Despite the dampened proceedings due to HRH Queen Elizabeth II’s passing, the majority of London Fashion Week shows continued on ahead as scheduled (sorry to Raf Simons enthusiasts). Irregardless of the lack of parties and events typical of the fashion week agenda, LFW still managed to harbour an air of excitement and awe as many fashion lovers were satiated by old brands they loved such as Ancuta Sarca and David Koma and fledgling shows with Chopova Lowena hosting their first runway presentation.
LET’S RIDE WITH LULA LAORA
For their collection Lula Lalora brought physical activity and excitement to us with their runway screening. The dirt bike riders circling the models as they walked on the runway was befitting of the collections theme. With eccentric fluorescent colouring, leather and motorbike jackets present this show was probably the most literal in all senses of the word this season. Lace-up leather corsets, a brown and black tie-dye suit that looked as if the model had fallen onto the dirt beneath him and of course the large biker helmet and extended white gown finale look were all standouts of this collection. Definitely the most innovative we’d say.
RICHARD QUINN CLOSED FASHION WEEK WITH A FUNERAL, PARTY AND WEDDING ALL IN ONE
The British designer known for exaggerated silhouettes and BDSM themes took a more classic and sophisticated approach to this collection. Rounded high neck bubble shoulders, oversized floral chokers and sheer face coverings replacing the usual latex. The collection moved from a series of black ensembles to Richard Quinn’s signature over-exaggerated colours and patterns before the final wedding dress!
Texture and colour are elements that Quinn often experiments with and with this collection proved that they can make even head to toe monochromatic looks something to be marvelled at!
S.S. DALEY MOURNED LOVE LOST
Focusing this collection on the old love letters of Vita Sackville-West and Violet Trefusis, two women in old British aristocracy, S.S. Daley’s collection studied gender and sexuality as Vita often dressed as a man in order to publicly display her love for Violet. The collection began with a funeral proceeding, quite apt given the recent passing of HRH and the common themes of his work, focusing on the wealthy.
Floral-printed trenches juxtaposed the masculine and feminine themes of the collection and the bunny ears and artwork present was a direct reference to the bunnies and hares that Vita and Violet often made reference to in their letters. The silhouettes and cuts of this collection were suitable for all genders and with a size-inclusive line-up of models, this was potentially one of the most diverse shows this season
YUHAN WANG BROUGHT ETHEREAL ASIAN MYTHOLOGY TO LONDON
The 2018 CSM graduate drew on everything light and airy for this collection, while still focusing on strong female figures. Amelia Earheart, Lee Ya-Ching and Hazel Ying Lee, all notable female aviators, were sources of inspiration for this collection. The dichotomy between these strong female characters who lived in the air and the mythical Apsars that live in the sky was apparent for this collection. Still focusing on her signature motifs such as floral prints and sheer fabrics, Yuhan Wang managed to imbue strength into sweetness and femininity.
MASHA POPOVA GAVE US A HEADRUSH … AND IT WAS AMAZING
Eccentricity and energy with a touch of Y2K magic was what Masha Popova served. With her inaugural runway show, she combined her love for displaying fast-paced movement and works that should feel like an exhilarating rush of energy, hence the title of the show “Rush”. Simultaneously wanting us to forget about our present day woes while throwing us right back to the better days of double denim and Y2k colours. Draping, denim and several cuts and tailoring featured on jeans did just that!
ROSES ARE RED, VIOLETS ARE BLUE, WE LOVED CHOPOVA LOWENA, AND BET YOU DID TOO!
The brand’s loyal fanbase finally made its long awaited physical manifestation in Porchester Hall London. Their SS23 collection, “Rose is a rose is a rose” was probably the most anticipated this season with its street cast models, many from Blue Agency London and new and old (but very much loved) designs.
Affirming every positive opinion shared by their fans, Chopova Lowena’s runway was alight with new textures such as tinsel knits, their beloved pleated kilt, body jewellery, and possibly the most comfortable shoes we’ve ever laid eyes on. Even with models speedily pacing down the runway, their show portrayed the beauty of Bulgarian pageantry and set the precedence for all of their future collections.
UNDER THE SEA WITH DAVID KOMA
David Koma brought us to the Theatre Courtyard Galley, right outside his studio… and then under the sea. The theatrical presentation was befitting of its location becing where William Shakespeare held his very first play.
Featuring many aquatic motifs such as starfish nipple covers, waves in the form of cut out lines, oversized seashell body jewellery, and the head-to-toe deep marine blue looks, we were swimming in emotion. One look featuring a reflective rainbow print ingeniously mimicked the oil contaminating our waters and on the streets of Shoreditch where he found his beginnings. A constant in the show were the oakley shades that most models wore. Can we have a pair please!?
ANCUTA SARCA PUT US INTO FIFTH GEAR
We’re truly in the era of the Motomami! Ancuta Sarca’s static presentation at the Old Selfridges Hotel felt anything but, revving us up for the hottest and most sustainable pieces. The Formula 1 inspired collection was made in collaboration with Kim Kardashian’s Skims, utilising their deadstock materials for the models attire.
Continuing on of course with her signature double-themed footwear, including mules, boots and sandals, and with Sarca introducing new bow shaped and mini duffle handbags we were in awe. The dark room with bright red lighting and a deconstructed motorbike that the models lounged on set the stage for a heartracing collection focusing on sustainability.
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See also: PRAYING FOR MORE CHET LO, AND SOON