Now that we’re into March, this year’s fashion events have been in full swing and designers across the world have showcased their collections for Autumn/ Winter 2020!
As usual, I will be sharing with you the scoop from fashion week, however this time around I actually got the opportunity to go down to London to attend Fashion Week first-hand which was such an amazing opportunity.
In the first week of January, I was honoured to be invited to a few shows at London Fashion Week Men’s and the whole affair left me in awe of just how wonderful this industry is, fuelled by creativity and expression. The British Fashion Council’s hub was located at the Old Truman Brewery on Brick Lane in Spitalfields – an area filled with vibrant culture, diversity and many amazing vintage shops! In between shows, I would often wonder around Spitalfields Market, and on the Sunday, walked around the renowned Brick Lane Market. It had everything you could ever want or need, from plants and pottery, to vinyl and vintage film cameras, it is definitely an amazing place to be and shop! More about the shows on the next few pages.
LONDON FASHION WEEK MEN’S
Although the sun was shining for most of the weekend, it was very chilly meaning that you’d be stupid not to bring out your trusty long coat for fashion week. As well as the usual camel trenches, many chose to add in checked patterns with blacks, creams and camels, as well as some darker red and orange coloured checks. Some juxtaposed the rest of their outfits with an ankle length coat in black. Scarves were also used to break up the neutral palette, adding blocks of greens and reds to the mix.
LONDON FASHION WEEK
London Fashion Week’s street style was dominated by the elements as Storm Dennis battered the city. This led to an army of boxy, masculine outerwear, with most opting for thicker fabrics like leather to protect them from the rain, although mixing it up with colour and texture. However, under the elemental shrouds were bursts of spring pastels, as well as creams and browns for a 70s-esque vibe.
London Fashion Week Men’s: 4th – 6th January 2020
As mentioned on the previous page, I was lucky enough to be invited to some of the shows and presentations over the weekend of LFWM and it was incredible to witness it in person. I also got to spend time in the British Fashion Council’s hub between shows – featuring cute flower displays, a café/ bar and a little station where we were gifted S’well water bottles in a tortoiseshell pattern – so adorable and actually keeps my water cold all day! It was fascinating to hear the stories and personal inspirations behind each collection.
My first show was PRONOUNCE, a brand established by Yushan Li and Jun Zhou (who graduated with a MA in Menswear from the featured fashion school of this issue – Istituto Marangoni). As a brand, they aim to develop ‘hand crafted heritage’, drawing inspiration from “male and female stereotypes… pushing the boundaries of ‘genderless’ concept”. Their collection ‘To The Mountains’ was inspired by the Chinese classical novel ‘Shui Hu Zhuan’, focusing on the constant exploration and ambiguity of life. Their prints and patterns aim to represent the ever-changing and transitional states of the world, Ying / Yang, and accessorised using Jade (inspired by the weapons used by the characters of the novel). Their show also announced their collaboration with Diesel, due to hit stores in late March.
Next was a presentation from PACIFISM with their collection focusing on Talal Hizami’s (the designer) concept of a ‘Higher Power’, through the use of subtle messaging, symbols, colours, textures and silhouettes. For example, the collection uses an elongated peace sign not only evoking peaceful energy, but also as a symbol of balance and importance of both upward and downward connection (a connection to the Divine being as important as our physical connections on Earth). This was translated onto their collection using rich earthy tones, embroidery inspired by religious figures and leading lines.
The final presentation of the day came from Robyn Lynch, inspired by time she spent in Inis Oirr, Ireland where she observed how clothing connected generations to bring together a community. In her collection she incorporates tailoring, functionality and leisure. Robyn created her own fabric inspired by Aertel, the Irish Teletext channel, as well as using traditional inspired Arran knits and layered fleeces. I really like how Robyn has incorporated the culture and heritage of Inis Oirr to create a unique but practical collection.
Sunday started off with an amazing show from MÜNN. Originating in Seoul, this collection was inspired by South Korea’s history with the Korean War, using ecofriendly fabrics and materials in their collection to promote the importance of sustainability and conscious fashion. MÜNN managed to combine the military inspired tailoring and thicker materials with delicate fabrics, peeking through to bring elegance to each look. With the great admiration there was for MÜNN, I can see them becoming as popular in the fashion world as they are in Seoul.
Next up was Per Gotesson, inspired by the queer 60s playwright Joe Orton who lived in Islington where Per lives now, creates collages, patchworks and prints using images from old books and magazines. He uses denim to his advantage, manipulating the stiff material into everything from boxy silhouettes to double breasted coats, bringing a newfound elegance to denim. Aprons were used throughout as layering pieces or incorporated with other designs – a way of using workwear to subvert masculinity.
My final invitation was to Ahluwalia’s presentation ‘Frequency’. Reflecting back on her past, Priya Ahluwalia says “I enjoy the now, but I also think about the romanticised ideas of how yesterday was easier, even though it might not necessarily be true”. Her collection draws inspiration from 1965 and how all of the cultures of her personal heritage lived in that era. She creates the essence of the 60’s with both colour and pattern – an array of rich browns and deep oranges, combined with camel, black and white. She took inspiration from British print designer Barbara Brown for her intricate macro patterns, a beautiful way of encompassing the trends of the 60s into her collection.