London Fashion Week showcased an array of designers, from new creatives to the well established, proving that current global circumstances are not a barrier, rather a means for the industry to innovate and adapt. In fact, the situation has become a springboard for many creatives alike, as they are encouraged to take a step back and create more art or reflect on the situation incorporating real-life into their work.
Here are our top 5 highlight from London Fashion Week 2020.
This year’s effort from Burberry was undoubtedly unique with its mixed bag of wearability and experimental style. Creative Officer – Ricardo Tisci invited internationally acclaimed artist – Anne Imhof to collaborate on the set-design and execution of the show, creating an avant garde experience. Set in a patchily sun-lit forest, models walked, some chaperoned by men in black. Interestingly, a lot of performance art was incorporated into the show with people clothed in white dancing to the live music. Hand crafted, the atmosphere fitted the catwalk set to make for an eclectic collection. Different materials were used in conjunction with one another, balanced with muted, neutral and block colouring. The interplay between conformity and rebellion are very much blurred in an experimental yet cohesive way. One piece that stood out to me was a garment with chain sleeves and cuffs at the end that looked like a shirt, although not worn as one. Ultimately, Burberry has forged a strong identity with this collection whilst still maintaining level of wearability.
Halpern: The Heroines of the Front Line
Capturing the essence of pure joy and flamboyance, Halpern’s collection as explained in his shownotes “was created in celebration of the women on the frontline, and for anyone it may inspire and uplift”. What’s even more brilliant is the degree to which the frontline heroines were intergrated. Halpern made two looks for each model, using their story as frontline workers and individuality for inspiration. A video was made for the looks, and the models had fun being free on set. “Right now I feel fantabulous” Odiri – a London Underground trains manager said in the video. Halpern’s vision of creating a joyful atmosphere has been more than met, he states “I didn’t design this collection with cocktail parties or ballrooms in mind, but purely from the desire to capture in dressmaking the individuality embodied by savoir-fair, and the joy it brings to those who wear it”. Personally, this collection is very profound in it’s aim and impact: if fashion can reflect reality and extend a hand of familiarity, possibly comfort and joy, then fashion, and largely art can be at its best.
Showcased through a video inspired by Chinese 1980s movie ‘In the Wild Moutains’, MARRKNULL created a collection filled with the female form, and broadly femininity at the forefront. Very much taking a leaf from the film and its story based on different people’s lives and the struggle of two women, the collection reflects that rawness. The deconstructed yet flowing pieces are designed to be fashion forward whilst highly wearable, particularly in today’s fashion climate. Familiar elements of tailoring and trends add a universal appeal to this collection. Many garments are stylistically basics with unique construction and styling that gives the collection a subtle edge.
Rixo‘s March 2021 collection takes inspiration from vintage femininity, with the inclusion of sleek silhouettes and frilled detailing. The highlight feature of the garments are the sea/underwater motifs and brightly coloured prints. Artsistically, the prints remind me of designs from 1980s’/early 90s’ apparel, emphasising a mythical undertone. Barely subdued hues of coral, creams and ocean blues create dreamy pieces. The collection is inspired by Henri Matisse – a French painter known for his unique use of colour and expressive style.
The rich cultural tapestry of the collection alongside the appeal of timeless apparel: Qasimi’s SS21 designs bring forth a unique flair. The collection takes inspiration from Al Sad, a hand-weaving tradition of symbols and geometric patterns by the Bedouin people. Al Sadu jacquard and a Bedouin striped pattern were chosen for use in the context of modern clothing. Historically, this would have been used for mats, carpets, Majlis pillows and tents. The garments sport a comfortability and functionality that is particularly special to this collection. Highly muted colours (some that often reflect nature) are often used, further emphasising the recognisable air of the collection.
London Fashion Week 2020 was filled with not only an incredible amount of fresh and long standing talent, but also innovative approaches. In uncertain times, I am interested in seeing the path of the fashion industry, but more so than that, creatives and designers; I hope collaborations at the intersections of art and fashion happen more frequently.
Words by louise worthington
Fashion editor – charis crawford Corri
Disclaimer- all images used within this article have been sourced from the individual designers’ and PRs’ official websites and social media. Ragged Culture Publishing Ltd. does not own the copyright to the images within this article. All rights reserved.