The garden is a place of familiarity and comfort yet it is also a landscape for the surreal, the unexplored and mysterious. It is both the young boy on an excavation of exploration and the leisured gentleman languishing on a lounger. It is the gardener pruning the terrain and the bohemian living off the land.
Junya Watanabe SS 11 flat caps returned us to the world of The Secret Garden while James Small AW 11/12 caesar meets schoolboy haircuts provided English countryside visuals setting the scene. Watanabe's SS12 collection presented in a Parisian garden directed us to the English country manor. Dressed in overalls and wellingtons, a mass of medium length dishevelled hair was hidden underneath bucket hats while faces were masked by facial hair, as the Watanabe man worked the land and tended to the greenhouse. Kenzo continued SS12's penchant for bucket hats but in their French countryside quarter the finger wave was the preferential style lurking beneath. Allotments were suggested with Burberry Prorsum taking the next step and retreating to life off grid, aligning with J.W. Anderson SS11 to form a community where hair was side swept and skin sun-kissed. Mugler SS12 preempted summer showers with transparent rain macs at the ready to protect their let down quiff, as 50's aesthetics collided with contemporary rock stylings.
Christophe Lemaire SS12 planted seeds of the jungle, pragmatically giving hair buzz cuts. Jil Sander SS12 was to be found in the grasslands as venturing into this backyard was uncharted territory with heavily greased long fringes. Givenchy SS12 birds of paradise transported us to a garden more tropical plunging grooming into the Amazon Basin, embracing heavy tribal piercings, over grown buzz cuts and favouring baseball caps to stave off sun stroke. Skin was tanned and pinkening ever so slightly. Raf Simons SS12 had oriental leanings as centre paired hair was combed and slicked empirical style. Jean Paul Gaultier continued the chinoiserie feel with florals that scaled trousers like ivy and hair set in deep waves and timid pompadours, with an enriched olive glow. Qasimi though, preferred buzz cuts amidst an ornate and opulent surround.
Walter Van Beirendonck's SS12 garden came to life in an Alice in Wonderland fashion as tulle bushes engulfed models. When heads did come to surface they displayed 1940's hair rolls and faces misted with body paint in floral hues. Prada's SS12 Hawaiian tropic fluorescents introduced the radioactive garden in a post apocalyptic world as plants were given nuclear powers. Loose curls peaked out from beneath daisy chain golfers caps. Henrik Vibskov SS12 silken long hair dandy engaged in a spot of bird watching while meandering through Jil Sander SS11 kaleidoscope view of the English garden. Miharayasuhiro's SS11 pressed florals and long untamed hair transitioned into camouflage and crew cuts. Comme des Garcons AW 11/12 returned grooming to an autumnal garden as deciduous trees and their remnants were exposed to winter's first frost and mullet hair channelled birds nests.
Grooming in the gardening vein is both practical and indulgent. It veers between the pragmatic and the peacock. Hair is maintained with workman sensibility or pruned meticulously like the garden's prized flower and masterpiece. It is a paradox. It is torn between narcissism and humility.