London Fashion Week, the most vibrant of all the events in the fashion calendar, is truly a shot of life in the blood. Thanks to a level of diversity only allowed in London, this season was a showcase of its assets, now even more relevant than ever in a scenario with a new character: Brexit. It is important to remember that LFW opened its activities at Number 10, acknowledged by the Prime Minister.
Even animal rights campaigners and anti-fur protesters outside the Brewer Street Car Park were unwittingly mingling with the fashion crowd, getting style-shot, unintentionally part of the fashion calendar. Let’s face it; it wouldn’t be the same without them. On one hand, the deserving, urgent and worthy cause and, on the other hand, it just highlights the fabulousness that is London: I know plenty of places where they would have been removed without a fuss. So cheers to London for its tolerance and freedom of speech. We can only salute a city which embraces its cosmopolitan routes and diversity with such gusto.
Images : Daniaal Khalid
Notably LFW has welcomed no less than 63 countries represented last season and a quick scan during this week indicated that it is no different now.
It is crucial how LFW is conducted in a post EU-referendum reality in which the UK is preparing for life outside the EU, and the fashion industry is in prime position: its contribution to the British economy has jumped from £26billion to £28billion and employment has also risen from 790,000 to 800,000, according to the British Fashion Council. London is open for business and is the perfect host. If anyone still dismisses fashion as an important player in the British economy, please don’t hesitate in exercising your right to be silent.
Celebrating the eclectic melting pot that is London, fashion triumphed once again: the Designer Showrooms continued to showcase quintessentially British design and new talent with its NEWGEN dedicated area whilst being infused with Eastern new looks, as more and more brands emerge as a result of mostly, a Chinese influx. The result is shown in exotic prints and bold shapes. We spoke to designer Judy Wu, whose collection called “Curve” took inspiration in architecture to translate her creations into wearable garments. The citrus colour palette highlighted the exuberant shapes of the female body; a beautiful and solid concept in which Zaha Hadid was one of the main influences.
Images : Daniaal Khalid
From architecture to Candomble: designer Barbara Casasola referenced the Afro-Brazilian northern culture to emphasise femininity with such simplicity and sexiness that it was breathtaking at times. In a collection showcasing an earthy colour palette and minimal shapes with expert cuts, the eponymous brand’s woman looked every inch the goddess. It was there that we talked to actress Wallis Day, a guest in perfect sync with brand’s personality.
More diversity at Fashion Scout in Covent Garden as the grand Freemasons Hall accommodated talents from India, each room bursting with stunning creations and impossibility beautiful models. Backstage is truly an electric environment and I recommend everyone to try it once in their lifetime and see the professionalism, the smiles, the kindness and the hard work! On the catwalk, however, the strain and hours of preparation were an universe away as the 8 selected designers showcased their award winning designs. The skills and craftsmanship of India are unrivalled with its combination of delicate embellishments, patterns, colours and fabrics, resulting in dreamy creations which were equally empowering.
Images : Village
The very much British and veteran fashion houses continue to impress among such diversity. At London Fashion Week, it was great to see Vivienne Westwood in the calendar for some injection of British irreverence and eccentricity. One cannot help but be in awe and marvel at how the designer that defined the street culture of Punk can still surprise in design innovation and political activism.
And then, Belstaff, the British heritage brand with a very modern outlook, never disappoints. Reporting on a Belstaff show is the icing on the cake; it is where everything comes together. This season, the brand displayed a collection inspired by August and Adeline Van Bure: two sisters who took a 5,500-mile motorcycle journey across America 100 years ago! Fearless and feminine, the collection has a strong impact and yet gently and effortlessly connects with the feminine spirit.
Presenting her second season at Belstaff, Liv Tyler was inspired by the late 60s/early 70s vibes of the English countryside with a twist: a pinch of reference came from the rock’n roll characters of the time.
Images : Belstaff
Tyler spoke to us about her inspirations and how motherhood influenced the way she dresses. In a star-studded event, we also caught up with Tom Daley, having a deserved break from training and flaunting his squeaky clean look.
This is the magic of fashion week: it brings together all tribes in celebration of diversity, creativity and beauty in all forms and shapes. London Fashion Week will remain like a fantasy world where almost every connection is possible and yet, a real world that employs people, generate revenue for the country and shouts to the world: “Hey! We are London, we are open for business and everyone is welcome!”
Words : Sandra Porto