London Fashion Week S/S 2020 Editor’s Picks
We present the Wallpaper* pick of London’s spring/summer women’s shows, from Anya Hindmarch’s MC Escher-inspired interactive maze, to Ancuta Sarca’s upcycled footwear...
Ports 1961: A series of interlocking colour-blocked walls were erected in the center of the in-the-round runway set, housed underground at the Tate Modern. It was against these forms that stylist Karl Templer presented his new archetype-breaking, print brimming and individualistic vision for the Canadian brand, one primarily associated with shirting. For spring this meant a new take on classic forms, like cut-and-sew panelled trench coats and tuxedo suits reimagined as all-in-ones. Foulard silks displayed a plethora of patterns, from tropical hibiscus prints to Chinoiserie, zebra stripes to naive wildcat illustrations, which were mixed and mashed across long pleated skirts and shirts. The accessories for this new eclectic woman, who favours prints, colour and chunky hand stitched knits? Layers of chunky plastic jewellery and pouches suspended on sculptural carabiner clips.
Wright Le Chapelain: Imogen Wright and Vincent Le Chapelain got green-fingered for their debut LFW presentation, turning four tree beds into repurposed flowerbeds, on Argyle Walk in Central London, with their models carrying wheelbarrows and planting medicinal and edible plants, including loveage, valerian, chives and Moroccan mint. In a strong commitment to sustainability, the duo’s S/S 2020 collection was made entirely using upcycled clothing donated to the homelessness charity Crisis. The label have an off-kilter take on tailoring which works to explore the modern European wardrobe. Puppy-tooth check jackets were deconstructed into panel skirts, sailor collar shirt dresses were cinched with striped, shirt-sleeve like belts and jackets were spliced into sleeveless coats.
0 Moncler Richard Quinn: The London-based designer celebrated the launch of his Moncler collaboration – part of the Italian outerwear label’s innovative Moncler Genius project – with a prismatic installation at Matchesfashion’s 5 Carlos Place townhouse. The London based designer’s collection was inspired by retro skiwear from the Fifties and Sixties, and features daisy, hibiscus and leopard print quilted coats and hats festooned with ostrich feathers. His pieces were presented against a floor to ceiling floral landscape, and a comfy sofa swimming with hippy-centric daisy patterns.
Phoebe English: The designer is one of London’s sustainability-minded talents, from the fabrics she uses in her garment construction, to her attention to a pared-back idiosyncratic silhouette. Corkboards formed the backdrop to her S/S 2020 men’s and women’s presentation, pinned with swatches and information about the environmentally-friendly manufactures, standards, processes and fabrics she worked with for spring, from Ramie, an antibacterial Asian nettle which can be grown without irrigation to natural indigo dyeing. Her collection included shirting with oversize pockets, ruched skirts, sailor cape dresses and striped blouses.
Dilara Findikoglu: The self-confessed sorceress of British fashion held a mass ritual in a cavernous underground space in Marylebone, its walls sloshed with blood red anarchic symbols and lined with talismanic wicker sculptures. The occult-obsessed designer used her show to protest against climate change, and a bare-chested model, his body painted with the slogan ‘Vivienne says buy less’ alluded to Vivienne Westwood’s environmentalist mantra. Male and female models sported slashed moire dresses, waist cinching suiting, mirco corseted dresses and weaved witch-like hats, crafted from deadstock fabrics and using natural dyes and embroidery made by women in Findikoglu’s native Turkey.
Sharon Wauchob: The designer returned to the women’s show schedule with a sublime men’s and women’s show held at St Cyprian’s Church in Marlyebone. She straddles minimalism and adornment, tailoring and femininity with masterful form, and for S/S 2020 this meant a look back into Wauchob’s own archives, with a collection featuring dresses animated with fringing and plumes of ostrich feathers, oblique cut suiting and sharp tailoring in monochromatic shades punctuated with reds, lilacs and sugary pinks. Wauchob also teamed up with the Bulgari Heritage Collection, teaming her looks with archive pieces from its Monete and Serpenti collections.
