The Cassey GanAW19 show took place in the Freemason Hall and was capturing from the get go. Surrounding the collection was upbeat music, bright colours and of course, bowls of fruits & vegetables — what else?
Named Pixelated, Gan drew inspiration from Tim Braden - dissolving and reassembling her world for this AW19 show.
Known for her loose fitting clothing silhouettes, original prints and lightweight texture, this season for the first time she has experiments with thicker fabrics. Using innovative shapes and heavy layering, this collection combines comfort and style, making it as modern as it is elegant.
A colour palette of blues, olives, maroons and mustard, the clashing of the prints really do mix the timeless with the trendy effortlessly throughout this range.
Influenced also by the impossible pace of the fashion industry and the inevitable changes rooted in the digital age, Gan harnesses her frustrations at the speed which designers now work — this collection, Pixelated, comments on the love-hate paradox Gan sees in contemporary fashion.
Jolin Wu returned to London Fashion Week after ten years for her AW19 show. Inspired by the iconic 1982 sci-fi film Blade Runner, Wu tells Fashion Scout, “My main inspiration is the film blade runner — the old one, the vintage one! That’s my biggest inspiration. That film affected me a lot. Everything – the film, the imagery, the dialogue, the music – everything. This is the 10th year of my business, and I wanted to do a collection that felt special. The film is so special for me, so it seemed right. The collection is about the future – how I imagine the future will be.”
You can see this inspiration throughout the collection, androgynous designs walking down the catwalk — delicate garments with a retro sportswear twist.
Always experimenting with vivid colour, Wu used a mixture of red, silver, electric indigo, space blue, beige with neon green and yellow,as well as touches of pastel pink and drawstring handbags in purple and brown. It didn’t end there, with the unique make-up on each model making a true statement. Models had their hair loosely pulled back in low ponytails or wind-blown fringes, adding to the effortless feel of the designs.
A combination of textures, from velvet to tweed, the collection includes slip dresses, oversized coats, high neck tops and gloves that mixes elegance with an edgy feel.
Establishing her own brand in 2008, Wu focuses on womenswear (with a little menswear for the first time ever this season), and has been inspired by Masion Margiela throughout her career — you can’t go far wrong with that!
I started my AW19 season for London Fashion Week at the Alice Archer show. Walking in to the sound of gentle, relaxing music playing in the background, models were being escorting in and out setting the scene for an extremely elegant show.
The Alice Archer AW19 collection was inspired by the early 16th century artist Lucas Cranah and his use of rich colours and sumptuous proportions of his subjects. Especially taken by the painting ‘Cupid Complaining to Venus’, she used her love of it throughout each design, working it into the prints and embroidery seen throughout the range.
Focusing on the Cranach’s depiction of apples, Archer developed a technique of embroidering in white thread overlaid with her oil paintings of apples from trees in Somerset - giving the designs a painterly feel. Also inspired by medieval woodcuts of snowball and hawthorn trees the embroidered pieces in this collection have a real connection to nature, with the addition of hand embellished pearls making them three-dimensional, bringing it all to life.
From fitted bodice prom dresses and coats to two piece suits featuring flared trousers this collection is the epitome of modern luxury. Florals on velvet and corduroy fabrics gives each piece a unique touch. What stood out the most for me was details on the sleeves - capes and ruffles gave a slight edge to the sophisticated nature of the show.
Alice Archer graduated from RCA in 2013, she moved to Antwerp to work as an embroidery designer for Dries van Noten. She has since worked frequently with Tracey Emin, producing her hand embroidered art work. So, you can see she’s had a passion for embroidery throughout her career, making this collection all the more specialist!
From Sesame Street to 6-inch acrylic nails, this runway was no doubt full of shocks and surprises. Six designer brands took the stage; Colin Horgan, Daniel Pascal Tanner, IA London, Jimmy Paul, Longshaw Ward and Reshake, and they definitely left an impression.
Each collection was notably different; they didn’t need the minute-long gap in between each designer to tell us that, though it gave us a good breather to take in some of the eccentric and bizarre pieces that hit the runway. It was an entertaining way to close London Fashion Week, and there was some serious talent that we’re keen to see more of.
