Thanks for being so patient, everyone! My full recap of London Fashion Week AW19 is now live! I have my NYFW recap up from the Fall/Winter 2019 season as well (Link HERE) Again apologies for the delay! Better late than never, I rounded up 6-7 of my favorite looks per show that I had the pleasure of attending, with a full-text review of each collection along with a couple of highlights I found worth mentioning as well. So sit back and relax, enjoy the show! :)
After graduating from Central Saint Martins in 2012 and having won numerous awards such as ‘Elle New Talent’ Taiwan, Jamie Wei Huang’s AW19 collection ‘Roaming Boy’, was showcased within a once traditional church, now The Garden Museum. The show invitation demonstrated a school exam theme, asking all guests to bring their pencil to the show ‘exam’ and the press release amusingly mimicking a short multiple choice test sheet. The collection epitomized private school rebellion. Hues of royal blue, red and white paired with a selection of tartan. The innocent school-kid was edged with extreme undiluted hemlines, oversized bum bags (worn in the cool way across the shoulder of-course) and extreme padded jackets in non-conventional pop colors. A diamond-check weave made the occasional appearance, paired with bold hand embroidery and layered, oversized sweaters. Unruly piercings accentuated every other ensemble and the occasional low neckline added just that ounce of sexiness.
A presentation of modern femininity that was both luxurious and sophisticated. Gayeon Lee for AW19 showcased ten looks at a time, that were pastel delights in chic dressing and sleek silhouettes. The presentation was hidden in the Crypt at St Martin-in-the-fields church, in Trafalgar Square, an unusual space for a LFW location, with cozy jazz music playing in the distant background. Gayeon Lee is from South Korea and has a MA in Fashion Womenswear from Central Saint Martins. Her graduate MA collection was incredible and sparked interest from the likes of Lady Gaga. After working for Marc Jacobs in both London and New York, Gayeon Lee launched her own label in 2014. Winner of the Vogue talent awards in 2016, Gayeon Lee was also chosen to work with Swarovski for AW18 and SS18. Her collections are known to draw inspiration from fine art and Gayeon Lee’s work is known to be conceptually driven. Her signature bended metal strap bags have definitely caught my eye for the past couple of seasons, the AW19 bags were structured into prism shapes of earthy tones.
Bora Aksu’s AW19 was inspired by Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman to go into space. A feminine, light and holographic collection, the show began with symbolizing her humble beginnings with simplicity. Ivory, grey two-pieces are paired with chiffon oversized bows, and muted down check suits. Then puffy coats to a pink ruffled chiffon dress with red hems screamed new age romanticism and expanded the mystical color palette with lilacs, pinks, green and light blues. Space helmets were swapped for hand-embroidered and hand-knitted headpieces designed in collaboration with Liria Pristine, other further accessories were some funky avant-garde oval sunglasses and pearl jewelry adding a touch of class. The staple Bora Aksu silver boot added an elegant touch to the futuristic astronaut-aesthetic. Very cool indeed, when are we going to Mars and which gown should I be wearing when we do? :)
“Swathes of wool and padded fabric encase her, goddess warrior, made from a palette of turning leaves and earth – of brown and putty and cornflower and crimson. Resilience and adaptability manifests in her elongated silhouette, roomy tailored suits, curtain-tie sashes and winged dresses. Tailoring and draping brings softness and structure to signature asymmetric silhouettes. I think of the columns of the Temple of Parthenon. Layering prevails in oversize multi-way jackets with tiered lapels that fasten this way and that, allowing glimpses of tonal variations and in this our complexities are revealed – there is ‘no one typical woman’. Slit-sleeve blazer and a four-tiered teal trench peel back, exploring out many identities – creator, mother, warrior, lover. If she is a whole, it’s a whole composed of parts that are wholes, not simple partial objects but a moving, limitlessly changing ensemble, a cosmos tirelessly traversed by Eros, an immense astral space not organized around any one sun that’s any more of a star than the others.“ All-in-all, Marta Jakubowski strongly stating women should never be stereotyped.
Cassey Gan’s Autumn/Winter 2019 collection is titled “Pixelated”. As colorful vivid brushstrokes take the form of a pattern heavy collection, it’s a print-lover’s dream! The Malaysian designer demonstrated printing techniques are mature enough to achieve that, beside thick fabric, the designer also used lightweight fabric and reflective fabric in their collection. Orange, blue, lemon, and red, the color choice is vibrant and the original designed prints are mostly in a repeated pattern formula. These are styled with traditional check or Houndstooth patterned garments on top or underneath. Traditional pattern and original print designs crossover and fuse together in the collection. Gorgeous textiles, striking statement earrings as accessories, and using non-form fitting garments revealed new layers of their evolving work.
Located in the remarkable architecture of St Georges Bloomsbury Church, the space was transformed into an autumnal wonderland. Lines of seats created four catwalks, each smothered in a sea of fallen leaves, the nostalgic smell of the season lingered in the air. Live performance by musical talent James Broughton played in the background as the models walked under the crisp foliage. Bach has created pieces inspired by the aesthetic of Autumn, with a warm palette - the overall tone for the collection. A base of black is lifted by plummy red, bold ochre and rich green bring a beautiful visual tempo to the collection, as well as metallic accents flirting with the rays of natural light. The juxtaposition of fabrics and patterns allows for a play on masculine versus feminine, for example combining the more rough corduroy and check fabrics with softs rippling floral accents reminiscent of magnolia. Perfectly accessorized with sunnies and focal shoe point were boots/mules for the colder season. Definitely a favorite from London Fashion Week!
