Categories: Fashion

Roll Call! London Fashion Week

Every February, London’s most promising up-and-coming fashion designers take to the stage to debut the first of their annual collections for Autumn/Winter 2022. After a two year covid-induced absence, LFW came back fighting with an unmissable physical/digital hybrid lineup. Disruptive and subversive by nature — as per the city’s history of eclectic and unconventional household names like Vivenne Westwood, John Galliano and Alexander McQueen  — LFW is never shy to profile a long list of emerging talent to watch and their contemporaries who are already paving the way forward. Here, we spotlight three of the best.

Simone Rocha

Arguably, the most coveted LFW invitation this year came from Simona Rocha. Set in the moody belly of the Great Hall of Lincoln’s Inn, the 19th-century banqueting hall came to life with its first ever fashion showing. Drawing on an affinity with her Irish heritage and historic places, Rocha invited us into the folds of one of Ireland’s best-known tales, the bewitching childhood fable Children Of Lir. The dark tale tells the story of four children of an Irish king who were turned into swans for 900 years at the jealous hands of their magical stepmother, only to die when they return to human form. Merging sourcery and religious undertones, the designer brought us a haunting parade of dark tailoring with sloping shoulders; meringue-like dresses that appeared to float down the runway; and her signature bejeweled garments, complete with ample ruffles and ribbons.

 

 

 

Central Saint Martins

After a two-year long stint at Central Saint Martins MA, 32 graduating members were finally able to exhibit their collections. Isolation paid in the way of experimentation and authentic new voices. Statement garments illuminating traditional craft, 3D printed materials, pieces of wearable art and inclusivity, all inevitably set to define the new vanguard of London fashion. The vibrant knitted and heavily embroidered wonders of Londoner Edward Mendoza celebrated his Afro-Latinx background and saw him win the prestigious L’Oreal Professional Prize; Aaron Esh presented a refined approach to understated tailoring through subtle and dynamic offbeat forms; while Kazner Asker debuted the first hijabi collection in CSM MA history, focusing on a streetwear-inspired tracksuits, cargo pants and chador cloaks.

 

 

 

Marc Jacobs

Fashion oracle Marc Jacobs has broken with tradition of closing LFW on the runway and instead dropped his breathtaking fall collection on Instagram. An avid IG user himself, the designer decided to elevate his presentation with immaculate hair and make-up, casting and photography to bring the clothes to life in the crystal clear glare of studio lighting. Oversized, monochrome silhouettes dominate: puffer jackets, floor length denim skirts, arm length gloves and rope-like jewels play into a kind of mythical girl about town aesthetic. Unafraid of sleek cut-outs and all-white ensembles, the Jacobs woman is ready for anything. In making the collection the designer reflects, “I think, ‘Is this what fashion people want to see? Then, of course, if it’s something I want to see, it’s something I dream of wearing. And if I get to do my thing and then someone wears it and it becomes part of their story I just think, wow, I really won the lottery.”

 

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