Author: WJ London

Roberta Einer LFW Spring/Summer 2019

Roberta Einer’s trademark hypnotic beads, sequins and prints where out in force for her SS19 collection. It’s her radiant magpie aesthetic that first caught the fashion industry’s affections, but now this fast-rising designer has boldly changed frequency again.

Roberta Einer LFW Spring/Summer 2019

It takes a certain poetic courage to pour so much compassion into a collection, but Einer did just that. As her LFW collection linked along the runway, it was clear Einer wanted to bring to the surface a new womanly integrity whilst never loosing site of her playful embellishments and hand-embroidery decoration.

Roberta Einer LFW Spring/Summer 2019

What comes first for Einer, being a global citizen or a fashion designer? Her Estonian upbringing and love of 70's Moroccan culture certainly are an influences, as too living in London. It’s the 25-years-old's melting pot of life experiences that insured her SS19 collection could only be a maximist success.

Roberta Einer LFW Spring/Summer 2019

Her personal influences found their way onto the runway in the form of bags like precious Moroccan rug, easy hoodies, lightweight cocktail dresses and pyjama style layers.

Roberta Einer LFW Spring/Summer 2019

But it was the quieter moments when 70's inspired knitwear appeared, their colours as though a fading Moroccan summer set, that were as rewarding as her gorgeous sequin hybrids.

Roberta Einer LFW Spring/Summer 2019

Created in collaboration with knitwear designers Alice Lee and Kate Brittain, they were the perfect calming moment in the show. As too, the easiness of wrap ground skirts and the breezy silhouettes brought a gentle balance to the sequins and beads.

Roberta Einer LFW Spring/Summer 2019

Much has been written about Einer’s previous internship experience at Alexander McQueen, Balmain and Mary Katrantzou. But its her own daring, experimental designs that continue to climb to new personal heights, and we all want to go on the journey with her.

Words: Catherine Caines | Fashion Week Press

Photos: Martina Bruno 

 

 

 

Starsica LFW Spring/Summer 2019

Like a Twilight Zone daydream humming away in the backs of our minds, Starsica walked a surreal line for SS19. Designer Ike Seungik Lee’s collection was a strange cocktail of synthetic and distorted retoesque glamour.

Starsica LFW Spring/Summer 2019

It was a beautiful and compelling collection and the models enjoyed themselves clicking away to cool jazz. Charming indeed, but still hypnotic, as Lee explored how fashion is defined and invented through the prisms of television and social media.

Starsica LFW Spring/Summer 2019

Like the perfect wardrobe for a surreal cocktail party there were dramatically cut shoulders and sleeves. Amongst floating multi-tiered dresses of serene pastels and tropic prints, occasionally a shot of plastic appeared.

Starsica LFW Spring/Summer 2019

One standout was a plastic coat covered with sticker images in the Fornasetti style of Roman busts.

Starsica LFW Spring/Summer 2019

Lee didn’t censor his imagination, nor its media memories. Rather, it was an interesting play on tensions; with exaggerated The Jetsons-like dresses and dollops of irresistible accessories, including funky handbags and earrings.

Starsica LFW Spring/Summer 2019

As models wafted down the runway in these exaggerated silhouettes one wondered had Lee indulged in some brightly coloured “mother’s little helpers”?  Indeed, Lee is the perfect enabler for our fashion addictions, and with so many sumptuous dresses, don’t expect him to wake us if we OD.

Words: Catherine Caines | Fashion Week Press

Images: Simon Armstrong

Steventai LFW Spring/Summer 2019

Film director Sofia Coppola is an interesting muse to cite as inspiration for Steventai Spring/Summer 2019 collection. Despite the current aggressive visual cultural, Steven Tai stuck to his guns, presenting an intimate, and yet softly glamorous 1970’s feeling in keeping with Coppola’s calm aesthetic.

Steventai LFW Spring/Summer 2019

Tai weaved his reference for Coppola’s sun-drenched 1999 debut feature, The Virgin Suicides, shot by cinematographer Edward Lachmann, into a summery, nostalgic collection. He gently adapted Coppola’s filmic signature of sun-kissed textures, golden highlights and palpable sensuality into his collection of dresses, flares and blouses. The choice of fabrics made his show even more dreamy with slinky metallics, power mesh, translucent glitter stripes and organza printed with botanical doodles.

Steventai LFW Spring/Summer 2019

Staged at The Shop At Bluebird in Covent Gardens, models stood under a canopy of hanging flowers, their fragileness emphasising Tai’s nostalgic mood. Exploring 1970’s glamour has been an interesting trend throughout LFW SS19 with emerging brands such as Art School and Jiri Kalfar all subversively distorting it.

