When the invitation to a runway explicitly states to dress warmly and you get given handwarmers when entering the venue, you’re pretty sure that it’s going to be a chilly one. Mint Designs held the catwalk show for their latest collection in a warehouse in Shinkiba (a new one for me), and despite the freezing temperatures everyone attending was in high spirits – even those who didn’t heed the warnings…

This autumn winter collection is titled ‘Fragile’, and was a far stronger take on the theme than I was expecting. Models wore smashed crockery on their heads and walked wearing suits featuring prints from china plates and packing materials. Thick pleated dresses added extra volume to the hips, while the footwear consisted of contrasting ankle socks and brogues, golf shoes and boots (quite a few audience members were also wearing the signature pink-soled shoes). The colour palette was lighter and brighter than many other autumn winter collections, but perfectly fitted the idea behind the collection – keep hold of those sherbet shades and Delft patterns when the weather turns cooler. My highlights included the rosettes and ribbons made ‘Handle With Care’ tape and the show-piece bubble-wrap dresses at the end of the presentation.

Samuel and I had a chat about Mint Designs after the show, and we talked a little about Mint Designs’ place in the current fashion market. It kind of fits the gap between mainstream clothing and more out-there arty designer wear very well – it’s accessible and quirky, not too intimidating and quite fresh too. I mentioned that it was a stronger interpretation that I had thought it would be: rather than centring on ideas of feminine fragility, all floaty fabrics and twinkly piano music, instead we were treated to stiff fabrics, suits and trousers, simple outerwear and unisex shoes. Instead of broken women, these were working girls: practical and independent, with the red warning labels belying the image in front of us.

Beautiful custom woven fabric and colour combinations.

Love the rosette!

Really adore this suit with warning labels on the trouser cuffs.

Kind of wish this had been made of real bubble wrap, but the temptation to pop would have been unbearable…

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