According to the press, London Fashion Week is now amongst the big players. This season British fashion houses returned to their home country with Stella McCartney hosting a table-dancing dinner and Alexander McQueen’s Sarah Burton presenting the first catwalk show for the brand’s second line called McQ in the British capital.
While Paris, New York and Milan are about money and business-minded decisions, London is known for its creativity, originality, experimentation and passion, a hotbed for exciting and extreme far out styles. With that in mind, we were keen on unearthing young talent and up-and-coming designers to satisfy our hunger for fresh ideas and new inspirations.
Beside the catwalk shows there are more than hundred off-schedule shows, presentations and performances taking place during the week. It’s not easy to make a manageable timetable to cover all of the interesting stuff so we’re going to highlight some of the best things we experienced. This AW 12 season’s trends were prints, jacquards with motifs and sculpture-like silhouettes, and lots of colour. Although one of our favourites was Katie Eary’s dark fantasy. Her previous collections also referenced notorious stories but this fairytale was incredible with black, elf-eared urban warriors emerging from the depth of a concrete jungle, with intricate detail applied to the silhouettes, textures, leather and fur.
Back from the dark fantasy world to the poppy and colourful side. Similarly to the NewGen-talent Louise Gray and her colourized QR-code collection, we also liked the ‘Diamond Li’ collection by Sibling. Both their women’s and men’s wear lines were inspired by East London club culture and were “based on the idea of the Marked Man and the relationship between a protective matriarch and her wayward son”, as the designer trio explained Dazed Digital. Disco revival, sequins and glitterballs brought to the next level.
© Dean Mayo Davies courtesy of Dazed Digital
We love fashion pioneer and talent scout Lulu Kennedy’s Fashion East shows for their refreshingly new and progressive approach to fashion courtesy of the youngest generation. Debuting last season within the fashion incubator, Marques’ Almeida has been on our radar since last September and didn’t disappoint. As their statement declares “Helmut Lang school of thought, where ‘fashion is about attitude, not hemlines’” and one can identify with their world of nomadic silhouettes combined with acid colours and deconstructed denim.
Digging deeper into the off-schedule shows, we became aware of Alexandra Groover three seasons ago, when we saw the first LFW screening of her dark and conceptual short film trilogy ‘Birth-Life-Death’ whose final instalment took place this season presenting the AW12 collection. She worked closely with Dave.I.D (read our interview with him) who made a special drone track for the occasion.
Among the ones to watch we have to highlight CSM graduate Carl Craig’s diploma work, Heohwan Simulation’s pattern cutting talent, Mattew Miller’s menswear prints, Asger Juel Larsen’s soldier cloaking coats and the already featured KTZ.
It’s obvious that fashion and music are strongly connected, not only in regards to image-making in fashion videos or catwalk shows, or drag queen inspired freaks hanging around chasing street style photographers but most evidently it’s the club culture itself where both trending fashion and music are merging. It’s as if another parade started as the sun goes down: at the catwalk show after-parties…
Katie Eary collection photos © Morgan O’Donovan
Alexandra Groover isn’t afraid to experiment. The young American-born designer, now living in England, has recently unveiled her new AW11 line based around BIRTH, the first in a trilogy of short films. Acting as chrysalis, the bodysuits and balaclavas form a shell around the wearer that is at once protective and soft. The Umbilical Geta, designed by Benjamin John Hall, provide both aesthetic and paternal security. Beautiful armor for both urban and rural survival.