Together with CFDA, the British Fashion Council announced a fashion manifesto with several important messages. The most important one was about creating less and making pieces longer lasting. According to BFC and CFDA it isn’t longer necessary to make summer collections available during winter and vice verse. That doesn’t withhold designers to show during London Fashion Week. And that’s good news, since the event has always been a great place for discovering new talent. Check out the best of LFW below.
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Best of London Fashion Week
From fresh new face Bethany Williams to renowned Posh Spice a.k.a. Victoria Beckham: London Fashion Week never gets boring. Of all worldwide fashion weeks, we could say that this one is the most fun. London-based designers never abide ‘the rules’ nor the dominating industry standards. Rather, they like to be doing thing their own way. It leads to mishmash of styles on and off the runway. And that’s exactly what makes London so vibrant: its eccentric inhabitants and powerful creatives who dictate new norms for the rest of the world. Check out the best of LFW below.
Riccardo Tisci used “the story between a mermaid and a shark” as the methaphor to describe the past months. It perfectly mirrored how many people felt during lockdown: lonely, zen and every now and then freaked out by our own thoughts, while groping in the dark.
The live-streamed event took place at a forest just outside London. The performance, created by Anne Imhof, made you almost forget about all sorrow. Models were getting dressed in small and dizzying mirrored cabins, before they entered the forest. Seeing them being surrounded by nature evoked feelings of pure freedom, hinting to those ambiguous lockdown feelings. Until… men in black followed the models to check where they’d go.
Both the collection and the setting reflected the current state of the world. According to Tisci, this is his strongest collection so far. During the creation process, at his mother’s at Lake Como, Italy, he sometimes got overwhelmed by a scary feeling of loneliness. Sometimes he didn’t know what to do, while he could always count on his mother’s support. But, he stated, being scared has made him realize how lucky he is to be in this position. Therefore, the designer wants to become more creative. Now that he’s reached a high status, he dares to use his imagination. “I have to do my best.” And if one thing is clear: he sure did.
Before the launch of this collection, tabloid headlines quoted things like “tasteless” and “shocking”. Why? Because of the preview Victoria Beckham posted on her Instagram account. The picture wasn’t only a preview of her collection, but also of her breasts. By now, Beckham got used to those headlines, since they don’t only appear when she flaunts her nipples. What she actually tried to show with this image, is the stripped down version of the fashion industry we now by know. Beckham views it as very liberating: “This sense of freedom is what my business needs right now.”
And so, after twelve years, Beckham returned to her salon-format show – just like when she debuted in 2008. During the creation of this collection, she reminded herself why she started to work in fashion. Moreover, the past months forced her to reflect on the past years, resulting in a condensed collection of twenty looks. It was exactly what Beckham’s customers would like to wear now: banana and kitten heels, romantic dresses, sharp-lined blazers, silk blouses and relaxed, yet feminine jeans. Overall, Beckham’s Spring/Summer 2021 looks like the perfect post-lockdown wardrobe; comfortable yet chic.
Bora Aksu’s show staged in the rose garden behind St. Paul’s Church in Covent Garden, where guests were correctly placed on social distance from each other. Even models were masked when they walked down the runway. While the idea of this collection was based on the past (World War I), it couldn’t have been more applicable to today’s world. The collection can be divided into three parts: it started with the influenza pandemic of 1918, moved on to a period of grieve and ended with uplifting Roaring Twenties looks. Aksu emphasized that “these times will pass” and that his clothes should evoke light, hope, imagination and a new start, rather than fear and anxiety.
Just like Victoria Beckham, emilia Wickstead has asked herself questions like: what will women wear post-pandemic? What do they need now? And: where will they wear them? For Wickstead – who is usually known for her over the top and romantic designs – these questions were pivotal and radically changed her signature style. Dressing down doesn’t mean becoming boring or flattened; it means the creation of a sense of realism in her clothes. The starting point of the collection, the nonfiction book from 1921 ‘Faery Lands of the South Seas’, focused on reframing the way we view things. The authors of the book were travel writers, who described their surroundings in a fairy tale-like way.
On top of that, Wickstead drew inspiration from the work of Lucien Gauthier, who documented Tahiti and the traditional dresses of the Thahitian women. The cheerfully printed sarongs were the starting point for many dresses, including their prints. New Zealand artist Hannah Jensen helped the designer with the development of her prints and transferring them onto cotton. While the collection was small and focused, Wickstead launched a jewelry collection on top of it. In collaboration with jeweler Jessica McCormack she created a 10-piece capsule collection full of diamonds and pearls.
Overall the collection felt very different from her former ones. But in a good way: while skipping the over the top items and accessories, Wickstead shows she doesn’t need all the fuzz to create something good. So while it has been a hassle to compile this collection, it was definitely worth it.
“Dress for the time of day, or don’t dress for the time of day—wear your evening clothes to the office if you go back to work, mix seasons— our aim is to show only one collection a year,” Vivienne Westwood stated in her notes before she launched her Spring/Summer 2021 collection. Reducing her production to only one collection a year is a decision that fits her well, since Westwood has always been on the forefront of sustainability. It’s also in line with the complete wardrobe she created over the years. A yearly update should suffice. Find all looks here.
Also read: London Fashion Week will become a gender-neutral digital platform