London Thunder: In The Eye Of The Storm

"In a time where the world seems to teeter on institutional collapse, London turns to what it has always known best: to draw on its anti-establishment streak as an alternative source and continue looking forward." 

 

Fashion East Ready To Wear Fall Winter 2017 Fashion Show in London (by Guilaume Roujas for NOWFASHION)

 

To speak of fashion in tumultuous times is often not without guilt. Seeing protestors spilling onto the streets resisting despotic regimes with such urgency in recent months can make mulling over next season’s pantone shade pale in comparison. But perhaps by correlation, the industry has had its fair share of chaos. The tectonic shifts in Creative Directors across the board, from Raf Simons’ appointment at Calvin Klein to Riccardo Tisci’s departure from Givenchy, make it hard to keep up. It changes the power dynamic between New York, Milan, London and Paris. New York has Yeezy and now Calvin Klein to dominate the headlines while Paris and Milan have arguably always held their helm with the Greats. Where does that leave London Fashion Week (LFW)?

The reshuffling of power structures seems to have solidified LFW’s new found role. Dame Natalie Massanet who presides over the British Fashion Council (BFC) astutely pointed out in her opening address the need for diversity and inclusivity. She applauded Business of Fashion’s recent #tiedtogether campaign, a call to arms towards universal brotherhood especially within an industry that employs across so many different spectrums. British-Indian designer Ashish prompted it first with his “Immigrant” slogan t-shirts long before W Magazine broke its “I am an Immigrant” campaign featuring New York’s fashion heavyweights that launched two days ago. On Saturday, long-standing English-Turkish designer Hussein Chalayan echoed this sentiment through his politically-charged show “Act to Form” that delved into ideas of citizenship. Chalayan cited Ancient Greek culture and gave a nod to Plato’s Republic, befitting of his intellectual designs. It was a personal response to the increasingly “isolated individuals that the current world order is generating”, he shared in his press release.

The torch of activism blazed on at Fashion East in the new wing of the Tate Modern. Kudos to Lulu Kennedy for curating a show that would have made any Londoner proud. Supriya Lele, a graduate of the MA program at the Royal College of Art, explored her Indian and British heritage as she incorporated traditional Indian textile craftsmanship into the dress codes of British subculture in her debut collection. Mimi Wade’s upbeat show was an ode to her British-American identity, referencing Old Hollywood Glamour and Victorian romanticisms. She too exercised a show of hyper awareness with a curtain call set to Liam Lynch’s “United States of Whatever”. A Sai Ta of Asai also pivoted on his British-Asian background by exploring Chinese Culture stereotypes in the West.

The show of diversity was by far most felt on the catwalk of a York-born designer. Breakout star Matty Bovan, already a favourite of Katie Grand’s, so much so that she consulted on the styling of the show, was a hybrid of urban jungle meets club kids. Tapestries clashed with the spontaneity of East London’s nightlife while the attitude was very much “Rebel with a Cause”. Each look was fiercely individual but very much part of a collective identity, even the breath-taking set by artist William Farr outlining a hard city scape couldn’t pull these girls apart. Casting bolstered the point further -- Winnie Harlow, Adwoa Aboah, Grace Bol were among the faces that graced his runway. Matty is drawing the message of inclusivity, that has always existed in the clubs, out from the underground. Like Charles Jeffrey of Loverboy and many other young designers, they walk in the footsteps of heroes that came before - like Boy George and Leigh Bowery - as they continue in this oddly British tradition of protecting the right to be different.

 

Read the latest fashion features and trend reports in NOWmagazine.

