On entering the ornate room we were presented with a crime scene; the outline of a body on the floor, a map of the house and the models. They were leaning on the walls or talking quietly in pairs, holding cocktails aloft, observing the scene; guests at a fashionable party which had taken a turn for the murderous.
A waiter on the edge of the crime scene proposed that we might like to ‘choose our poison’, presenting small bottles labelled with dangerous concoctions: luckily, this time, more alcohol than arsenic.
The first wave of outfits draped around the room included high-necked dresses, peplum tops with waved-hem skirts and an all-in-one culotte suit. Floating oriental prints combined with vibrant turquoises, corals and plums, creating an ode to actress Anna May Wong. Her role of protagonist detective in series ‘The Gallery of Madame Liu-Tsong’, is said to be the main character in the Tata Naka murder mystery, hunting down clues.
Next came the tea and evening dresses, reminiscent of a glamorous 1930s soirée. Poppy and leaf prints appeared across the line-up of models in every texture imaginable, from sequins to silk, and were paired with either golden heels with waved quarters or the classic Tata Naka Oxford shoe, this season embellished with gold.
Finally, the games began. Artistic interpretations of our favourite murder suspects from Cluedo swept into the room on silk bonded neoprene and luxurious velvet, in the form of jackets, skirts and dresses, often accompanied by knitwear in bold, block colour prints. The murder weapons too made themselves known through gold appliqué; the favourite in the room being the dagger, with sparkling drops of blood falling from its tip.
All evidence points to an obvious verdict: the identical twin duo have once again created a beautifully designed yet humorous collection, offering textures, shapes and styles to suit all types of wearer – even if they have to leave in a body bag. Murder has never been so chic.
Originally written for WJ London.