LONDON, United Kingdom — The death of empire (aka the collapse of democracy) is the story of our age. It was tempting to imagine Kiko Kostadinov, with his Balkan background, having an instinctive feel for the subject. He unloaded a chaos of cultures onto his catwalk: Russian constructivist graphics, Pop Art, 18thcentury periwigs, extravagant tailoring, multi-coloured jockey silks, Gothicism…Gothicism and jockey silks…the marcelled hair of a prissy dandy, the schmutzed flesh of a rider fallen from his horse, bike shorts, knee socks…plus extravagantly coloured riding boots and trainers. Stable and street. High and low.
In the past, Kostadinov has fished hard and fast for effect, and it’s duly come across as contrived. Here, where contrivance was the intention, it all came together in a very curious way. The artificiality of Kyodo Odo’s hair situations signaled a collection that hardly took itself seriously but, in so doing, managed to offer clothes that would be a pleasure to encounter on the street where you live. Last time round, Kostadinov was so dour. Here, Kiko kicked dourness to the kerb with a colourfully perverse glee.