Reshake opened the show, and we saw outfits inspired by Chinese religion and culture mixed with street style take on the runway. Oversized puffer jackets, bright, patent trousers and logo tees and jumpers were just some of his flamboyant designs.
Then came Jimmy Paul, whose collection was directly influenced by Sesame Street. From jackets made out of Elmo stuffed toys to a full-on Big Bird outfit that packed a punch, it was a very enjoyable runway. Despite most of it looking like something you’d make for a Halloween party, you couldn’t help but crack a smile.
Longshaw Ward followed, enforcing the pink and green colour trend of 2019 with his skirts and dresses that took on a grunge twist. We’re sure his embellished Doc Martins are on a few wish lists now too.
Then Daniel Pascal Tanner set a new tone, which took us back in time to the 19th Century as we witnessed some stereotypical milkmaid outfits, vintage florals, and oversized baker boy hats. The clothing was largely inspired by the Fauntleroy suit, as Tanner investigated the suit’s influences on different social classes of that century.
IA London presented us with clothes that we would (supposedly) wear to our own funeral, emphasising on how we beautify ourselves with oversized lips, extra-long acrylic nails, and heels 90% of the population wouldn’t be able to walk in. Interesting points were made, but we’re a bit uncertain on the funeral concept. Pardon the pun, but I don't think we'd even be caught dead wearing these.
Colin Horgan was the last to hit the runway, and he showed us that red is definitely going to be big in 2020, but we’re not too sold on the extensive latex just yet. His inspiration was taken from the everyday woman in restless transport; another concept slightly lost on us but nevertheless the designs were dynamic, experimental and had a serious tone of voice to them, which gave the looks a cohesive, dark edge. Probably more NSFW attires, however we cannot help but love the thigh high lace boots and extreme flared and patent legs.
The On|Off show was a fun experience with a mixture of lewd, quirky, historic and trendy designs, all with a small side of the Cookie Monster. Just like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're going to get, and it's definitely not a show you'd want to miss!
After pushing through the abundance of photographers and onlookers, a wave of pinks, reds, a foil screen and all things sparkly hit quite suddenly. Paula Knorr’s AW 19/20 collection was definitely inspired by some statement partywear, as it proved to be quite a dazzling presentation, but not all of it was in a good way...
It was like going to the most fashionable New Year’s Eve party of all time. Most outfits were covered with glitter, sequins or shimmers, from bell sleeved dresses to short sleeved turtlenecks to a-line skirts, if it didn’t sparkle, it probably didn’t exist. Reds and pinks were a clear hit, as they continue to prove that they’ll become the it-colours of 2020, judging by runways everywhere.
But, just like most lavish New Year’s parties, it was all too over the top, and the show itself was just a tad disappointing. With a DJ playing some (I must admit, great) tunes throughout the show, the models walked up and down this foil sheet, that shimmered a lot itself. It was difficult to get the full effect of the dazzling outfits because everything around them sparkled too, and it all became quite distracting. Put a drink in my hand and immerse me with the models and perhaps I would have had a better time. But, after desperately pushing to the front and sitting in-between a strangers legs trying to get photos of models that constantly moved and messily walked in front of each other, it got quite frustrating. Perhaps that’s just me being too critical, but with such fun and party-like designs, I wanted more of that feel from it.
That being said, it’s not just about the presentation itself, and despite the distracting backdrop and the over-crowdedness and lack of drinks (okay, maybe I’ll let the drinks bit go), the clothes themselves were stunning. It felt like you could turn up to an event wearing anything, but you’d still grow envious of that sparkly, tasselled two-piece that the model danced around carefree in. The pieces were so feminine and joyful. If I could pick a song that embodied this collection, it would probably be ‘Girls Just Wanna Have Fun’. It felt like the cool group of girls at school that everyone wanted to be friends with.
I cannot be too critical, when the talent of Paula Knorr is so very clear, as she produces pieces that most girls would feel beautiful in. There’s a party outfit for every woman here, and since that’s her memorable style for this season, I must commend it.
Words and Images: Magda Kaczmarska | Fashion Week Press | @_magda__