Looking at London Fashion Week

It is that time of year again where New York, London, Milan and Paris have floods of people brought in to admire and celebrate the hard work of both well known and up and coming designers. It is a space of creativity where not only does fabric turn into fascinating pieces of art, it also brings together fashion and theatre which helps to bring such fabulous pieces to life.

Of course, with the recent passing of her Majesty the Queen, London Fashion Week has been slightly disrupted and events have taken into consideration how they too can pay their respects. So, after covid, this years five days of London fashion week takes on a new sense of poignancy. It kicked off on Thursday the 15 September and finished on Tuesday 20 September (with Monday not included as a mark of respect for the Queen’s funeral). The first show was Daniel W. Fletcher’s Menswear and Womenswear collection – you may recognise Daniel from Netflix’s Next in Fashion and the legion of awards he has collected – who is a fantastic designer that takes into account sustainability and wearability. He is also the artistic director of the Italian brand Fiorucci.

Daniel’s work is classic in style and is well crafted, often drawing on British heritage as well as social and cultural issues. His items are made to order to reduce waste and fantastically, his items are often made from off-cuts, using sustainable practices which champion British expertise.

Daniel W. Fletcher launched their first women’s wear collection in 2021 alongside his well known menswear collections and has now transitioned to offering the items as a wider collection (read more here), as he noticed an increase in women ordering his clothes. The gradual development of this brand has been a delight to watch and the emphasis on inclusion and environmental practices, places it as a brand to learn and take inspiration from.

I particularly loved the use of layering in the SS23 collection with plaid, monochromic colouring and layering taking centre stage. I am a coat fanatic so these two particular trench coats jumped out to me alongside the classic silhouettes found in his tailoring.

The show itself had a dramatic borderline grungy feel to it (well, especially for Daniel W. Fetcher) and the outfits themselves popped in an almost entirely black room. Lighting and sound with the addition of a silence at the beginning to pay his respects, was the perfect way to open London Fashion Week.

You can watch the full show here and to check out the collection and Daniel W. Fletcher more widely, have a look at his website.

Temperley London is another show I think of when it comes to London Fashion Week as the brand, which was founded in 2000 by Alice Temperley, MBE, stays true to its British heritage while drawing on Bohemian influences to create an image that is synonymous with the likes of Poppy Delevingne and Florence Welch. In the Spring 23 collection, Temperley London uses a theme of celebration drawing on icons of female empowerment.

In the Spring collection I noticed the striking use of print and colour in half of the collection. This red power suit attached was particularly striking with the suit jacket mimicking a tail coat and androgynous figures of the Victorian era. It embodies power and femininity in a strong shape. Then you also had a stunning use of lace which although in black, made as much of a statement as the brighter pieces. There were a few items that didn’t quite match up to what I associate with Temperley London and looked more like they should be on the highstreet however one thing that wasn’t up for questioning was the breadth of outfits available. You can view the full collection here.

Following on from the Spring showcase, there is also the Summer 23 collection which is a direct parallel to the aforementioned collection. The summer collection draws on more of the bohemian spirit, taking inspiration from pioneering photographers. On first look there was a certain safari feel to the collection, drawing on hot summer evenings by the beach which contrasted with the more glitz and glamour of the Spring collection.

The shapes, embroidery, patterns and colour which are more synonyms with the brand were at centre stage here. I loved the rosé hues of the attached pieces, especially the sleeves of the knitted dress and the embellished nature of the maxi dress.

Feminine, beautiful pieces are what Temperley London do best and I am loving the addition of powerful suits and striking shapes. View the new collection and more on the brand on their website.

Another brand that I connote with London Fashion Week is the esteemed ERDEM; ever since I heard of London Fashion Week, I would hear of people attending their show. The brand was founded in 2005 by Erdem Moralioglu MBE, and is timeless and beautiful in its construction. It’s romantic, feminine and powerful and just recently in 2021, Moralioglu debuted his first menswear collection.

Erdem is at heart a storyteller. Collections are formed around a narrative, championing heroic women (and now men) at a particular place and a moment in time. Erdem’s fashion is dramatic, atmospheric and expressive in the service of emotion: it is not what they wear, but how they feel that matters. 

londonfashionweek.co.uk on ERDEM

ERDEM’s 22/23 collection had fantastic shapes with this long trench-coat-like-dress that was both graceful and powerful alongside this deconstructed dress co-ord which was modern take on such an elegant silhouette. To me, there is something about ERDEM where I would genuinely want to try everything and it appears to have this affect, whereby you feel beautiful in every piece. It is both classic and yet remains cutting-edge. Added to this style was pops of vibrant, almost neon pink, and quite a lot of tule. Bridal silhouettes alongside the addition of a veil gave a hauntingly beautiful feel to some of the more dramatic pieces. You can watch the full show on ERDEM’s website alongside the photography fro the show on the London Fashion Week website.

Finally, another one of the shows that catches my attention is RIXO. The brand was founded in September 2015 by Henrietta Rix and Orlagh McCloskey who are good friends and both lovers of vintage clothing. The foundation of their brand is based upon their items being timeless as they promote circularity through not following trends or seasons. RIXO want to create easy to wear pieces, that can be worn time and time again.

“Postcards from Gao” is the theme of the collection with a fun and flirty summer feel flowing through the designs. The models were asked to dance at the showcase on what looks like Moroccan style tiles. Easy to wear shapes, fun patterns and colour were at the centre of the outfits and rightly so – this is a collection that makes you want to smile!

I loved the fact that I could see everyone in these outfits and that, for a change, this London Fashion Week show was not based on bells and whistles but instead they used a great atmosphere and gorgeous clothes to do the talking (albeit in a very nice location). I can definitely see myself taking inspiration from this collection for any summer holidays!

More information on the full collection is available here.

After taking a deep dive int some of my favourite shows I definitely noticed a trend of lace, power suits and tailoring alongside warmer more luxurious colourings. Of course, this is just the tip of the ice berg of what was a packed LFW (see more), there were smaller designers also in attendance and a particular focus on sustainability (thankfully). I am happy to take a look at this too if you’d want a further look into some of the more independent shows or if street wear is more your thing – let me know!

If anything, I love getting inspiration for the upcoming year and to appreciate the hard work that goes into creating these stunning pieces. It is not an easy feat pulling these shows off and I have a strong sense of admiration for everyone involved!

Have you got a favourite? Did you see anything that challenged you or surprised you? Let me know below!

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