Happy 25! London celebrated its Fashion Week’s 25th anniversary and dressed up accordingly by including into the festivities such fashion power houses as Burberry Prorsum and Pringle of Scotland, while on the front rows of the catwalks the bold and the powerful of the fashion industry together with magazine cover celebrities were to be seen throughout the week.
In any case no matter how hard London tries to promote its glamorous side, its place in the world fashion scene will always be that of the presentation hall for the new designers. London Fashion Week is all about raw talent, inspired by the road scene, taps from the energy created by the multiculturalism of the city. Differentiation and individuality, images, scenes, cultures all mix in the blender that is London’s fashion which for a quarter of a century now loves to break all conventions and to be controversial.
If fashion is an illusionist’s mirror of each era, then now we live at the age of weird fairy tales. “The Loss of Innocence” was the title of Kinder Aggugini’s collection, who inspired by “Alice in Wonderland”, presented an assortment that gives the impression that you stepped into the mirror were all perspective is wrong and nothing is what it seems. Fluorescent colors, snakeskin and psychedelic patterns. Alice in Delirium. Oversized hats, unexpected combinations of textiles and prints that make you dizzy. The hair in Maria Antoinette styled curls, and the waist curved in a bit too much turning the woman into a mannequin
and Aggugini’s live dolls wear strong red lipstick.
Oscar Wilde’s “Happy Prince” is the fairy tale on which Bora Aksu based his collection. But this is a “Happy Prince meets Blade Runner” thing. A dark future, full of smog and girly tulle dresses. Theatrical creations were the white is dominant but always smudged by pink and black.
Innocence lost is also what concerns Christopher Kane. In his much awaited collection the diamond shapes reign. Pink diamonds, blue diamonds, brown diamonds. The hypnotic repetition of the motif and the gospel soundtrack were in conjunction with the main story which combined innocent girls that go to church on Sunday, Nancy Reagan at the white house and religious suicide cults. Busts, transparencies, bold cuts that left the body vulnerable and bye-bye Miss American Pie.
An eerie future ruled by women out of time showcased Marios Schwab, whose collection is a study of the “magical” number 3. Each piece is separated in three parts, representing the past, the present and the future, and all of them can be split and recombined in numerous synthesis. Short shirts made from chains over romantic long dresses. Mix and Match or even Mismatch is the experiment-proposition of Schwab.
A new female imagery is suggested in the shapes, forms and styles of the young designers propositions. Garments that reveal the human body instead of hide it, lines that follow the natural female curves.
White dresses, lace, silk, pearls and short grey socks for Eun Jeong which was inpsired by 16th century ballet costumes. From neo-romanticism to aggressive eroticism and the tight knitwear dresses of Mark Fast, who was not afraid to include “larger-sized” models at his catwalk. The warrior-woman of Todd-Lynn, based on an ancient Algerian queen, wears jackets with plastic overtoned shoulders, clothes made of cotton and linen while the details in horse hair make the collection look more primitive and savage. Louise Goldin is moving away from the girly woman too. Coned bras remind us of J.P.Gaultier and Madonna. 50’s Pin-up girls take over a futuristic Battlestar Galactica and the highlight: classic high heels reinforced with sharp Swarovski crystals by Panos Yiapanis.
In similar spirit the greek presence in LFW. Mary Katrantzou’s collection is an explosion of colors and prints. The forms and structures of natural handblown glass provided her with the inspiration and the garments are feminine and filled with a sense of freedom. Ioannis Dimitrousis in his trademark style presented knitwear, full of fishnets and sequins. Aggressive, sexual women clad in long see-through dresses and balancing on high heels while the boys with the tattoos in the short jackets could only remain boys next to them.
From Danielle Scutt’s long sinion which looked like a parody of haute couture to the “real woman” of Mark Fast and the Dark Fairy Tales of Kinder Aggugini we experienced in a fashion week full of energy. In an era that we all are conscious of looming catastrophe waiting to happen, London is imaging a fertile ground for young, creative talents in a fashion week which at 25 remains playful, adventurous and still hangs out at from-dusk-till-dawn parties!
PS: Special Thanks to Antonio Fiengo and see you at LFW 26!