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London Fashion Week: Ingenuity at any cost

Things got off to a bad start. A few days before the start of London Fashion Week, Spring-Summer 2024, which took place from September 15 to 19, one of the most anticipated designers of the event, Dilara Findikoglu, announced in the columns. New York Times that he was withholding his testimony. “It’s not a decision I’ve taken lightly, but the reality is that we simply don’t have the financial means to hold a parade at this time.”Turkish-British designer explained.

Little by little, other designers also left the official calendar: so there was no show for Halpern, Nancy Dojaka, SS Daley – Stephen Stockie Daley’s stage name -, the last two were still awarded the prestigious LVMH. A prize for young creativity. “After Brexit and the rising cost of living, it has become very difficult for a small company to survive. Most of the young designers do not come from rich backgrounds and the reality is that fashion shows are very expensive. I think we should not criticize those who miss the season. “If they need a break and make sure the fundamentals of their business are strong, we should help them rather than call it a disaster.” Defends Caroline Rush, chief executive of the British Fashion Council.

For ideas and creativity, London always has them underfoot. Starting with Daniel Lee, artistic director of the house of Burberry, who presented his much-anticipated second collection. Appointed in September 2022, the Englishman has the challenge of restoring the desirability of the flagship British fashion brand. And he has the financial means to do so. Just under the tartan patterned marquee set in Highbury Fields Park, trench coats with accented shoulders were accentuated by being worn low on the hips with belts or prints featuring chains and metal buckles. . The tartan pattern that was everywhere last season is more discreet: it’s zoomed in on a few thin knit sweaters. Embroidered floral or fruit prints (strawberry, cherry, etc.) on knitted dresses are a very pleasant surprise, as well as zippers that fasten long dresses. Bags, hidden or in light canvas, will undoubtedly find their audience.

JW Anderson.

Jonathan Anderson experimented with clothing materials, sizes and proportions for his label JW Anderson. A little game he is familiar with and that works quite well for him. “I wanted to find a new type of modernity through experimentation” He reveals. The first silhouettes, shorts and rigid hooded shirts, which give a special approach to the models, raise questions. “This is Plasticine, a rubbery play dough made in Northern Ireland that was very popular with children in the 1980s.” Explains, cheerful, creative, satisfied with its effect. Followed by cargo pants worn with small tailored leather jackets, loose bomber jackets with large feathers, short, pleated, tight-fitting dresses or even the perfect trenches, which are a must in British countries.

Petticoats made of royal curtains

Erdem Moralioglu also talks about England. It was in the outer corridors of the British Museum that the designer opened his love letter to the Duchess of Devonshire, Deborah Cavendish, a high society figure. English woman – and grandmother of the late model Stella Tennant – who died in 2014. Thanks to privileged access to her personal archives, the forty-year-old girl pulled out a beautiful wardrobe, mixed with sophisticated floral prints, embroidered jackets, long dresses. Delicate lace or even jewelry in the shape of a chicken, Deborah Cavendish’s favorite animal. “I was inspired by the idea of ​​heritage, the painstaking, mending of clothes and fabrics that the Duchess religiously did. We also reused curtains from her family castle, Chatsworth House, to tuck them into the robes. » A very beautiful collection that combines precious materials and precise cuts.

Simone Rocha.
Emilia Wickstead.

At the rehearsal hall of the English National Ballet in London, Simone Rocha presented a collection juggling black and pastel, lightness and radicality. The Irishman, the face of London Fashion Week since the early 2010s, knows how to tell stories while juggling tribes. “I wanted to confront the fragile and almost depraved by playing with the different layers of fabric and gradually revealing what is hidden underneath. » And what do we see? Real roses tucked between layers of tulle on dresses, high-waisted shorts slipped under a button-down jacket, or even long lace petticoats worn with unstructured silver biker jackets. The designer signs a collaboration with Crocs shoes and decorates these unattractive clogs with pearls and rhinestones. After Julien Doucet or Olivier Rousteing, he is the next designer invited by Jean Paul Gaultier to reinterpret his archives during Haute Couture Week in January 2024.

Finally, Emilia Wickstead, another regular at The London Collection, invited guests to the Royal Academy of Arts to present her wardrobe inspired by the 1930s French Riviera and female artists of the era, from Lee Miller to Françoise Gillets (recently deceased. ). Beautifully striped and colorful ensembles, beautifully knitted sweaters over open petticoats, long dresses with floral prints or other sequins, the look is light and refreshing. Finally, London will be able to present a season rich in proposals, which the absentees would still bring a welcome fantasy.

Source: Le Monde



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