London’s most acclaimed industry experts, there certainly was a lot riding on this presentation. Staying true to her artistic style, Kristel revealed she would be showcasing a collection inspired by ‘dark secrets, phobias, social anxieties and traumas’.
She welcomed her crowd with the blaring sound of instantly recognisable 90’s bangers, which she had digitally sabotaged to the point of discomfort. Warped vocals and record scratches were on repeat. East 17’s ‘Stay Another Day’ has never sounded so f*cked up. Everything bought back memories of my childhood, but with a dark twist. Could this be a hint of what’s to come?
The models wandered on stage, wearing oversized knitwear in an array of garish colours. They flirted with the crowd whilst interacting with the neon cubes and flower stems that were dotted around the set. The garments screamed ‘overkill’ and were completely unapologetic. Everything was brash and bold; the epitome of the brand that Kristel has been tirelessly building. I particularly liked that the garments didn’t fall into any defined gender stereotypes. Each one was completely individualistic, with its own provocative message.
Although I was weirdly fixated on this collection, I just couldn’t help but feel that it was lacking a real ‘show stopper’. I’d checked out Kristel’s Instagram ahead of the show and consequently been left with no real surprises. It was like she’d played all her best cards in one go, rather than creating an endearing narrative with various different layers of impact. Perhaps she was hell bent on solidifying her brand and delivering her artistic message, which she most certainly did. I just hope that she doesn’t panic in future limelights and forget to leave her audience feeling hungry for more. Undeniably though, Kristel is definitely ‘One To Watch’ and a promising highlight of day 3.
JODANNA BIRD | WRITER | @JODANNABIRD