Category: LONDON FASHION WEEK

Polish born designer Marta Jakubowski proved she was a female force to be reckoned with in her AW19 show, as models were filtered out wearing the likes of power suits, geometric knits and structural, padded coats. They all held an exotic flower in their mouth, symbolising the importance of the female voice and acting as a subtle nod to feminist philosopher Hélène Cixous’s The Laugh of Medusa.

Her pieces were no doubt feminist works of art, and her take on the classic power suit beautifully blurred the lines between the masculine and the feminine. It wasn’t all about the fine, structural tailoring though, as she included some stunning, floaty dresses into her show that embraced all things hyper-feminine.

Her minimalist style was thought provoking, fresh and unique. The geometric knitwear was fun, experimental and bold, donning a punchy red, an on-trend beige and a classic black for a monochrome look. She turned a padded jacket into something so much more, with one look even morphing a suit jacket into a puffer coat, continuing this idea of distorting the masculine and feminine.

The suits, however, were the stars of the show. From oversized tailoring to nipped in waists to a half-suit-half-dress, these pieces made a statement. Her first look was a modern take on a classic two piece, with a fitted blazer paired with some oversized trousers in on-trend hues of beige. Then came out an array of suits that were more playful, experimenting with traditional shapes and cuts, with thigh slit trousers, asymmetric blazers and a grey suit jumpsuit taking centre stage. A style of clothing that was once only made for men has had a huge, feminine makeover, and it feels empowering.

Jakubowski made classic tailoring and everyday workwear a lot more exciting and thought provoking, and her minimalist style worked in her favour. The show was a quirky, young take on some timeless styles, really making them into her own. She’s definitely an upcoming designer that we can’t wait to see more of.

Words: Magda Kaczmarska | Fashion Week Press | @_magda__

 

Runways? Pfft.

For Xu Zhi’s AW19 collection, the audience was invited into his story through the medium of dance. Now, don’t get too excited – this wasn’t a mass Hokey Cokey in the name of fashion, but a story that unfolded through the movement of bodies and brief encounters.

Setting the scene, Xu Zhi created a story of a café where strangers come and go, experiencing a fleeting – and sometimes literal – dance with another. They meet and interact for only a short moment before moving on: their stories short and wholly captivating, accentuated by the haunting sounds of the accompanying pianist. What unites these strangers we’ll never know – except, of course, for their Xu Zhi garms. Duh.

Whether the story resonated with the viewer or not, it was fairly impossible not to immerse yourself in the design. As is the shift we are seeing across the board, the collection expanded to include menswear alongside the women’s, blurring gender and fabric lines to create a fluid and interpretative collection. As a brand built on a feminine image, it's certainly an interesting move - but a sensible one too as Zhi gears up for a new partnership with Chinese online giant, JD.com. From the jarring asymmetric hems, column fits and awkward lengths to the androgynous blouses and boxy-shoulder tailoring, boundaries were suspended and the models were one. From heavy faux fur and mesh to low-brim headwear, there was a sense of hiding the figure beneath. The intention? Anonymity, allowing the protagonists in this particular tale to blur in and out of focus and the moment, existing only momentarily in Zhi’s distorted reality.

Yet, out of nowhere, a vision in hot pink appeared with a fringed dress and hoop-handled bucket bag to die for. Anonymous? Unlikely in that get up, but it's the kind of femininity Xu Zhi is known for. This was the look that turned brief cafe encounters into lingering moments; first glances into double takes. We’ll have what she ordered.

 

Words: Camilla Hunt | Fashion Editor | @camillamcleanhunt
Images: Tasmin Dacres | Fashion Week Photographer | @tasm0n_d

Gender fluidity. Hybrid identities. Creative political expression. These could all read as a strategically curated reel of dumped millennial buzzwords if not handled with the right level of consciousness, integrity and heart. For terms that can mean for much for so many, they can feel so impersonal when carelessly brandished without meaning, particularly by me-too brands and the media. Luckily, when it comes to Tolu Coker’s collection -  this season’s Merit Award winning showcase - there is heart, there is meaning and, above all else, it is deeply personal.

