Bustle goes sledding at LGFW 2011 (Video)
I was excited upon entering the Bustle show when I saw props perched at either end of the usually-bare runway. Props! Sleds, in fact, of the variety typically pulled by a team of huskies. They promised a show that would be unconventional and fun. It began with a black-and-white short featuring a dude driving a Landrover and sledding with dogs. A completely pointless video, it did less to establish a mood than the static runway props. Fake snow pumped from the ceiling, but was too sparse to be impactful and the barking dog sounds were only a track. My hopes were already being dashed.
I wanted actual dogs. Or at the very least, some winter gear worthy of sled-dogs and the elements. None of the models seemed bundled enough to run to the convenience store for milk let alone engage in winter sports. The attempt was fun, but no one was smiling (with the exception of cameo-models Aliya-Jasmine Sovani and Wilder Weir). Cognac and axes seemed like afterthoughts. The theme was by now entirely lost on me.
Where Bustle missed the mark with a playful runway show, it won me back with the clothes. There were a few bang-on looks that really captured the essence of the brand - sporty, sharp and tongue-in-cheek. I did love the use of contrasting patterns. One model rocked a getup many men wouldn't dare (but should). A red plaid blazer was layered over a blue and purple plaid shirt and pinstripe pants, then finished with a printed ascot. In fact, most of the plaid coats were really great and could easily work for the everyman.
I also loved some of the wool outerwear. Black bomber jackets with leather piping on the shoulders and a Canadiana crest detail were quite dashing, as were their longer counterparts. They were even better in burgundy. It was a surprising and refreshing colour introduction near the end of the show.
The absence of real dogs (and smiles) aside, I had a few beefs with the collection. What I didn't love were blazer silhouettes in work-out friendly fabrics (think Lululemon). Where does one wear such a piece? I also disliked the sloppy track pants tucked into boots and paired with (sometimes ill-fitting) blazers. Y'know that girl who wears yoga pants instead of actual pants but carries a designer handbag? This is her boyfriend's wardrobe. The hybrids were awkward and confusing.
The best parts of the collection were the most risky and out-there - pattern-on-pattern, bold layering, unconventional colour - which makes me think that Bustle has the chops to go all the way. Unfortunately, on this date, I'm only going to third base. (Hey, I'm not that easy.)