Hoax - spring/summer 2001

If dramatic tension could be cut with a knife, Jim Searle and Chris Tyrell served up a dish requiring a chain-saw. Hoax Couture’s outdoor extravaganza at the Bata Shoe Museum set up and then met expectations in a production coup-de-grace that would take film editors weeks to emulate. While the start of the event seemed to be contingent on the arrival of the fashionably late invitees, the talkative crowd mingled; the ambiance was that of a packed cocktail lounge. The configuration was brilliant, a dense elliptical audience surrounding a central strip of concrete, an energy source.

The models arrived on Harley Davidsons, in limos and in humvees, in perfect synchronicity with the thumping disco and house music. The first of a three-part presentation, Holiday 2000 is refined decadence. Black, red and gold eveningwear was worn with intricately laced Victorian neckwear. The red satin gown with its flowing folds and accessories dangled with an open sexuality, labia-like.

The men’s presentation featured a slew of sexy leather jackets. A stunning two-piece suit, black jacket and matching pants with red dragon print was not to be outdone by a sloping Cat-in-the-Hat fedora, loose black suit and white bouffant cravat. The models had a great attitude and a remarkable sense of humour. Their playfulness induced the audience interaction that made this such a vibrant show.

Yellows and purples dominate Spring 2001, and Hoax Couture demonstrates what great colours they can be, with master tailoring. The use of polka-dots was refreshingly blithe. The showstopper, however, was a blue and white jacket and matching pants with a Royal Doulton china pattern, complimented by a daring deep orange and white striped wrap.

The presentation indicated that this year, Hoax’ approach was to be representative of a broad spectrum of exquisite fashions, giving each outfit its 15 minutes. A well-deserved 15 minutes. We’ve heard about modernism’s triumphant 21st-century return. Now we know what it looks like.

Daniel Cox, Fashion Editor
Marek Wlazlo, Photographer