There’s Something About Rachel…

And, genius of the graduate catwalk goes to: Rachel Cogley.

It has been nearly three months since graduate fashion week and I can’t stop thinking about this girl! Her collection provoked an accumulation of panicked stutters amongst its audience: “But, but… These aren’t ‘wearable!'”

No, no they’re not…

Future Fashion Rachel Cogley

Whether or not my tenuous interpretations are totally incorrect, I’m going to share them anyway. If, in fact, they are correct, I think Rachel Cogley could be the latest big thing since Vivienne Westwood or Rei Kawakubo.

In her collection, Cogley embodies every expectation of the female body before violently distorting it .

Firstly, she satirises conventional female beauty by dressing each of her models in bodycon orange catsuits as an underlayer to the main design. This takes the “golden bronze” look completely out of proportion and exposes fashion’s expectations of even the feminine skin pigments.

Secondly, she satirises conventional female beauty further by cloaking her model in excessive hair, and only hair (with bleach blonde highlights, if you please). Not only this, but Cogley has even fashioned the celebrities’ favourite “token dog” accessory out of hair too!

Thirdly, she satirises the conventional functions of the female body by alluding to a cuddly cow around the neck of one of her underwear-clad models. What is the function of a cow? “To provide milk for the nation”, I hear you say! What is the function of a female? Not only to feed the offspring that she WILL inevitably have, but also to provide (and prepare, and cook, and clean up after.. Although these are things a cow doesn’t do) food for her family.

Fourthly, she stages an oversized fur coat “to die for” (haha.)

Whether or not you disagree with any of these points, it is the inevitable truth that Cogley sets out (as Westwood and Kawakubo before her) to expose haute couture’s expectations of the feminine form.

And bravo for it!

Text: Abbie Saunders