Fashion Week Review: Alice McCall ‘Les Galeries de Poison’

Wednesday 10 April 2013

Fashion Week Review: Alice McCall ‘Les Galeries de Poison’

Alice McCall ‘Les Galeries de Poison’ 

Cruise 13/14 Collection, April 10
 at Carriageworks

Alice McCall’s Cruise 13/14 collection for MBFWA this year took inspiration equally from both the earth and the sea. Listed amongst her influences in creating this ethereal take on the architecture of nature is German botanist illustrator Ernst Haekel, French artist Rene Jules Lalique’s Art Nouveau jewels and, of course, fittingly for a cruise collection, ‘l’ocean’.

Structurally this collection was particularly exciting; pleated silks floated wide and airy on tiny models, emphasising the weightlessness of an oscillating manta ray suspended in water, and gravity-defying ruffle detailing curved delicately around bodies mimicking the architecture of a coral bed.


The palette for the collection however, was conversely a quiet statement of pale pinks, periwinkle blue and soft watercolour inspired prints. The only boldness came with a strong navy and white story which took cues from the stark architectural contrast between twisted, sun-bleached coral and the quietly convalescing deep blue ocean.

Interestingly, McCall’s use of sheer seemed completely at home here - sheer has been thrown into so many runways this year in what seems like a commercial afterthought – however the opalescent sheers in ‘Les Galeries de Poison’ aptly brought to mind the natural underwater translucency of, say, the jellyfish.

This was a delightful collection that achieved intricate ornamentation framed by clean, minimal lines and un-distracted colour palettes and prints. The employment of various silks to achieve weightlessness was further enhanced by the use of sandwashed silk to bring the tactile, oceanic element back into the earthiness of the collection.

Although we were intrigued by the (perhaps eye roll-inducing) description on the official pre-show handout - touting the show as ‘delicate and foreign as the anatomy of a deep sea creature and as graceful and wondrous as the mythical mermaid’ – we were once again taken to a different world with Alice McCall for a glorious look into the future at the 13/14 season.

Anchors away... We’re going on a cruise this year, and we’re going to look positively fabulous.

- Bianca O'Neill is a blogger at