Natasha Zinko presented their new AW 2019 collection at Next, Plaza Oxford Street for London Fashion Week. Models entered down the escalator in cool cuts with many pockets (this is definitely Natasha’s personal style) along with kangaroo hats, long-length leather gloves and over-the-top OTK boots, which were all personal faves for me. Denim and print played a huge role within the collection, as well as color with a very upbeat youthful allure to her pieces. I adore her take on street style and this collection definitely sets a certain tone to this genre in fashion. Definitely could see myself wearing any number of these pieces! Such a cool, inspiring collection to see.
Characterized by mixed shapes and dark nuances, UNDERAGE’s collection for autumn/winter 2019 reflects the juxtaposition of strange and familiar traits in a similar manner to The Rocky Horror Picture Show. The movie, which is the main inspiration of the brand’s mastermind Ying Shen, continues to have as big an impact on the young people of today as it had on the audiences of the 70s – though it leaves an impression of a different kind. The Beijing-born designer explores cutting-edge and advanced forms against more conventional layouts, focusing especially on the creative take of generation Z. The outfits bring together simple t-shirts with puffer jackets, smooth jersey trousers and combed knitwear. Velvet is paired with metallic details. There is a hint of crochet, but there are also leather laces tied up the calf. One of the jackets sports a sticker patch with the brand’s name, while an uneven maculated skirt is matched with a fading burgundy pullover. Red, as the set for the presentation also emphasizes, is the predominant color, featured in different shades. Glasses – in the shape of eyelashes, drawn-on grey plexiglass or cut out in electric blue – are common accessories.
The new AADNEVIK collection is inspired by Leo Tolstoy’s “ Anna Karenina”. I saw several silk chiffon gowns with hand beaded french lace and leather craftsmanship. Even ostrich feathers. This brand is known for its uber-sexy, revealing clothes and have dressed A-list celebrities such as Kate Beckinsale, Halle Berry, Olivia Culpo and others. Models strutted down the runway with sounds of a running train in the background brought an eerily romantic tone to the show. I was most impressed with the hair done by Morrocan Oil along with the tailoring of some of the gowns. Definitely red carpet looks, I also really adored the animal print matching set which included a beaded jacket with shorts. Not your typical fall getup, but nothing in AADNEVIK is typical.
Reflecting on the looming threat of Brexit as an Irish immigrant, for AW19 Richard Malone looked to simpler times – to the birthday parties of his youth. He sent out a party wardrobe rich in color and texture that elevated the everyday to a fashion context: he repurposed dog beds into elegant fur stoles, and fashioned frock coats from twill fabrics typically used in school uniforms. Form-fitting silk dresses intricately gathered to contour the body and ladylike suiting in fitting hues of blue, red and white were juxtaposed with punkish laddered knits and hand-painted mohair coats, adding a hint of rebellion. Highlights included the fuzzy wuzzy socks to go with the matching coats, as well as oxblood being a steady color within the collection’s palette.
Costelloe displayed his mastery of tailoring in what was one of his more confident collections in recent years; the military inspired coats in pure Italian wool definitely drew attention. Pulling inspiration from Rule Britannia, it was quite literally a combination of war and peace to some extent. The mixture of military coats with beautiful gowns was something a bit different for Costelloe, but the tailoring spoke for itself. Going back to his roots was not a mistake, and I hope to see more of this in his future collections. Highlights were the buttery leather greenery in one pair of leggings, along with a diverse casting, even though he had something specific within his theme.
One of the designers I have yet to see during London Fashion Week, Wesley Harriott’s name will definitely be more familiar in the coming years. Using only monochrome hues of black and white, Harriott makes a statement by reflecting how people often define one another according to their exterior before really paying attention to their complex characteristics which are not always evident at first. He focuses on drape and construction by redefining traditional tailoring techniques to add a sense of uniform to reflect the militant aura during Empress Dowager Cixi’s reign. Inspired by The Last Empress of China, Wesley Harriott fell in love with the strong divide on opinion on her that was only ever ‘black or white’. Despite the way people perceived her, she continued pioneering whilst unapologetically being herself. This is stressed within each ensemble as even more obscure detail and trimmings are revealed the longer they’re examined.
One of my favorite shows of LFW, Edeline Lee likes to think outside the box. This season she invited a host of accomplished women across the worlds of art, science, and technology onto the stage. “In this industry we are always talking about women, but rarely do we give them the opportunity to speak,” said Lee of her presentation. “I wanted to give them a voice.” It was over an hour of orations from 35+ women of all backgrounds using their strengths on top of curating a stand-out fashion presentation. Not the most ideal - since many editors (like myself) don’t have the time to stay and see the entire collection. However, her quiet yet increasingly elevated pieces speak for themselves, in that they are very likely to be worn in our everyday ready-to-wear looks. Can’t wait to see what Edeline turns up next for SS20!
Designer Seung-Gun Park toyed with the idea of “celebrating all things unflattering” for AW19, dreaming up a series of unusual headpieces made from plates, combs, forks and even lighters. But beneath these showstoppers, Park’s feminine tailored pieces with strong historical references were nothing short of flattering: Elizabethan collars and 14th-century pourpoint jackets were updated with sporty sweatshirt fabrics, while corset tops and puffed sleeves added a regal spirit. A mix-mash of textures and patterns – checkers, polka dots and frills – resulted in a confident and outspoken collection that reaffirmed the label’s signature punk attitude. One to watch out for, Pushbutton is definitely one of my favorite new Korean designers on the fore front.