By Nada Abdul Ghaffar
London Fashion Week is nearing its end. Although it’s only been three days, it feels like much longer.
The lack of food, sleep and rest makes you wonder how some people do this for a whole month. However, it only takes one talented designer to make you realize that it’s all worth it. Even if you love being a part of this industry, it’s important to question it and look at it critically. Are we moving forward or is fashion merely repeating itself? Is this original? How can we be more sustainable as consumers and how can the industry become more socially and environmentally friend as a whole. After observing so much “fashion” going up and down a runway, it becomes easier to spot the good from the mediocre. Sometimes, it doesn’t make sense why it works, it just does.
People love David Koma because his designs are sleek, modern, and above all, wearable. This season, the designer experimented with fitted forms as well as sculptural silhouettes. He incorporated Swarovski crystals here and there to add a touch of glamour to his signature effortless aesthetic. The Obi-inspired belts gave the looks undeniable edge and made the feminine models look stronger.
Designer Phoebe English continues to evolve as a designer while staying very real to who she is. This collection was no exception. There was an abundance of texture, layers, and forms. Unlike many designers, English didn’t go for the obvious bright summer shades. Instead, she offered a calm palette of blacks, whites, and pops of red. There was something medical about the whole presentation, perhaps it was due to the fact that it took place in London’s School of Surgery, but you could feel the rawness of the designer’s hand as you inspected every one of the looks.
When a ticket to a Sophia Webster presentation comes in the mail, you know you’re in for a treat. The designer is known for picking joyful themes and pushing them to the absolute extreme. This season, Webster took us under the sea by showcasing a collection revolving around mermaids, sea creatures, and nautical chic. Walking into the room, you might feel like you’ve stepped into an alternate fairytale-like universe; flamingos, enormous pearl shells with models sitting inside them, and mermaid tails hanging from the ceiling, not to mention the live music and DJ. It all provided the perfect backdrop for her signature vibrant shoes and covetable clutches that spoke for themselves.
There was a definite buzz around the MM6 show. John Galliano has been slowly reconstructing the brand’s identity while playing with the core of Maison Margiela as well as forging a new direction for the younger MM6 label. For once, rather than looking like blank canvases, each model had a distinct personality of his or her own. They looked like they dressed themselves rather than being styled by anyone. The aesthetic was edgy, undone, and very rough. As the room was throbbing with the sound of the thumping beats, out came an array of textiles, from shimmery fabrics followed by shiny plastic juxtaposed against more sophisticated pieces. You might not understand why certain things were paired together but it would be hard not to be mesmerized by it or what the house is doing. Galliano was clearly addressing all the gender issues in the air as each model pushed the boundary and was more ambiguous than the one before. It also made me think about how Margiela is truly one of the most successful branding stories in fashion. The house can literally design a potato sack and, if it has the Margiela label on it, it is immediately labeled as cool.