This London Fashion Week the best-dressed guests did not let the horrid weather conditions unique interfere with their plans to discover what talent the British capital had to offer this season. As a platform supporting emerging and graduate talent, this season we took it upon ourselves to suss out the freshest and hottest labels of the upcoming season. Curious as to which labels you should be keeping on you eye on? Read on! LONDON'S FINEST UNIVERSITIES
On the eve of fashion week, the Master's soon-to-be graduates of LCF took over the iconic music venue, Roundhouse in North London showcasing future creativity at its' finest. This years' cohort marked the twentieth year of postgraduate fashion courses, to celebrate this the graduates put an emphasis on sustainability, from the biodegradable charcoal composite at Stephanie Moscalll-Varey's collection - complete with hats that light-up - to discarded fruit that doubles up as a natural dye in Chia-Hung Su's menswear collection.
When the designers weren't experimenting with sustainable solutions, they challenged the notions of proportions. Menswear designer Hari presented us with - quite literally - ballooned up trousers, while Tony Lee sought and found more volume on the upper body, executed in bold pops of colours, Kyle Ho played with the proportions of suiting carried out in meticulously cut shades of pastel.
The following day, menswear and womenswear fashion graduates from the University of Westminster presented their final collections to the fashion industry as part of the official London Fashion Week schedule. The designers brought the notion that fashion should be fun to the runway. The joy was in the details, womenswear designer Marina Patalano accessorised her looks with an abundance of balloons, and CJ Tuke dressed up the hair of her models with coiled springs, happily bouncing with every strut. Furthermore, there were glamours stripped back gowns by Brandon Choi, avant-garde bodysuits by Vanebon, puffers executed in a stunning iridescent fabric by Tumiila and PVC oversized hoods by Fennuala making up a versatile mix of very fine collections!
Meanwhile, at Somerset House, guests could delve into a world of emerging talent. Again, we spotted some familiar faces with our designer Ying Yang
presenting her latest collection in cozy afternoon-tea-like setting, in the other side of the room, Flarestreet showed off organic prints in warm hues of red and orange, as you made your way through the crowd, you bumped into The House of Amz who crafted woven garments which had a particularly ethereal feel to them.
Over at Victoria House it was time for the seasonally and highly revered One's To Watch show, this year's line-up was opened by the label Young n Sang offering a brightly patterned and boldly colour opening to the show with a neon mop-detailing on the footwear. Following in their funkily accessories shoes, was our sustainable French designer Manon Planche, showcasing a zero-waste collection transforming denim scraps and disregarded beads into eye-catching gowns that could count on some oohs-and-aahs from the audience. Closing the show was Saint Ego with a TFL-inspired collection, complete with travelcard stitched on jackets as well as utilitarian two-pieces, perfect for those oyster cards!
Also preparing for her London debut was the Indian label Two Point Two Studios, with an impressive line-up where the intricate embroideries stole the show, closely followed by the innovative pattern cutting. Executed in a muted colour scheme, the tangerine red served as just the right amount of colour to tie the entire collection together. A strong debut into the London Fashion Market!
Kicking off LFW at Victoria House and simultaneously making her debut on the London catwalk, was Taiwanese label Jenn Lee. With her AW20 collection she sets out to strive for female empowerment. The Taiwanese designer explores the effect of historical traditions and stereotypes which still affect modern-day women. Taking inspiration from Chinese footbinding, and translating this into intricate draping techniques while looking at the Qing Dynasty inspired robes for silhouettes, her collection merges tradition while elevating it to modern society.
With her debut collection, she shares the message of feminism as well as sustainability, by working with discarded fabrics and fabrics made of plastic waste and coffee pulp, Jenn Lee sets out to change the society as well as the planet.
In a hidden pocket of West London two of our designer Christoph Ritter and Linus Leonardsson took over 50m presenting their sustainable AW20 collections. The Royal Academy of Fine Arts alumni defy both fast fashions as well as the exclusive inherent to fashion shows. They wanted to reverse the roles, and let the guests be the intruders of what seems to be a private affair. Christoph Ritter's collection focuses on transparency as well as sustainability, his clothes - you can read this literally - tell the story of the garment, advocating a more transparent approach to fashion. Furthermore, he contests the idea that sustainable fashion has to be equal to bohemian, with his brightly coloured collection made from recycled water bottles we couldn't agree with him more.
On the other side of the room, models walk around in brightly coloured knits, made by the hands of our designer Linus Leonardsson in partnership with Woolmark. The rest of his collection is based on sustainable materials, he repurposes deadstock and recycles fabrics, in doing so creating a futuristic approach to sustainable fashion with brightly coloured vinyl and knits, ready for a night out and appropriately titled 'Rave New World.' FASHION HONG KONG
Fashion Crossover London has as one of its main objectives to bridge Eastern and Western design talent together, the Fashion Hong Kong presentation is a show that can never be skipped, celebrating some of Hong Kong's finest and emerging design talent. Set at quintessentially British Somerset House, each designer transferred each room into their own narrative, from futurism to grungy renaissance scenes.
The sound of snapping smartphones drew us to the first room where we discovered Blind by JW, a duo-label founded by Jessica Lau and Walter Kong. With their AW2020 collection they want to celebrate the beauty of a city, and encourage people to go and explore. Set against a backdrop that resembled a city map, models were snapping selfies non-stop dressed in garments that created the perfect fusion between East and West. Think Tartan Scottish Wool Silk used to make Cantonese collars, a marriage we definitely applaud!
In the next room, Bettie Couture debut womenswear collection was being showcased, a balance-act of geometry shapes, with tartan, squares and circles juxtapositioned into perfect harmony. What really caught the eye was the cut of the garments, sharp and sleek, we are looking forward to seeing more of Bettie! The following room was candle-lit and intimate bedtime scene, inspired by the death of his grandma, presenting a grungy-inspired layered collection in a palette of black and white.
The final designer on display was Angus Tsui, bringing his audience to a dystopian setting of the year 2120, where there is resource shortage and population overgrowth as well as increasing environmental pollution, from this narrative a new planet emerges, and with that a new origin of life. Angus seeks the boundaries of fashion and futurism, both finding its way to the surface through innovative pattern-cutting and use of fabrics.
Words by Lupe Baeyens