The Anglo-French duo Edward Meadham and Benjamin Kirchhoff met at the London university Central Saint Martins; Meadham was studying womenswear and Kirchhoff menswear. Despite working in the same room for the majority of their courses, they only got to know each other towards the end of their time at university, but have been partners ever since. They launched Meadham Kirchhoff a year after graduating, in 2003; it has grown to become a label defined by rebellion, overt political statements and eccentricity. Both Meadham and Kirchoff are supporters of the feminist movement and recently expressed their support for the SlutWalk movement – a series of protest marches triggered by a Toronto police officer’s suggestion that in order to prevent being sexually attacked, women should ‘avoid dressing like sluts’. Their spring/summer 2012 ready-to-wear collection, ‘A wolf in sheep’s clothing’, can be seen to focus on – and scrutinise – the objectification of women in society, using beauty pageants, showgirls, Mothers’ Day cards, kitsch childhood icons and ballerinas as inspiration for the line.
Key Design Features
– intelligence and irony
– feminism and rebellion
– cultural and political motifs
– rich, layered fabrics
– old-fashioned design techniques, including smocking and detailed stitching
The riot grrls of the early 1990s – all-female indie bands like Bikini Kill and Sleater-Kinny – and Hole, fronted by Courtney Love.
The edgier end of Topshop mixed with the tamer end of Blue Banana
“People will not necessarily like what we do, but we give our entire selves to it. It would totally depress me if our clothes were something that people liked in a mediocre way.”
Eccentric, lavish and politically charged, Meadham Kirchhoff shows that an incisive social commentary can be made through fashion design. It’s intelligence dressed up in a satin babydoll dress, feminism adorned with frills and glitter, satire in a bubble of kitsch; proof that fashion can have beauty and brains.
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