Steventai LFW Spring/Summer 2019

For Steventai this meant turning flares, leisure suits and wallflower formal length dresses into beautiful contemporary pieces relevant to the now. In fact, everything about Tai’s gentle and richly laden show, spoke softly but with a clear vision. Like Coppola’s complex film oeuvre, he creates for the journey we go through as women.

Steventai LFW Spring/Summer 2019

The show’s nostalgic and melancholy palette of greens, burnt golds, navy and rose contrasted with form-fitted masculine shapes. Overall it easy-going sophistication meets quiet knowing. Perfect for a Coppola close-up.

Words: Catherine Caines | Fashion Week Press

Images: Eloise Peachey | Fashion Week Photographer | @eloisepeacheyphoto

J JS Lee LFW Spring/Summer 2019

If fashion is a form of armour than what type of war was J JS Lee wanting to protect us from? In Jackie JS Lee's uplifting London Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2019 collection, the Korean born designer took the audience on a protective journey.

J JS Lee LFW Spring/Summer 2019

The idea of being cocooned was prominent with Lee using silk wool and satins for her beautifully deconstructed dresses and suits. And yet her collection never felt insecure or repressed.

J JS Lee LFW Spring/Summer 2019

It’s tempting for fashion designers to buy into the hyperbole of media and politics, but J JS Lee rose above all that and explored the human experience of wearing fashion as a tool for usefulness, integrity and indeed protection.

J JS Lee LFW Spring/Summer 2019

With models wearing a selection of sharply cut suits, dresses and shirts in lightweight cotton poplins it felt at times as though J JS Lee was projecting the idea of urban angels. The optimistic glow of buttercup yellow, burning mustards and bold reds slowly gave way to her bigger idea of fluidity and freedom with white and metallic suits.

J JS Lee LFW Spring/Summer 2019

Backstage after the show, crowded with impeccably dressed family and friends, Lee discussed her inspiration with WJ London for referencing half-furnished upholstering, the idea being of furniture protection covers for the arms or back of sofas.

J JS Lee LFW Spring/Summer 2019

“We took some sculpture shapes from a furniture cover, the idea of protecting from the sofa and we took that idea," Lee said. "The off the shoulder idea came from furniture cover and we wanted to focus on details like the labels.”

J JS Lee LFW Spring/Summer 2019

This gave her collection its most intriguing narrative and elevated her love of deconstructed tailoring into a more fluid and considered offering. Protection meant for her focusing on the shoulders included cutout details and then alternatively cotton poplin shirts featured overlays were tightly stretched across the shoulders.

J JS Lee LFW Spring/Summer 2019

She featured fine wool from Dugdale Bros & Co and then twisted such traditional fabrics by revealing at the back of jackets cut out raw edging. Nothing was presented without a surprise twist to the traditional. “I'm based in London and I love English heritage,” Lee told WJ London.

J JS Lee LFW Spring/Summer 2019

And she was excited by the idea of funnelling her own minimalist aesthetic into “very traditional hounds tooth from the Dugdale symbol... and we took the dry wax cotton and that was waterproof”. Her love of English heritage seemingly gave her show the right grounding to soar to new heights.

Words: Catherine Caines | Fashion Week Press
Images: Nikals Haze

Simon Mo Spring/Summer 2019

Simon Mo presented a tightrope act of fashion meets environmental commentary for his Spring/Summer 2019 show. A passionate environmentalist, Mo is committed to exploring the beauty and fragility of nature.

Simon Mo Spring/Summer 2019

These are big themes to present on a runway; the idea of our vulnerable, exploited earth and yet Mo is sophisticated enough in his choice of fabrics and tailored cuts to easy his London Fashion Week audience into such a weighty philosophy.

Simon Mo Spring/Summer 2019

Fluid and imaginative Mo in fact achieved the opposite affect – making our spirits soar. The collection benefited from Mo’s research into one of his much loved childhood stories, Sinbad the Sailor and he applied its sense of adventure to his nautical inspired over-size shirts, loose jackets and fluid dresses.

Simon Mo Spring/Summer 2019

The Taiwanese more designer’s tailoring was particularly exciting with him introducing exotic coloured jacquards, bright tartans and even sequins. There was even dresses constructed of red or blue velour. There was a sense that Mo enjoyed entering a new terrain via his athleisure references of vintage suba diving suits and sequined hot pants.

Simon Mo Spring/Summer 2019

Comfortable and yet compassionate Mo shared his environmental message with an easy feeling, comfortable collection.

Words: Catherine Caines | Fashion Week Press

Images: Eloise Peachey | Fashion Week Photographer | @eloisepeacheyphoto