Bethany Williams presents Butterfly Café
today Jun 11, 2019
This spring Bethany Williams received the latest Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design. On Monday afternoon the LVMH Prize finalist for 2019 staged her latest show at an archbishop’s palace.
Presented outside a medieval church reinvented as the Garden Museum, the collection was charming and acute statement of handcrafted sustainable fashion.
In a series of presentations, Williams’ cast marched around the back garden of the church, a cast of junior models imbued with a certain gravitas, walking on the flat tombstones of 17th century bishops and their wives.
Williams named this spring 2020 collection the Butterfly Café, in part a social commentary since the title was inspired by her work with Spires, a south London-based charity that helps homeless and disadvantaged people all year around. Spires also includes “safe spaces” where socially isolated women and others in the sex industry can feel more secure. The café got its name from the transformative effect on the women’s lives.
The result was an insouciant, colorful selection of clothes, with knitwear made from Wool And The Gang ocean waste recycled plastic, or recycled denim yarn knitted by her mother, and friend Alice Morell Evans.
Best in show were abstract graphic jerkins, tanks and track pants and a couple of superb elongated windcheaters. The prints came from illustrator Giorgia Chiarion, who even included the route of an outreach night-bus for the Spires community.
Her models marching on all-white Adidas Originals, an ideal juxtaposition to the colorful clothes.
The designer will donate 20% of the proceeds of this collection to the charity. Yet another example of what a generous individual is Williams – a uniquely considerate individual in the egomaniacal world of fashion.
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