Category: Fashion

The lights dim and a red spotlight illuminates a set of bronze gates. Behind the bars, a man with a huge fur coat dances alongside two women. A pause in the music, and he opens the doors, stepping into bright white light – and then the beat drops.

The man is tattooed, with a shaved, bubblegum-pink haircut and the crowd cheers loudly as he reaches into a bag and starts throwing money around.

This whole spectacle energises the room and wouldn't look out of place in a music video. It is evident that the theme for the show is based on R&B and Hip Hop culture.

Fortie Label is an urban-luxe brand, and for AW18 at Covent Garden's Freemason's Hall, it drew inspiration from 'Forty Thieves' – an all-female London crime syndicate – and combined it with elements from 90s video vixens.

As the first model walked out in just a bikini, the man took off his fur coat and clothed her, leaving himself with a bare chest. Considering the collection plays on female sexuality and empowerment, this could be symbolic. A shift in power from the man to the woman.

Each model walks with a strong air of confidence and owns her body and style. There are caramel tones and gold jewellery, oversized denim and PVC shorts, sheer tracksuits and hoodies worn with one sleeve off. It's nostalgia with a modern edge.

There is such a buzz in the room. From the people in the crowd to the dancing models on the catwalk, everyone is excited by not only the new season design but by what this brand stands for – "kickin' ass through clothes."

Words: Sunna Naseer | Fashion Week Press | @sunna_naseer
Images: Fashion Scout

Settling in to our seats in the BFC Showspace on the first day of LFW AW18, we were primed and ready to start the season off with Bora Aksu’s signature florals and floating fabrics. His beautiful and feminine collections are a much-loved staple of fashion week, providing tranquillity amongst the madness. So we were all intrigued when the first model marched onto the runway in a navy tailored jacket and wide-legged trousers, no lace or sheer fabrics in sight.

Inspired by the story of Margaret Ann Bulkley, a woman back in the 1800s who had to dress as a man in order to practice as a surgeon, this season’s collection is an exploration of that metamorphosis, from woman to man and back again.

Structured silhouettes, heavy velvet materials and dark, rich colours emulated the masculine uniform that Bulkley had to wear in her role as Dr James Barry, but flamboyant edging and intricate detailing nod to the female within.

As the collection develops, hemlines become more floating, fabrics become lighter and jackets sit over dresses and skirts, juxtaposing the two opposite styles in a way that complements each of them, as well as the wearer.

Of course, it wouldn’t be an Aksu show without his florals; layers of pastel pleats in tulle and organza eventually appear on the catwalk, sat atop simple silhouettes, giving them depth and intrigue and eluding to the enigmatic nature of Bulkley and the mystery of her role.

As the models reappeared in the show space and lined up in a group ready to walk around the room one last time in a synchronised strut, the exposition that runs through the collection became even more evident. Ultimately, this collection is still the Aksu that we know and love, but his exploration of femininity now moves beyond the confines of societal expectations and stereotypes to delve into what it means to be a woman in today’s world – and indeed, for one woman in Georgian society.

 

Words: Katharine Bennett | Fashion Week Press | @misskatebennett

Photos: Mikayla Miller | Fashion Week Photographer | @mikaylajeanmiller

The BFC showspace was packed on day 4 of fashion week, expectantly waiting for Faustine Steinmetz’s girl army to take to the catwalk. Formerly eschewing shows for presentations to avoid sensationalising the fashion industry, the designer decided to make her catwalk debut back in September and learnt that she could put just as much of her own spin on it as she could with specially-designed sets, showing off her reworkings of classic styles in all their glory. And we couldn’t wait to see how the AW18 Steinmetz woman would be painted on the blank canvas of this season’s catwalk.

Set to the sounds of some of our favourite 90s R&B ladies, the collection was, as ever, a delight to the well-organised mind. Steinmetz’s staple pieces returned with fresh updates, allowing the wearer to concentrate less on what to wear and more on which piece would perfectly reflect her personality and individual style.

A veritable uniform of trench coats, shirts, jeans and slip dresses came down the runway, each nodding to the others with coordinating details and textures, but at the same time retaining its own unique DNA.

Pale green silks and woody browns wovens join the designer’s signature denim; which this season has become deeper and darker than SS18, with knitted and felted additions to both tops and jeans providing texture.

