Sooooo, this is EXTREMELY out of date but I won't tell anyone if you don't...my review of the Amato Haute Couture by Furne One show at the (otherwise slightly debacleous) Savoir Faire Perth Fashion Week earlier this year.
FURNE ONE SFPFW 2012
As one may expect from a designer who caters predominantly for the 'elite cliental' of Dubai, Furne One's latest collection for label Amato Haute Couture was all about bling. Shiny, shiny, sparkly bling. But Furne is not as clear cut as the diamantes he lavishes upon many of his designs - there are multiple facets here. Far from glamourising with too much fake tan-and-nail he revels in the theatre of fashion, and clearly has an underlying fascination with the subversive, edging into grotesque. The message? Furne's gowns are pretty, but you'd be wrong in thinking they're just for princesses on the arms of oil magnates.
Models wore enormous faux-rococo wigs in pouffed blonde (perhaps an homage to the designer's own voluminous mane), adorned with oversized jewellery that had to be sewn on (to the wigs, one hoped, rather than the models themselves). Drop earrings the size of dinner plates and chains that draped from forehead to ear felt like hyped up Indian wedding jewellery. Spiked crystals protruded from the heads of models caught somewhere between ice queens and dinosaurs. A draped chainmail mask, paired with a spectacular studded knee-length shift, was well & truly BDSM inspired (and check out his anatomical androids in the 'It's Alive' collection, perfectly creepish!).
Jewel encrusted red-carpet numbers are Furne's staple, with abundant use of tulle and trailing hem in soft tones that lend themselves to being covered in sparkly, but it's the harder-edged studded numbers that really show what he can do. Nude mesh bases (which as far as I could tell were stretch, which means some serious construction nous was involved) were studded with thousands of gold and silver cone spikes in intricate patterns, reminiscent of articulated armour, but realised like industrial lace. A floor length gown covered in a perfect grid of small and large studs had an op-art quality, looking fluid and rigid at once. These pieces were amazing. These are pieces I want to see close up, turn inside out, and marvel at how they work.
Yes, the layered-mesh-and-lace has more than a hint of Givenchy about it (not to mention those earrings) but a squiz at Furne's earlier collections show that he's been using the cutaway technique for years, so we'll forgive it (but I'm not forgiving that seafoam-green strapless tulle monstrosity). Forget the prom frocks, it's studs for the win.