Reflecting on the most memorable moments and striking shows of London Fashion Week SS19.
From live singers to professional ballet dancers, this season had it all in terms of a performance. Promoting and showcasing emerging talent is at the heart of Fashion Crossover, and so we attended a variety of up-and-coming designer showcases, detailing the ones to watch and the future of fashion.
The closing show for London Fashion Week SS19 did not disappoint. The On-Off catwalk collaboration had one designer stand out from the crowd, IA LONDON'S Fashion Week debut was definitely well received. Digital prints are at the core of IA LONDON'S brand, with hand-drawn digital artworks reminiscent of exquisite paintings becoming the surface of the garments. It is also important to note that each print is adjusted for the shape and silhouette for each garment, highlighting the significance of the digital print in shape and silhouette. For the SS19 collection, designer Ira Avezov, initial inspiration stems from her interest and research into Japanese culture, aesthetics, philosophy, art and history.
From evolving from an initial printed scarf label, IA LONDON developed into creating bold and graphic garments with an avant-garde feel. The SS19 collection showcased Ira’s exceptional artistic skills with print remaining as the focal point for each look. The collection is a response to an observation of human existence, analysing the civilisation of humans driven by an ideology that overlooks and foreshadows nature in one’s desire to rule. This inspiration is displayed in the types of prints shown on the garments, Roman statues then evolving into blooming floral prints; suggesting humans are an element of nature rather than a separate superior entity. The prints were mimicked by the shape of the looks, with rigid and structured silhouettes expanding and morphing into flourishing floral prints.
The avant-garde collection was certainly a stand out show, with the signature black garments contrasted by bright reds and marble figures creating authentic and bold prints. The make-up featured red cheeks and pale skin reminiscent of doll like features, paired with bold patterned tights created a striking yet high fashion look. IA LONDON definitely pushes the boundaries of fashion, creating artistic looks emphasising their wearable image and art of fashion concepts.
Robert Einer’s debut catwalk show definitely lived up to expectations. The highly anticipated SS19 collection displayed her signature magpie tendencies with a focus on embellishment and shine. This season the luxury womenswear designer showcased her delicate craftsmanship and impressive talent, developed from her prestigious fashion courses and extensive résumé, in her inaugural catwalk at the official BFC Show Space.
The SS19 collection clearly represented her inspiration of 70s fashion and Moroccan aesthetics, with silhouettes reminiscent of 70s streamlined flares and matching co-ords. Roberta’s Moroccan influence is also prominent in silhouette and styling; with light, loose and layered pyjama style looks focusing on breezy silhouettes and bohemian aesthetics. In addition to the style and fit, her SS19 colour palette is taken from earthy tones and sandy colours as well as neon pinks and subtle greys, displaying picturesque Morocco in sandy dunes and pink sunsets. The scenic inspiration was also present in her choice of fabric manipulation and development, with smocking and systematic graphics mimicking the curves and shapes of sand dunes and mountains.
Her choice of materials was appropriate for both spring/summer and 70s Morocco, with organic cottons, silks and custom weaves forming the foundation of her collection. Roberta’s fascination with fabric development was clear to see, with her use of traditional couture techniques emphasising her talent as an emerging designer. Her hand embroidery and signature sequins complimented her otherwise simplistic looks, with maximalist embellishments adding an overtly feminine touch. The collection proved to be another successful stint at LFW, with Caroline Rush, CEO of the BFC applauding the young designer as she stepped onto the runway after her finale appeared well-received.
The Royal College of Art graduate displayed her new SS19 collection in a captivating and immersive presentation. Titled ‘Body In Emotion’, her designs were worn by contemporary dancers to reinforce the inspiration by capturing the ‘moment of movement’ through contemporary dance choreography and modern art.
Set in the BFC’s Discovery Lab, Fengyi Tan’s presentation was curated through varying degrees of transparency, trance-like music and exaggerated body movements. Despite creating an uncomfortable and slightly intimidating atmosphere, Fengyi Tan’s SS19 presentation remained one of the most memorable. The feminine yet sporty collection played on the real and virtual, using linear prints and patterns to create fluidity and movement whilst also forming optical illusions with varying degrees of transparency.
From the clear masks to the gelled hair, the models retained an intimidating and intense presence. The combination and inclusion of contemporary dance added to the obscurity of the presentation, with the linear patterns Fengyi Tan used in her designers becoming alive. A sense of fluidity and movement intertwined and emphasised the collection’s style of sporty elegance.
KATIE ANN MCGUIGAN
Katie Ann McGuigan, winner of the AW17 Merit Award, showcased her SS19 collection at the London Film Museum. Inspired by football culture, her collection debuted her signature experimentation of balance and volume, through choice of fabrics and styling. Katie’s debut at LFW included film, live music by Shy Girls and more, with the event demonstrating her growth and raw talent as a designer.
When England reached the World Cup semi-finals this summer amidst a huge political division, the country united and celebrated. Inspired by old black and white photographs of football fan enjoying the excitement of the game, Katie used this as the core for her collection. With an injection of colour and pattern, her signature aesthetics shone through.
The basis of football fashion was present, altering conventional backs of football shirts and replaying the player’s name with bold and graphic prints. The geometric prints and shapes of the Union Jack were also given a fashionable upgrade and reworked into her designs, whilst belts made from up-cycled seat belts printed with the words ‘Play Like a Team’ added to her creativity. An exploration of the designer’s fascination with pattern and volume was prevalent through her choice of vinyl printed leather layered over lightweight fabrics in shades of peaches and reds. Floaty chiffons and maximalist silhouettes featuring peplum skirts, added a feminine touch to Katie’s SS19 collection, breaking through the outdated masculine stereotypes associated with football culture. The lively and vivid sports luxe collection displayed her talent as an emerging designer, with Katie being one to watch.
Gayeon Lee displayed her SS19 collection in the extravagant and grand interior at the Music Room in Carlton House Terrace. The presentation exuded elegance and femininity, mimicked by the graceful ballet dancers and classical music. Whilst the presentation featured an incorporation of live performance and dance, the performance was slow and subtle ensuring the focus remained on the garments of her debut SS19 collection. The collection aimed to explore the relationship between art and fashion; incorporating inspiration from Austrian artist Egon Schiele, to her mellow colour palette.
The Korean designer displayed her impeccable tailoring and craftsmanship, with elegant sundresses in shades of blues and yellows contrasted by chic colour blocking worn with sling back mules with a subtle ruffle detailing. Gayeon’s collection projected a sophisticated simplicity. Bold geometric patterns on sophisticated and feminine silhouettes, perfect for a warm summer night stroll.
Standing on elevated blocks, models and dancers exhibited Gayeon Lee’s sophisticated aesthetics in an array of 50s style silhouettes and a plethora of patterns. The light and airy Music Room reflected the mood and movement of the models, with professional ballet dancers highlighting the elegance and sophistication of her new collection.