MBFWA Runway Review: Serpent And The Swan SS 13/14

Serpent & The Swan unveiled their much anticipated Spring Summer 13/14 Collection at MBFWA with an installation at The Box, which was transformed into a botanical museum for the showing.

The aptly named collection ‘Insecta Botanica’ saw models become part of the paraphernalia, exhibited partially inside and propped against display cases containing Serpent & The Swan jewellery, coppered bones, agate crystal and plant samples, to an ominous score of forest and insect noises.

Designers Hayley and Lauri Smith took their morbid fascination with the anatomy of creatures and their mystical incarnations to bring us a truly memorable collection with unique, individual edge that explored the idea of growth and the inherent relationship between plant and human life cycles.

Soft dresses and relaxed cut out t-shirts were adorned with leather harnesses; sheer wide trousers were paired with loosely slung shirts; and leather bras and briefs worn on their own.

Embroidered organza, raw linen, fluid silk dresses and loose mesh knits imitated the hardness and softness found in nature. Following this theme the range also featured a self-designed ‘Botanica’ print of 18th Century botanical plates, insect dissection and anatomical drawings of teeth.


The colour palette was centred on dark, morbid colours with muted highlights of lavender, wheat and mint to add dimension to the mostly all black pieces. More dimension was added with the designers trademark use of rare detailing which included teeth and skull buttons, horse head zippers and bone pieces in handcrafted metals trimmings of gold and brass.

The Serpent & The Swans collection of interestingly beautiful pieces wasn’t just inspired by androgyny; it was androgynous. Male and Female aspects were non-existent with each piece floating somewhere in between, staying true to the labels well known unisex aesthetic. The Serpent & The Swan collection offers your summer wardrobe something much darker and edgier than your typical summer staples of floral prints and bright colours.

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