I have to admit, I’m really sad that London Fashion Week is over. This has been the best season for a long time for a couple of reasons. It was great to see ethical fashion adopted by a number of designers and tie-ins with charities and alliances dedicated to sustainability.
Also, for the first time in a long time, I actually had fun at fashion week. Usually, my schedule is packed so I barely have time to even drink a gulp of water or the sheer volume of people plus the stress triggers my anxiety awfully. This season I had a busy-but-manageable schedule and spent time with fashion friends who I usually only see at shows.
Johnstons of Elgin
I balance LFW while working full-time, so my fashion week kicked off post-6pm at the Johnston’s of Elgin presentation. Held at the beautiful Waldorf Astoria, the presentation felt more like a party with the great and the good of the fashion world clustered in intimate groups clutching a glass of champagne and taking in the beautiful presentation which took centre stage.
Well known for knitwear and their sumptuous AW collections, I was intrigued to see what they had up their sleeve for the summer season. As it happens, Johnston’s of Elgin do summer as well as they do winter, with zesty yellows and cobalt blues taking centre stage. Fluid silhouettes in the finest, lightweight cashmere silks and cottons felt airy and slightly Grecian.
I can’t write up the collection without mentioning sustainability – Johnston’s of Elgin helped to fund and launch the Sustainable Fibre Alliance so the materials used are sustainably sourced.
Fyodor Podgorny and Golan Frydman have their eyes on the ocean. Their SS19 collection is inspired by everything ocean-related, from surfers and castaways to the beauty of the ocean itself. The collection is a clash of beautiful gowns with sequin scales and fluid silhouettes as well as commercial pieces with bold stripes and oversized flower prints.
Why the fascination with the ocean? This season, the boys teamed up with Plastic Oceans UK, the first UK charity to focus on plastic pollution in the oceans. The brand is known for their sustainable approach to fashion and they have eliminated the use of plastics from their collection and also promote the use of recycled and sustainable materials.
Inspired by John Water’s cult film Female Trouble, Clio Peppiatt’s SS19 collection is a riot of tinsel hues and surrealist influences which explore the idea of unattainable beauty. The collection felt like a half-shot of tequila with its chocolate box tones layered over rich taffetas, snakeskin and lizard skin, all adorned with Swarovski crystals.
Like Fyodor Golan, Markus Lupfer was also inspired by the ocean. His SS19 collection takes us on a trip to the seaside, through a whimsical, pastel-hued lens. His collection features pretty icecream shades and swathes of frothy tulle. Light-weight, airy fabrics & a healthy sprinkle of sequins = the most beautiful spring collection.
Is there anything more glamorous than a collection inspired by Studio 54?! Jiri Kalfar is channelling the luxe excess of the 70s with the very topical concept of conscious consumption. The collection is based around zero waste patterns, recycled sequins and uses absolutely no leather or fur. I’m so glad to see conscious fashion gaining momentum in London.
My final show on Saturday was red carpet favourite, Zeynep Kartal. Zeynep’s collections are always dramatic & extra, for SS19 she was inspired by her Turkish roots and an ornate 13-pronged Chelengk diamond jewel gifted to Lord Nelson from Sultan Selim III of Turkey in 1798. Decadent, extravagant and majestic, just how red carpet dresses should be.
FH Christensen is a new discovery at LFW, designer Farzaneh’s SS19 collection is an extravagant ode to old-school glamour. Red carpet ready gowns and super fun cocktail dresses in ethical and sustainable silks and Duchesse satin with beautiful, exquisite beading, all made in London. I can’t wait to see what she has in store for next season too!
Like many designers showing at LFW this season, Simon Mo’s inspiration comes from the ocean and more specifically the impact of pollution and plastics. The collection is inspired by Sinbad the Sailor, the collection features vintage scuba suits with exaggerated proportions, soft gauze skirts inspired by ocean waves and retro marine elements. A true celebration of the beauty of the ocean.
One of the finalists of Fashion Scout’s Ones To Watch award, AuCarre is a beautiful brand which celebrates feminine power. Founded by twin sisters Erini and Dimitra, the brand’s SS19 collection is inspired by feminine surrealism and features hard drawn digital prints, technical knits and layers of tulle.
What was your favourite show of the season?