Things are definitely matchy-matchy this season, with layers of sultry silks in different finishes, cosy cream knitwear and denims of slightly different grains and colours building on top of themselves on each model into entire outfits.

Accessories, too, are not exempt from the Steinmetz treatment; Fendi-esque baguettes become beaded and covered in Swarovski crystals, adding a little glamour to casual silhouettes, and the ultimate in Parisian chic, the Hermès horse-print scarf, appeared as slinky below-the-knee skirts and slouchy handkerchief tops.

It’s impressive and, ultimately, completely baffling that Steinmetz approaches each season with the same blueprint, and yet the collections that are revealed are so unique and instantly covetable. They’re at once pieces that you could expect to find in your own wardrobe at home, but also totally fresh and exciting, speaking of a season to come where you can be both up-to-the-minute on-trend and comfortable.

As the models did their final walk and we saw the collection as a whole, it was almost like creating an outfit using that computer wardrobe from Clueless that we all long for – if you loved a top but weren’t sure if the jeans with it would suit, the outfit following along behind it would surely offer you another option that would coordinate just as well. It’s a vision for the future of fashion which inspires and delights – quite frankly, I would wear the Steinmetz uniform any day of the week.

Words: Katharine Bennett | Fashion Week Press | @misskatebennett

Images: Joshua Atkins | Fashion Week Photographer | @joshuaatkins

 

A packed out show as always, Pam Hogg at London Fashion Week did not disappoint. "Sealed With A Loving Kiss" was full of spectacle, drama and drop-dead-gorgeous fashion.

Made for the showstopper, the AW18 collection was anything but subtle, with sheer bodysuits, loud colour, exaggerated headpieces and shiny leather and latex.

Pam Hogg certainly has a sense of fun. Mixing bold with bold, the collection was full of clashing contrasts amongst pieces with a darker, moodier edge.

Coloured frills, piping, and pearl embellishments drew the eye around the silhouette in long lines, elongating the body.

Styled with tall platforms and high headpieces, the models were something out of this world – ethereal creatures inspired by the show's tag line, "eternal return of the goddess."

Key looks included signature bodysuits, sheer fabrics and bursts of tulle, creating the dream dressing-up box for any maximalist.

It's a little reminder of how we could all bring out some more fun through our style.

Words: Sunna Naseer | Fashion Week Press | @sunna_naseer
Images: Mikayla Miller | Fashion Week Photographer | @mikaylajeanmiller

Markus Lupfer returned with his signature juxtaposition of structure and softness. Held in Swiss Church, one of London Fashion Week’s most popular spaces, Lupfer adorned the white hall with large black balloons. Previously, Lupfer has mixed strong silhouettes with intricate details and delicate, flowery accessories. For Autumn Winter 2018, Lupfer looks to contrast several materials, clash colours and mishmash textures. The collection is for the woman with an eclectic taste who still wants to carry herself with elegance and grace.

Toffee brown fleeces took inspiration from streetwear with their relaxed shape and striped sleeves. Lupfer’s must-have jumpers returned and where covered with foxes and fawns outlined with threaded multi-colour sequins. Heavy knits were seen throughout, made of Scottish lambswool, in the form of mid-calf length skirts and v neck jumpers. Winter ready coats were also shown, in stripped army green, with large pink and blue scarves. These knits were paired with hand-painted prints and floral jacquards, reminiscent of Johnny Coca’s debut at Mulberry. Faux fur was also a staple within the collection seen in bracelets, the straps of high heels and arm cuffs that looked like leg warmers. Lace was also featured across the midriff and arms of tops along with sequin covered skirts.

 

A personal highlight was a burnt orange overcoat, which took its sharp and structured shape from utilitarian menswear. The coat was paired with a long flowing scarf, of the same orange pattern, which slowly blended into the coat as it draped down. The finishing touch was a black, plated belt with western inspired fringe and silver buttons.

Looks were completed with oversized faux fur clutches and long, flowery earrings that grazed the model’s shoulders. As usual, Lupfer cast a diversity range of women who encapsulated the beauty of the collection. Hair sat behind ears to expose the length of the earrings and nails were painted to match the primary colours of the collection. To complement the collection, make up was subtle and natural.

 

 

Words: Andre Bogues |Fashion Week Press | @andredevb

Images: Andrew Vowles | Fashion Week Photographer