As a unisex fashion brand centred around inclusivity, diversity and social responsibility, Tolu Coker’s ethos and ambition couldn’t be more relevant to now if it tried. But it’s genuine too, informed especially by her own dual identity as a Nigerian Londoner. This collection focused on reimagining black identity within a western context, and fuses icons of her heritage– think old family photographs, cultural prints and designs inspired by own father’s diary – with contemporary fabrics, youthful colour schemes and modern design.

It was loud, it was bold and it was vibrant. The collection felt like the wearer was able to carve out their own unique identity, without the enforced constraints of gender or politics. It was carefree as it clashed naval-exposed crop tops and 90s denim with Nigerian prints and braided hair. Recycled leather in vibrant colours, along with reused scraps of fabric and plastic on both male and female bodies, blurred lines and provided unexpected combinations that spoke to the endless possibilities and juxtapositions that make up each and every one of us.

 

Words: Camilla Hunt | Fashion Editor | @camillamcleanhunt
Images: Fashion Scout

Look we’re just going to go ahead and say it: Pam Hogg is the one show at London Fashion Week we consistently look forward to every single season. It’s hard to believe that a designer that consistently commands mile-long queues down the road, a literal elbows-at-dawn charge to get in at the doors and a celebrity friend-filled guest list that reads like the rock’n’roll hall of fame has only been part of the official main schedule since SS18. And that doesn’t even take into account Pam’s fierce, unabashed creative strength and identity, which she has honed to a fine art of familiar signature details delivered with a hefty dose of the unexpected.

Venus in Phurr was the name of the game for this London Fashion Week, and that’s exactly what we got: bold, sensual, exaggerated embodiments of female sexuality, trussed up in fur. For AW19 the delectable Dr Hogg brought erotica to the masses that packed out the vestibule of Freemason’s Hall with a provocative collection that played with BDSM attire and culture in all its splendour, yet coupled it with the contrasting notions of submission, dominance and compliance. Leather, whips, chains, studs and PVC fulfilled the expectations of the story in shades of black, red and gold, whilst the titillating reveal and conceal of flesh through mesh bodysuits and the scantily clad form ensures there was a no way to hide behind the policy, ‘No sex please, we’re British’. With Pam’s eternal muse Alice Dellal cracking her whip and tipping her PVC hat, she guaranteed that the audience were given the thrilled they were expecting and no doubt craving. But it was the pieces that deviated from these tropes that left the greatest impression: angelic, virginal whites and frou-frou powder blues in almost Victorian-esque ankle lengths that offered an alternative take on female sexuality that denoted innocence and enjoyment in equal measure.

Venus herself is the embodiment of love and godly femininity, but that doesn’t mean she’s a prude. After all, she was never one for covering up and now that she walks on Earth, she does so with the same appreciation for her body – with just a few furry nipples pasties, landing strips and a cleverly-positioned ‘Venus’ to shield us from becoming too overwhelmed by her beautiful presence.

Away from the chaos and frenzy of the sexually charged, we were treated to some real Pam classics with studded berets and chic buckled separates in punchy candy pink, yellow and khaki, along with a new-season reinterpretation of her famed rainbow bodysuit. It was a little of what we know; a lot of what we didn’t know or could even hope to anticipate – exactly as a Pam Hogg show should be.

Words: Camilla Hunt | Fashion Editor | @camillamcleanhunt
Runway images: Eloise Peachy | Fashion Week Photographer | @eloisepeachyphoto
Backstage images: Tegan Rush | Fashion Week Photographer | @tegalouise

Now it's time to talk about the unofficial catwalk show – London Fashion Week Street Style. Season after season those who visit the runways never disappoint in dressing to impress. We’ve snapped just a few of our favourites from LFW AW19, so you can get some inspiration on what to be wearing this season – before you get started on the next.

The sun was somewhat shining this season, however the cold chill lingered – meaning there was a mix of summer shades with weather appropriate silhouettes. From metallic jackets and transparent rain jackets to sunglasses and palm tree print blazers, this edit has everything you could ask for.

Some of the favourites we spotted had to be the oversized jewellery and retro inspired glasses – it really is the little accessories that complete an outfit. Keep scrolling for more, you’re welcome!

@stylingbyanh
@emmalightbrown
@lauren_hallworth
@edielibertyrose

@alannanicolex

Words: Andrea McCaul| Fashion Week Press | @andreaelizam
Images: Eloise Peachey |Fashion Week Photographer | @eloisepeacheyphoto