NYC MEMORABILIA & NSFW DESIGNS: 5 KEY PIECES FROM MOWALOLA’S FW23 COLLECTION

NYC MEMORABILIA & NSFW DESIGNS: 5 KEY PIECES FROM MOWALOLA’S FW23 COLLECTION

by Juliette Eleuterio
5 min
Jack Chipper / CULTED©

Mowalola returns to London for FW23, after a Paris showing last season, but not without souvenirs from the Big Apple. Taking inspiration from NYC’s most recognizable logos and institutions, Mowalola’s “Dark Web” collection looked at the end of the physical world as we know it, just before being bought out by the tech oligarchs. 

This collection was a culmination of everything designer Mowalola Ogunlesi does best: bold, bright and playful designs, such as the mini-dresses, a subversive take on leather and PVC, through its mini skirts and crop tops or even the ‘Passport’ tee, all while achieving a purposeful social commentary with her use of appropriated big brand logos, like the McDonald’s-turned-Mowalola ‘M’ on a cap. 

Mowalola’s casting was also noteworthy, with familiar faces such as Rico Nasty and Slawn (and his baby) were seen walking the runway. Overall, the collection was bold, subversive and politically charged, but here’s a closer look at some of the key pieces that made the show.

Jack Chipper / CULTED©

THE NEW YORK YANKEES

Mowalola brought the East coast to London with her scattered use of the New York Yankees’ logo. First seen as a round buckle on a belt, the logo continues to make its runway appearance on a bomber-style jacket, a yellow leather jacket with zips running through the arms and on a pair of mid-calf black boots. The bootlegging treatment was not only received by the Yankees but also the MoMA, whose font was used to spell “MoWA” on hoodies.

Jack Chipper / CULTED©

TROMPE L’OEIL NSFW

A week before the show, the designer took to her Instagram to tease her upcoming collection, sharing a photo of a low rise pair of leather trousers with a trompe l’oeil effect that gave BDE. The risqué trousers made their appearance on the runway as a few other pieces to bore similarity, such as a on a black mini skirt with white detailing and a long black skirt with purple detailing. The trompe l’oeil effect was also used in less transgressive ways, such as on two long white skirts with black and red detailings resembling trousers.

Jack Chipper / CULTED©

MAXIMISED BAGS

This season we saw Mowalola’s classic Bundle bags grow into XXL sizes. Several iterations were spotted such as a simple burgundy one and a black one with the Mowalola logo embossed on the shoulder straps. There was also a yellow iteration with featured graffiti on its front depicting a face, which was also seen in a smaller version, as well as a neon green and brown cow print version. In a new shape, we saw a rounded flat ‘NYC Sewer’ bag that looked like, you guessed it, the street entrance to the sewers.

Jack Chipper / CULTED©

CUTOUTS FOR DAYS

Mowalola has always experimented with cutouts in her subversive aesthetic, but this season the tactical holes were multiplied and found in even more unexpected places. Starting off the show were skirts that were hanging from the mid-thigh area, suspended with side straps that connected to the waist part of the skirts, leaving the upper thighs exposed. The cutouts were playful, such as the front pockets of denim and leather trousers being gone. Perhaps the most fun this technique had was on a fitted black dress which featured a rectangular cutout at the waist line, with above an arrow pointing to it and the wording “Insert Disc Here”.

Jack Chipper / CULTED©

A COLLABORATION WITH TIMBERLAND

The CSM designer is no stranger to footwear collaborations, having worked with ASICS in the past. This time around Mowalola finds itself partnered up with Timberland. The shoes featured a perforated Yankees logo on its upper, continuing in line with the New York theme. The collaboration also took the shape of a shoulder back, with a black Timberland boot being slung over a model’s shoulder.

Jack Chipper / CULTED©

More on CULTED

See: HOT TAKE: CHET LO’S FW23 SHOW IS EXACTLY WHERE THE DESIGNER NEEDS TO BE HEADING

See: AHLUWALIA’S FW23 COLLECTION WAS A SOUNDTRACK OF PRIYA’S LIFE

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