SHARE
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
SIMILAR ARTICLES
A Verdict on Digital Fashion Week
By Fabio Ciquera
In the past two weeks, we have witnessed an array of different and varied virtual presentations,...
By Fabio Ciquera
In the past two weeks, we have witnessed an array of different and varied virtual presentations, online happenings and symposia. One cannot accuse luxury houses to lack inventiveness, and there is a genuine appreciation for the quick turnaround in moving everything online. From Loewe to Prada and...
In the past two weeks, we have witnessed an array of different and varied virtual presentations, online happenings and symposia. One cannot accuse luxury houses to lack inventiveness, and there is a genuine appreciation for the quick turnaround in moving everything online. From Loewe to Prada and Dior, among the many names, the creative solutions have been exciting to watch. This new reality...
Revival LDN: The Upcycled Fashion Brand Aiming At Helping the Environment
By Alice Ierace
For years now, many fashion brands have added sustainability to their vocabulary and, through...
By Alice Ierace
For years now, many fashion brands have added sustainability to their vocabulary and, through research and proposals, have tried to lessen the fashion industry’s huge impact on the environment. However, despite the efforts, many are still the fast-fashion brands ignoring the issue. The problem is...
For years now, many fashion brands have added sustainability to their vocabulary and, through research and proposals, have tried to lessen the fashion industry’s huge impact on the environment. However, despite the efforts, many are still the fast-fashion brands ignoring the issue. The problem is that, no matter how sustainable they deem they are, we are still living in a fast-paced environment...
Reflections on Life post Lockdown at MFW
By Alice Ierace and Elisa Carassai
Etro Kicking off day two of Milan Fashion Week was ETRO presenting its Men’s Spring Summer 2021...
By Alice Ierace and Elisa Carassai
By Alice Ierace and Elisa Carassai
Etro Kicking off day two of Milan Fashion Week was ETRO presenting its Men’s Spring Summer 2021 and Women’s Resort 2021 collections with an informal gathering at Milan’s iconic Four Seasons Hotel. “We are finally back together, in the garden of this iconic hotel, in the heart of Milan’s...
Etro Kicking off day two of Milan Fashion Week was ETRO presenting its Men’s Spring Summer 2021 and Women’s Resort 2021 collections with an informal gathering at Milan’s iconic Four Seasons Hotel. “We are finally back together, in the garden of this iconic hotel, in the heart of Milan’s Montenapoleone district. We want to highlight that we are a family, that Etro is a family living in a world...
White Mountaineering Brings Back BLK Line
By Elisa Carassai
Showcasing at Paris Fashion Week, ’s White Mountaineering is the creative baby of Japanese...
By Elisa Carassai
Showcasing at Paris Fashion Week, ’s White Mountaineering is the creative baby of Japanese designer Yosuke Aizawa. This season, the designer not only presented an exclusive film directed by Daito Manabe from the Rhizomatiks, but he also decided to relaunch his original BLK line. Launched in 2009,...
Showcasing at Paris Fashion Week, ’s White Mountaineering is the creative baby of Japanese designer Yosuke Aizawa. This season, the designer not only presented an exclusive film directed by Daito Manabe from the Rhizomatiks, but he also decided to relaunch his original BLK line. Launched in 2009, White Mountaineering’s BLK Line proposed a new feel to outdoor wear with high-spec textiles and...
Digital Meets Local at Sunnei
By Elisa Carassai
Before lockdown started, Loris Messina and Simone Rizzo...
By Elisa Carassai
By Elisa Carassai
Before lockdown started, Loris Messina and Simone Rizzo were supposed to move in their newly-bought building, Casa Sunnei. Not being able to move in, and stuck quarantining home, the duo started reflecting on what they could do to move forward, at a slower...
Before lockdown started, Loris Messina and Simone Rizzo were supposed to move in their newly-bought building, Casa Sunnei. Not being able to move in, and stuck quarantining home, the duo started reflecting on what they could do to move forward, at a slower pace.  “During the lockdown, I realized we were moving at a pace that was too fast - we were...
A Play of Poetics at MFW
By Elisa Carassai
MSGM’s Midsummer Night’s Dream Kicking off the first day of Milan’s Digital Fashion Week was...
By Elisa Carassai
By Elisa Carassai
MSGM’s Midsummer Night’s Dream Kicking off the first day of Milan’s Digital Fashion Week was Massimo Giorgetti’s MSGM, with a film celebrating the new Milanese generation of young creatives, as well as the joy of life post-lockdown. Inspired by writer Isabella Santacroce’s book Fluo: Storie di...
MSGM’s Midsummer Night’s Dream Kicking off the first day of Milan’s Digital Fashion Week was Massimo Giorgetti’s MSGM, with a film celebrating the new Milanese generation of young creatives, as well as the joy of life post-lockdown. Inspired by writer Isabella Santacroce’s book Fluo: Storie di Giovani a Riccione (“Fluo: Stories of Young People in Riccione”) – who also happens to be from...
Purity and Tradition Intertwine at MFW
By Alice Ierace
Prada and The Show That Never HappenedFew people do fashion quite like Miuccia Prada. After the...
By Alice Ierace
Prada and The Show That Never HappenedFew people do fashion quite like Miuccia Prada. After the announcement back in February stating that Raf Simons would become the brand’s new co-creative director, today we were lucky enough to witness Miuccia’s last solo collection – her final bow after three...
Prada and The Show That Never HappenedFew people do fashion quite like Miuccia Prada. After the announcement back in February stating that Raf Simons would become the brand’s new co-creative director, today we were lucky enough to witness Miuccia’s last solo collection – her final bow after three decades of unforgettable shows.Of course, a simple presentation wasn’t in the plan – it needed that...
Auralee’s Imaginary Journey Through Time
By Alice Ierace
Firstly launched in Tokyo, designer Ryota Iwai decided to present Auralee’s latest Spring/Summer...
By Alice Ierace
Firstly launched in Tokyo, designer Ryota Iwai decided to present Auralee’s latest Spring/Summer 21 collection during digital Paris Fashion Week as one of the major independent fashion brands.As a brand, Auralee is renowned for its magnificent clean silhouettes, impeccable quality and minimal...
Firstly launched in Tokyo, designer Ryota Iwai decided to present Auralee’s latest Spring/Summer 21 collection during digital Paris Fashion Week as one of the major independent fashion brands.As a brand, Auralee is renowned for its magnificent clean silhouettes, impeccable quality and minimal styling. Its aim? A full exploration into the development of their own fabrics. By taking inspiration...