Welcome to our London fashion week edit for the SS19 & RTW on schedule shows.
This season our fashion highlights rolled in with a tide of nautical themes, surf, sand, heritage, rebels and one eye on the environment. Ricardo Tisci celebrated all things British at Burberry and Matty Bovan, Molly Goddard and Richard Quinn continued to drive fashion forward. MM6 Margiela took the past to an ultra-cool present, Fyodor Golan gave us style with a conscience, Victoria Beckham's show showed confidence and Quinn made up for not having the Queen in his front row by filling it with secondary school children instead; this a comment arts education cuts. And, Bora Aksu brought us the prettiest rebels.
New BFC Chairman Stephanie Phair announced, "there will be an extra focus in the coming weeks and months to support those who need to grow their business." We may be in the shadow of all things Brexit, but in London, outstanding creativity never stops!
JAMIE WEI HUANG
Jamie Wei Huang's muse was a young girl who went swimming, missed the bus and walked home in the arid heat, swimwear still on, sun beating down yet positive in attitude.... the muse walked home as the models paraded, in sporty-bodies covered by thin veils of transparent fabrics revealing what lies beneath. See through pinstriped trousers and slip dresses with neoprene style boots took surfwear to street with a modern aesthetic and a tinge of 90's clubwear. The bucket hats and belt bags gave nostalgia a modern edge and distressed denim with lightweight fabrics added to the hybrid style that was complemented by the trainer-sandals. As always Jamie delivered the edgy aesthetics that we've grown to love and expect and the surfer girl, well, she ruled the beach and the street!
MM6 MAISON MARGIELA
This season MM6 Margiela sought to create a distinct wardrobe with a streetwear identity and an eye on heritage and the environment. The diffusion line took cues from the past in-house and out; the initial concept was taken from the classic AIDES charity t-shirt created by the house in 1994 and from the flea markets of Clignancourt. Fast forward to SS19, where Belle Epoch meets badass rock, and the concept of charitable cast-offs was reworked with attitude. The palette: pastel purple, pink and pistachio; colours from a decadent past, given an edge on distressed denim, oversized dresses and blazers; a new wearer, creates different proportions, a new look is created from old.
It was all about reinvention; vintage dresses in satin were appliquéd to cotton sweatshirts and slip dresses and t-shirts became double function bags. Super-stylist Robbie Spencer referenced the original iconic ‘Tabi’ boot with sock-sandal combinations and chandelier crystals repurposed as jewellery that brought decadence to the street. By taking materials and inspiration from the past, the future was given conscience. And with a portion of the sales of every piece from the collection donated to benefit the not-for-profit organisation AIDES. Social and environmental responsibility never looked so rock n' roll!
This season Fyodor Golan's collection entitled Lost and Found rolled forth like a tide to a backdrop resembling a beach strewn with driftwood and netting. Where materials and memories were washed ashore speaking of the fragility of the sea; the designers teamed with Plastic Oceans UK to highlight this crucial cause. The organisation collects the abandoned nets that pose such a threat to marine life, becoming part of the runway set, they were reused for a positive purpose. Surfers too were the muses, with sporty silhouettes in soft silks, embellished with shells, pearls, and sequin scales. Deep hues from the palette of artist Jamie Adams contrasted to the pale shades of works by Thirza Sharp.
Though the collection had a sobering side, there was another more playful element that came in the form of a collaboration with SEGA, this time looking back to the 80's with Sonic Tees and graphics. Their sportswear signature was genderless and adaptable, perhaps to enforce the message of reuse. The designers say their work is to support, encourage and inspire and as usual they do; they are changing the tide, one that we are all are responsible for and of course of our perception of style. Surfs up!
Bora Aksu’s muse was a gypsy rebel poetess Papusza, who shunned traditional stereotypes to be the woman she was meant to be. Breaking loose from the shackles of expected gender roles in her sheltered community, she faced retribution and banishment but pursued her passion, as all creative beings should. Words burst forth into rhyme, words of beauty unread by her community but loved by others who championed her work and showed the world.
Bora Aksu took elements of her life and transformed them into dresses of soft silk tulles and lace that represented her nomadic life with white embroidery over deep hues of blue, epitomising Papusza’s determination to follow her own path. Structured shapes were tempered with fluidity in feminine fabrics, cut out lace and ribbons; a modern take on traditional Romany details. This collection with its signature femininity, beautiful detailing and contrasting elements spoke of the different sides of Papusza’s character. A Romany rebel and a role model! Who wouldn’t want to wear a piece of that exquisite renegade wardrobe?!