Anya Hindmarch: Last season, fashion editors got all tangled up inside the infinitely playful accessories designer’s weaved playground sculpture. For S/S 2020, things got a punch more puzzle-like, with Hindmarch creating an interactive maze, designed by maze and puzzle designer Adrian Fisher, who has made over 700 designs for stately homes and amusement parks. Hindmarch’s maze was inspired by the woodcut patterns in MC Escher’s Metamorphosis III mural, designed fifty years ago for The Hague Post Office. The Postbox Maze art installation celebrates the launch of Hindmarch’s latest Postbox bag, which features an inlaid vintage-inspired gold frame pocket.
Fashion East: On the emerging designer roster for S/S 2020: Hertfordshire-born Gareth Wrighton, who for his second season presenting with the talent incubator, presented a humorous horror-film inspired collection, made up of video game zombie apocalypse figures, clad in Japanese school girl uniforms, skull masks and sailor knits. Chinese designer Yuhan Wang’s third season with Fashion East featured frothy saccharine dresses in ruffles of floral lace and shiny silk, paired with floppy hats and girly kitten heels. Romanian-born London-based designer Ancuta Sarca’s upcycled colourful mules, constructed from vintage Nike trainers, have been an Instagram hit, and her sustainable shoes were featured in a bold installation, sported by models wearing bright opaque tights.
A.w.a.k.e Mode: At St George’s Church in Bloomsbury, designer Natalia Alaverdian presented a sleek yet off-kilter collection, so fitting for the London schedule, in monochromatic tones, offset with pops of lilac, turquoise and post box red. For spring she proposes draped or pleated form flattering skirts, nude bandeau tops and vests. Gauzy layers come courtesy of transparent blazers and her typically deconstructed shapes in button detail skirts and silk back-to-front shirts.
Preen by Thornton Bregazzi: Sustainability is on the minds of fashion designers like never before, with brands using S/S2020 as a platform for showcasing new commitments to environmentally-friendly fabrics and processes. For spring, dresses and suiting in Preen by Thornton Bregazzi’s collection came with frills and flounces, Japanese manga prints and sequin florals, the brand’s romantically subversive pieces with a fresh sustainable spin - pieces were made deadstock fabrics (see also Roberts | Wood and Wright Le Chapelain) and sustainable viscose.
Halpern: Not one to be pigeonholed by the sequin-splashed Seventies pizzazz which launched his career two years ago, the New Yorker looked to Barbara Streisand’s role as Ziegfeld Follies star Fanny Brice in 1968’s Funny Girl. Inside a gilded room at One Great George Street, two enormous chandeliers lowered to the floor formed the backdrop to a collection brimming with opulent and exaggerated Twenties and Seventies eveningwear shapes, like lame lampshade gowns, jewel encrusted tuxedo suits, puffball dresses with leopard print details and sequin opera coats with cartoonish wave print patterns. Photography: Jason Lloyd-Evans
Roberts | Wood: Fashion fans are familiar with the concept of clothing forming an individualistic armour against the world. Designer Katie Wood’s signature silk and ruffle X-ray dresses offer such flounced and hand-crafted protection, and for S/S 2020 the designer infused her artisanal pieces with innovative digital techniques. Ethereal and painstakingly hand-linked dresses were presented against utilitarian suiting and gauzy, thin strapped dresses formed from upcycled squares of silk, passed through a digital embroidery machine. ‘The collection is one that embraces the possibilities presented by technology, whilst fiercely protecting the value of artisanal making,’ Wood explained. Photography: Jan Stasiuk
Matty Bovan: The designer only presented his first solo show in 2018, and testament to the power of his joyful, history-spanning and mash-up aesthetic, he has been asked by Dover Street Market to design an exclusive cover for Fashion Central Saint Martins, a book spanning the history of the famed degree, of which Bovan is a graduate. S/S 2020 was a splendour of retro sportswear, leg of mutton sleeve silhouettes and spliced hospital scrubs. Ball gowns were formed from a patchwork of Liberty fabrics and stitched with sporty lacing, and eerie Stephen Jones visors magnified models faces to fantastical proportions as they walked the runway.