Mood Retrò, melancholy of an unexpressed creativity that seeks free rein, accompanied by a practical need to adapt to the new desires of their customers. Inclusiveness, sustainability are now key words. This we have seen during this London Fashion Week characterized, as in New York, by a great lack of area Big Names in the calendar, such as Burberry or Raf Simons who privately presented his collection.
But London Fashion Week has always been characterized by great creativity and commitment to showcase emerging talent, and this is absolutely maintained in a great return to physical shows as well. 92, reinforced by a great commitment to digital and new cutting-edge technologies.
Back on the catwalk after a not-in-presence series of presentations, Goddard gives us a young and exuberant collection of super ruffled dresses (of which her customers can’t get enough) paired with tweed outerwear and oversized sweaters in stark contrast. Her avant-garde style is inspired by her memories of childhood in West London in the 1980s, particularly the dress code way of a friend of her mother’s who fascinated her so much.
“She looked like a mix between Marilyn Monroe and Mick Jones of The Clash,” said the designer. It was a time when many alternative girls were mixing a 50s style with the new wave one (don’t they do it yet?). Even if the show itself appears as an explosion of looks for the more enterprising spirits, a keen eye may well notice that there are an infinity of perfectly wearable pieces from casual to elegant.
Roksanda Ilincic is certainly part of that group of designers who are trying to understand the new – real – needs of today’s customers. After these two pandemic years, Roksanda herself admitted that, even if her brand has always been oriented towards evening dresses and social situations, she had to re-evaluate loungewear and even sportswear.
So here is a collection that incorporates both the new real and tangible needs, and the desire for all those big parties that (hopefully at the moment) almost no longer exist. The designer’s need for excess, compatible with that of anyone in the world these days, is visible and accentuated as the looks unfold on the catwalk. It goes from very wearable flowing dresses and separates with jackets and coats, to energetic and colorful snow suits mixed with evening versions.
PREEN by Thornton Bregazzi
In the show created by Thea Bregazzi and Justin Thornton, in the historic Heaven London club, we see again the references to the 80s subcultures, post punk in particular. And, precisely in memory of youthful times when the spirit was also nourished by the arrival of the weekend in which we went to clubs, this collection was not only created but also represented. Location aside, the designers collaborated with their friend Viviana Durante, artistic director of the English National Ballet School.
The dancers of the academy interpreted the dresses with a choreography by Monique Jonas in the only way that was possible for the conditions, through dance. What emerged from the looks is a modern and desirable reinterpretation of those angry subcultures, who screamed their discontent even through quirky outfits.
Erdem Moralioglu also faces the imagination of next autumn winter thinking about all the parties we have missed, the evenings of the past and the opportunities for meeting, show off, fun not without a vague melancholy. He draws on the inspiration of strong characters from the 1930s Berlin past such as the painters Jeanne Mammen and Elfriede Lohse-Wächtler, the dancers Anita Berber and Valeska Gert and the photographer Madame d’Ora. He imagines his Erdem women coming out of “non-binary” clubs of the time.
They return home in the dark after their moment of freedom, towards the faded and normal conservative life. Although we all know how much the restrictions have served, and are still needed at a global level to get out of the pandemic, the current feeling in which, especially young people, find themselves is undeniable. A feeling of uncertainty and fear that the future will no longer be what it once was and which, therefore, makes us look back with nostalgia.
Rejina Pyo’s collection for next autumn / winter 2022 – ’23 also finds inspiration in the past of the clubs in a Prohibition era, this time in the 1920s, and therefore in the hope of a return to a true future normality that does not seem belong to us anymore. In this case, for Rejina, the version is still as chic and luxurious as the brand rightly, usually proposes. There is an important imprint on the current needs of women, in which comfort and refinement must find the right match. The show celebrates a return to intimacy and meeting again through the designer’s love for good food (after all she married a chef). Guests to the show held at Aubrey’s restaurant in Knightsbridge were given a seat at a table with cocktails and sushi.
In an atmosphere of general nostalgic and retro inspiration, Vivienne Westwood is inspired by Vivienne Westwood, and she does it so well that it is now difficult to give a temporal connotation to her collections. Having embraced the “buy less, spend better” philosophy, each piece is made through reuse, recycling, absolute sustainability and a commitment to creating timeless pieces.
Obviously, while speaking of sustainability, timelessness does not exactly correspond – said in a somewhat rhetorical way – to the sales needs of a brand and therefore, rightly and wisely, each piece is made highly desirable with each new season. Since 2022 is the year of the Tiger, there have also been in this presentation some inspirations from the past 2001 Wild Beauty collection, and the “cat-like” mood is visible and present in many looks.
all images courtesy of the brands. ON COVER from left: Erdem, Vivienne Westwood, Preen by Thornton Bregazzi