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In a completely unprecedented move, London Fashion Week went digital this weekend, and for the first time ever was accessible to all.
So what was so different about it? Well for starters, what would’ve been Men’s Fashion Week also showcased women’s fashion, although the focus wasn’t so much about the clothes (many designers weren’t able to produce a full SS21 collection), and of course there were no physical catwalk shows.
Instead, we saw a mix of virtual presentations, conversations and arty films, which covered not just fashion and clothes but the lack of diversity in the industry and social injustice. It was also a great opportunity to discover smaller brands and new designers, with many of the heavyweights (Victoria Beckham, , Vivienne Westwood, Burberry etc) missing from the schedule.
Here are a few highlights from the weekend that I think you’ll love watching, and if you want to catch up on it all, head to the official London Fashion Week website.
Ahluwalia ‘Jalebi’ photography exhibition
Jalebi is a limited-edition photography tome, photographed by Laurence Ellis, that traces several strands of the designer’s work and what it means to be a young mixed heritage person living in modern Britain.
Through photographs that move ‘back and forth between the imagined and real’, Ahluwalia explores the rich world of her roots, growing up regularly visiting Southall, Britain’s first Punjabi community. Each image weaves into the everyday lives of the people who pass through Ahluwalia’s eyes – representing the beauty of diversity and how immigration enriches lives and community.
BFC & Google Panel Discussion: The Importance of Collaboration in Fashion Sustainability
A panel discussion talking about the future of fashion sustainability featuring fashion heavyweights such as Maghan McDowell of Vogue Business, the BFC’s Caroline Rush, Claire Bergkamp, Stella McCartney, Laila Petrie of 2050 & WWF, and Maria McClay from Google.
Farfetch Celebrates LFW
Farfetch has collaborated with London Fashion Week to create four interviews of some of the most exciting British designers in conversation with four leading Chinese influencers. 16Arlington, Charles Jeffrey LOVERBOY, Erdem and Roksanda speak to Sunni, Dipsy, Anny Fan and Fil Xiaobai respectively in a series of four films.
Bianca Saunders ‘We Are One Of The Same- Zine Panel’
One of the recipients of Forbes’ 30 under 30 list, black designer Bianca Saunders explores togetherness, identity and gender in her new zine, with photographer Joshua Woods, who is part of the panel discussion as well as writer Jess Wood. The latter explains, ‘we established a common-ground through our share realities of blackness, whilst drawing out the distinct difference in our lived experiences as black peoples’ in the UK and US. Liberating ourselves from the confines of corporate and client interference, the project is a fusion of freed and multi-disciplinary expressions. This zine is an art-come-poetry-come-fashion piece. The imagery of the written word frames the visual language of photography, capturing the craft of tailoring contoured by the shapes of styling. Our solidarity ebbs and flows through our commonalities and differences. We are of the same fluidity, nothing is fixed forever, everything changes constantly. We are one of the same moment, yet it is only through our difference in perspective, that we can keep this moment moving forward.’
Hill & Friends ‘Happy Factory From Home’
‘Infrequent randomness and strong pinky vibes’ sets the tone for Hill & Friends’ tongue in cheek Happy Factory mini film. Expect Wes Anderson-esque vibes, plenty of pink and fun costumes to depict a day in the H&F factory.
OSMAN YOUSEFZADA in conversation with Livia Firth
This enlightening film follows designer Osman Yousefzada as he traveled to Bangladesh (pre Covid-19) to interview garment workers in factories. Supported by Livia Firth’s brand Eco-Age, the film poses some important questions on sustainability and who the workers think they are making clothes for.
LFW Designer Diary: Roksanda
See inside the enchanting world of Roksanda Ilinčić, some of her sites and inspirations during lockdown, as well as the colours, textures and craft involved in her latest collection.
MA Fashion in-progress: Class of 2021
Fieldwork material produced by MA Fashion students at a distance engaged in the process of design; in its purest, almost abstract form.
RIXO ‘Flora’ Resort 2021 Collection’
Always a LFW highlight, RIXO’s presentations are always unique and quirky and this one didn’t disappoint. Maxi watercolour to delicate ditsy, RIXO’s Resort 2021 collection blooms with florals in all shapes and sizes. From the greenhouse to a garden party for one, see behind the scenes from the collection lookbook shoot, photographed in RIXO co-founder Henrietta’s family home and garden in the countryside.
Preen by Thornton Bregazzi ‘A pause in time, a refresh, a season-less campaign’
The designer duo stop the season to focus on a timeless collection, modelled and self-filmed by models in London parks.
We’ve never seen a fashion week like this, and it’ll be interesting to see if it’s a format we can incorporate going forward, as we demand a slower-paced and more sustainable fashion industry.