As London Fashion Week took on an almost entirely digital format, we decode the need-to-know moments from the shows.
You could be forgiven for thinking London Fashion Week hasn’t just happened. The usual back to back schedule of shows, presentations and parties that normally flood Instagram over five days was distinctly absent this season. Fashion Week as we have previously known it: the street style, the fleets of branded blacked out cars transporting editors across the city, the celebrity front row sightings, could not exist this season. Instead, we were faced with a momentous change that saw London Fashion Week become an almost entirely digital entity.
With only a handful of designers putting on physical presentations (to an even smaller number of socially distanced guests), designers had to get creative to deliver their vision for spring/summer 2021. And that is just what they delivered; creativity in abundance.
We break down the need-to-know moments from a most memorable London Fashion Week.
1. If it’s broken, fix it
Husband and wife couple, Justin and Thea of Preen by Thortnton Bregazzi were one of the few designers that allowed press to see the physicality of their collection in the form of an intimate one-to-one. The collection was created in lockdown with the couple’s children and made entirely from fabrics they already owned. Their inspiration for their spring/summer 2021 offering was centred on the ‘Kintsugi’, the Japanese ceramic art of taking something broken and making it stronger and more beautiful than it was before.
Typically, Kintsugi features gold bonding of ceramic, of which Preen have reimagined for a jewellery capsule that saw Thea smashing up dinner plates and piecing them back together. The collection was everything you could want from the brand and was a joyful celebration of their classic DNA: ruffles, florals, delicate details and clothes that fill you with happiness.
2. Let’s get dressed up
While we might have been used to a life of elasticated waistbands and matching sweat sets over the past six months, Erdem remined us that there is an extricable joy in dressing up by bringing a sense of occasion to his collection – even if that occasion might be sitting on the sofa – with floral fantasy and oversized bows. Halpern, who paid tribute to the front-line workers of the pandemic by casting eight of them in his film, filled our screens with sequins and colour.
3. A cosy collaboration
We have come to know Molly Goddard for the brand’s giant tulle gowns (and of course that Villanelle pink dress), but this season the designer has teamed up with UGG for a cosy collaboration. UGG x Molly Goddard comprises of a floral appliqué boot (the brand’s most iconic piece) slippers made up of bright colours and an elegant pointed toe and a platform sandal. “We wanted to make something bold and colourful, to play with the UGG DNA,” said Molly Goddard, designer of her eponymous label. “Working with UGG gave me the opportunity to explore new fabrications and ways of working. The outcome is shoes that are wearable, fun, with a much-needed sense of humour (given the times)…and I think still very elegant.”
4. Mask On
Given the latest government advice surrounding coronavirus and mandatory mask wearing, the fashion week designers were one step ahead of the game serving up extension of their brands by way of face coverings. Christopher Kane naturally gave us ‘More Joy’ face masks, Emilia Wickstead opted for apple green with a blossom floral design, and the Rixo designers Henrietta Rix and Orlagh McCloskey (aka the queens of print) handed out bright versions to all guests aboard their Rixo bus.
5. Fashionable Interiors
We know that fashion designers have been dipping their toes into the interiors pool for some time and the latest addition to the fold is Eudon Choi. Among his puritan linen collection, the designer debuted a collaboration with Lewes-based ceramicists Liv & Dom. Known for their playful take on the female form, that frequently sells out within minutes, the collaboration of homeware and jewellery with Eudon Choi will be centred on a theme of holiday that could have been.
6. In the trenches
Trench coats have been big fashion business for the past few season with every major house delivering a version of the wardrobe staple. For spring/ summer 21, Burberry is ensuring the trench coat lives in. This time, however, it is getting a colourful makeover with flashes of orange to cobalt blue taking over from the neutral beige.
7. Socks and Sandals
You can count on the Victoria Beckham show to deliver smart tailoring, chic separates, an exciting colour palette and family attendance on the front row. Despite there being no audience for the physical presentation of Beckham’s collection, it still remained a family affair. And while we were of course enamoured with her first offering of denim, effortless separates and sharp silhouettes, it was David’s socks and sandals that stole the show and reminded us that even the Beckhams have fallen into lockdown living style.
Lead image: Erdem