In lieu of a physical runway this season, designer Michael Halpern instead opted for a digital presentation for London Fashion Week, enlisting stars of the Royal Ballet as the focus of his latest collection.
Debuted on day one of the spring-summer 2022 season in the UK, a surprisingly balmy day in the usually grey city, Halpern released a film shot in the Royal Opera House, featuring Royal Ballet and Birmingham Royal Ballet dancers wearing its new season designs. The clip opened with the cast, including Fumi Kaneko, Sumina Sasaki, Marianna Tsembenhoi, Leticia Dias, Katharina Nikelski, Céline Gittens, Sae Maeda and Marcelino Sambé, stretching and preparing for their performance, dressed in sequin gowns, tiered tulle dresses—not dissimilar to tutus—and statement two pieces.
Halpern often focuses in on a specific group of people to both inspire and debut his new designs, last year featuring eight frontline workers in his fashion week presentation. This year’s group makes sense: the collection was created around a celebration of a return to movement. Throughout the film, the dancers, who are now returning to the stage after a long hiatus due to the pandemic, explore what dance and movement means to them while showcasing their skills in new season Halpern.
Halpern said he devoted the collection to a technical study of movement brought to life by the dancers, noting the dresses and tailoring of the collection were approached as individual entities, each creation dedicated to showcasing a specific type of movement activated by the physicality of the ballet. The collection was made up of long silk dresses in colours such as orange and red with long trains floating behind, purple sequin trousers paired with bright yellow crop tops, pink feather gowns and, naturally, lots of tulle. Juxtaposing the pretty, vibrant pieces were leather-look dresses with cut-outs and mini dresses with splits through the middle held together by binding ropes.
“We admire the extraordinary discipline and determination by these elite performers during lockdown,” the brand wrote on Instagram. “Halpern welcomes you back with love and awe.”