By Nada Abdul Ghaffar
It felt exciting to be a part of London Fashion Week this season. For half a decade, it took place in the 18th century iconic venue that is Somerset House before it was moved to Brewer Street Car Park in the beating heart of Soho. It’s crowded, crazy, chaotic, a true reflection of London and of the diversity of the fashion it provides.
The look was deconstructed minimalism at Eudone Choi with garments clinched in unexpected places, falling of the shoulder, and moving dynamically as the models walked down the runway. The hues? A mixture of canvas beige and sugary pastels. The mismatched booties were a surprising element. The starting point for this collection was the Victorian fascination with fairy tales and poems by the the likes of Oscar Wilde. Like the period, the clothes were romantic with subtle dark undertones.
If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. That’s the motto that the super edgy London-based label Le Kilt lives by. The brand was build on the craftsmanship and details of kilts and tartan and continues to push the boundaries of the piece by making it edgier in new ways. Metallics, pleats, and pins, you name it, it’s all there.
Joy was in the air as you entered the Markus Lupfer presentation space, and so was a intoxicating scent rising from the flowers scattered around the window-lit rooms. You had to stand close to the models to appreciate the unconventional prints, embellishments, and striking white eyeliner. As always, the girl was a feminine tomboy. Think bomber jackets in embroidered floral chiffon.
Even though it’s always about knitwear, Sibling is anything but dull. The models looked like they could walk straight out of the runway onto a 90’s pool party. The music was contagious, the colors vivid, and the techniques in some of the layered pieces were mind blowing. The element that wove the collection together were the pastel pompoms that covered some of the dresses and adorned the shoes.
Finally! A little bit of home during the craziness of London Fashion Week. The stunning Razan Alazzouni welcomed us into the intimate space of her Spring Summer 2016 presentation, where she showed us some of the most extraordinary garments. This season’s collection was inspired by Persian rugs and how they become distressed with time. Alazzouni proved that she’s a designer unafraid of getting out of her comfort zone as she showcased new textiles, such as metallic, and new techniques, such as laser cut. There were also gorgeous and delicate jewellery on display along with flats and headpieces.
There was a contrast between the strong energy and the fragile pieces and textiles of Teatum Jones. Sometimes fashion can feel like a bubble, unconcerned with the current affairs of the world, which is why it was refreshing to see a creative duo address the issues of politics, peace, and the collective strength of women. The collection was made up of monochrome looks with shades of pink and resembled African textiles reinterpreted in a contemporary way. The room shook as live drumbeats played for the finale and the twosome, Catherine Teatum and Rob Jones, wore matching sweaters that spelled “Refugees Welcome”.
The talented Turkish designer Bora Asku presented a collection themed around “The Golden Hour” in which he toyed with all the shades of sunrise and sunset. He translated it in the tones of pink, orange, and yellow and with fabrics as light as air. The labyrinth-like crochet pieces were definitely the highlight of the collection and, to top it all of, the models were floral headpieces.
It’s hard to predict what’s to come in the following three days. A fashion capital like London takes you around the world and back with its pool of creative talent. It’s a city that is constantly reenergized with the new, the rebellious, and the unconventional. We’ve reached a point where the word trend has no concrete meaning, and one goes to shows in the hopes of seeing something remotely different rather than just “instagramable”. The most thrilling part of it all is seeing how designers incorporate technology in the making of their clothes, use new mediums like film to present it, and see how their creations respond to the social and political conversations happening around the world.