For SS24, Olly Shinder, Johanna Parv and Standing Ground alongside special guest Asai showcased collections for Fashion East.
Lulu Kennedy launched the talent incubator at the turn of the century, with the not-for-profit organisation now cementing itself as a highlight of the London Fashion Week Schedule, introducing us to some of the most culturally relevant and exciting designers as they enter into the industry.
Fashion East has launched the careers of Kim Jones, Jonathan Anderson, Craig Green, Grace Wales Bonner, Simone Rocha and Gareth Pugh, as well as a younger generation of designers such as Mowalola Ogunesi, Charlotte Knowles, Saul Nash and Stefan Cooke to name a few.
SS24 was no different. Olly Shinder made his Fashion East debut, bringing his delicate approach to workwear to the table, Johanna Parv built on her standout city-ready designs and Michael Stewart’s Standing Ground brought a historically-informed approach to womenswear.
Olly Shinder’s SS24 collection was a masterclass in cheeky utilitarianism (emphasis on the cheeky). Models wore backless vests and low waisted shorts, giving those on the front row a fashionable flash of ass to get them in the mood
Shinder’s craftiness extended into accessories with metal piping turned into necklaces and bags. Check detailing accented cargo shorts, mirroring those worn by the designer during the presentation. Of course for a maker so heavily inspired by workwear, reflective detailing on waterproof jackets felt particularly at home.
Short-sleeved tops featured zip-off arms and models walked bare-chested covered by straps with gingham detailing to match models’ underwear, nodding to the designers’ fetish website research.
No stranger to going against the grain, Johanna Parv’s collection featured technical shirting complete with double zip detailing, alongside functional cross-body bags, with some concealed by fitted fabrics in a collection crafted with the metropolis in mind.
Tailored shirts were coloured in navy and black, with breathable materials woven into the arm for perfect days on the go. Cycling shorts in purple and light blue hues were matched with sheer fabric in the performance-focused offering, effortlessly fusing fashion and functionality. Models wore their hair slicked back to complete the streamlined looks.
Michael Stewart’s Standing Ground returned to the Fashion East roster with his now signature elegance. Models wore floor length dresses in neutral and earth tones, inspired by his home-country of Ireland, with looks punctuated with chunky piping and two tone detailing. Column dresses were designed with a minimalist beauty that wouldn’t have been out of place in a haute collection.
Asymmetrical sleeves merged with a combination of high and low necklines as part of the varied offering, with accessories arriving in the form of dainty bags and silver jewellery, perfectly balancing the womenswear collection. Rooted in Romanticism, Stewart’s looks seemed in contrast to those previously seen, providing an ethereal contrast to the anarchic grassroots energy seen in Shinder’s designs.
Asai made his return as a more established member of the Fashion East family, known for nunchuck handbags, and clothing packaged in takeaway boxes.
For SS24, Asai kept things fun, crafting loosely-stitched dresses in a range of brightly coloured hues. Texture was provided through semi-see through tops worn off the shoulder. The lesson in kitsch continued as the usual heels we’re ditched for war-ready Timbs.
Overall Fashion East’s SS24 collection brought a welcome kineticism to the London fashion week schedule, championing the creative freedom the city provides. With designers drawing inspiration from workwear, to performance-focused practicality, and a surprise announcement to the line-up on the day, Lulu Kennedy proved she still has what it takes to keep fashion exciting.
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