Seeing sustainability as a key objective and older and more diverse models on the runway were the true highlights of London Fashion Week this fall. The youngest of the Big Four fashion weeks is also one of the most forward thinking and it returned with 81 live shows alongside 32 digital presentations. Established designers this season included Bora Aksu, David Koma, Emilia Wickstead, Molly Goddard and Pam Hogg. Rising stars Sabirah, Chet Lo, Masha Popova, Yuhan Wang and Edward Crutchley continue to impress. Here are just eight of the highlights in a strong showcase of talent.
Glaswegian designer/musician was back with a strong show of her trademark flamboyant haute couture alongside a more accessible ready-to-wear collection. Super wearable tailored jackets, jumpsuits and body suits with paint splatter prints, were up first in her Fashion Scout catwalk show. Then, as expected from a designer who counts Björk, Gaga and Debbie Harry as clients, things got decidedly more edgy as the runway transitioned to vibrant colors and more daring and voluminous silhouettes, with extensive use of ruffled trim. As Pam Hogg has often said since launching her debut collection in 1981, “once a punk, always a punk.”
Rixo is loved for the easy-to-wear, feminine shapes, original hand-painted prints and timeless silhouettes, created to flatter every woman, regardless of age, size or shape. Design duo Henrietta Rix and Orlagh McCloskey ensure that no piece is mass produced and they use family run, small suppliers. Showcased at the glorious Hop Exchange near London Bridge, RIXO’s SS23 collection was inspired by a trip to Goa, specifically Goa’s Latin quarter. The bright, bold buildings of the area and Ca’Pietra tiles influenced the hand-painted prints. Keeping things interesting, this collection introduces 60 new shapes, including more structured dresses with matching jackets, and feminine shirts paired with matching skirts. They’ve also introduced new detailing within this collection like elegant rose corsages, lace trims, sweetheart necklines and crochet.
David Koma staged a dynamic Spring-Summer 2023 show on the streets of Shoreditch near his studio. The eclectic collection included biker jackets, denim trousers, cowboy boots, scuba suits and lycra swimwear, chainmail cut-out dresses. were all on show. Colorful crystal embroidery, iridescent crystals and mirrored plexi-glass adorned the garments. Looks included petrol-inspired prints on asymmetrically-cut tops, dresses in silk-stretch mesh, hand-woven macramé tops and skirts, a billowing summer trench and soft cashmere knits. And a series of dresses structured in electric Klein blue were standouts.
Designed by Naeem Anthony, this brand is a melting pot of eastern and western culture. Hand-embroidered pieces are made from luxury fabrics like wool, cashmere and velvet. Sustainable, vegan leather and sheer fabrics add a daring element to the collection. The collection includes beautiful, well-structured and oversized floor-length overcoats and broad-shouldered blazers, plus flowing, low-cut maxi dresses with elegant tails. Naeem Anthony has played with height and length, adding both high and low waisted trousers and long and short skirts to add an element playfulness to razor-sharp British tailoring.
British-Canadian designer Edeline Lee has been using sustainable practices since establishing her brand in 2014. All the pieces are cut and made by hand in London and many of the fabrics are recycled. The brand’s high profile fans include Alicia Vikander, Olivia Colman, Sharon Horgan, Sally Hawkins, Helen Mirren, Gemma Chan, Taylor Swift, Phoebe WallerBridge and Solange Knowles. In her latest collection, Lee experiments with draping, knots and tassles and pays homage to female power in mythology, with nods to Medusa, the goddess Athena and Amazonian warriors. And as always, simple silhouettes, precise tailoring and the designer’s gorgeous signature Flou Bubble Jacquard fabric flatter every figure. The color palette, which includes scarlet, navy, lemon and mint, is a real winner too.
The chic French brand’s Spring-Summer 2023 collection, designed by Sophie Mechaly, evokes a secret garden with magical mushrooms embroidered and printed on luxuriant silks and embroidered maxi flowers bloom on long organza skirts. The gorgeous garden color palette ranges from limoncello yellow to pistachio green, marshmallow pink to coral orange and hot pink. Strapless dresses in the shape of a heart, a gorgeous flowing maxi dress in vertical stripes and a pastel blue silk trouser suit are highlights.
Emerging designer Karina Bond’s new collection “Cocktails in Nautilus” was inspired by a childhood exploring marine life. She translates the fluid, weightless movements of jellyfish and anemones in an eclectic line up that uses bespoke fabrics silk, velvets, organza and jewel colored sateen. Sustainability is a key aspect of the designer’s making process with much of the collection created using laser cutting techniques, which has minimal fabric wastage whilst the sateen and velvet have been woven, painted, and dyed in small batches, avoiding mass production.
8.Timmy Chou at FJU Talents x Fashion Scout
FJU Talents, an annual platform showcasing emerging designers from Taiwan selects four designers to showcase their capsule collection at Fashion Scout during London Fashion Week. The finalists of FJU Talents 2022 are: Chao-Ruei Wu, Chia-Lin Hsu, Chi-An Yu, and Timmy Chou. A fashion design graduate from Fu Jen Catholic University, Timmy’s collection is inspired by indigenous Taiwanese cultures. The design concept tries to reflect the square shape of traditional Austronesian tribes’ clothing in the silhouette. The form of the freedom of clothing makes the fabric interact with the body, and also symbolises the natural and unrestrained temperament of the indigenous Taiwanese peoples.
An upcoming public event, London Fashion Week’s City Wide Celebration from Thursday 6th October – Thursday 13th October, will include designer Q&A sessions, workshops around Zero-Waste Craftsmanship and upcycling, live music performances, and limited edition product drops. The lineup will include a party by BOSS, presentations by Richard Quinn, Raf Simons and Roksanda, a new store from Marc Jacobs and AnOther Magazine will host a special evening for Björk powered by Gucci.