Category: London News

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

Rohmir Spring/Summer 2019

London Fashion Week, like its namesake city, has many layers. For every subversive Matty Bovan show there coexists the equally flamboyant Rohmir. Both brands are playing the fashion game, and their worlds will never collide, nor their audiences, for on the surface Rohmir appeals to a London fashion subculture that are glamorous, beautiful and affluent.

Rohmir Spring/Summer 2019

For her Spring/Summer 2019 show, Swiss designer Olga Roh presented ''My fairy tale” her lavish fashion fantasy that she filled with ballet dancers, macaron coloured evening gowns and even a small child crying “the queen is naked!”

Rohmir Spring/Summer 2019

And being a fashion fairy tale, it was presented in chapters that delved into themes of magic, enchantment, and empowerment all told through a cast of incredible dresses.

Rohmir Spring/Summer 2019

There was even the occasional red gown, conjured up as though a tempting apple we shouldn’t bite into for fear of being poisoned.

Rohmir Spring/Summer 2019

But Roh does want us to bite into her fashion apple. She uses her love of exquisite couture quality fabrics and sensual silhouettes to elevate woman into their ultimate princess alter egos. And as we know, it can be a difficult business, that being a modern day princess.

Rohmir Spring/Summer 2019

Roh explored the business side of fairy tales with her charming Chanel-esque power suits before succumbing again to presenting huge bowed dresses.

Rohmir Spring/Summer 2019

Roh could not quiet work out for which princess she’d rather design for; the media-savvy Instagram friendly new guard or the fairy tale princesses. Perhaps in Rohmir’s high-octane world they can both exist forever enthralled by her dresses.

 

Words: Catherine Caines| Fashion Week Press

Photography: Jessamine Cera

If Matty Bovan's last collection was apocalyptic, the latest SS19 collection was the stage on which the natural world slowly began to reclaim the post-apocalyptic landscape. From the first look, featuring a deconstructed gown of netting, crinoline and a precariously towering floral headpiece, foliage and creeping vines were woven into the fabric of the collection and the psyches of those watching from the darkness.

Inspired by the back garden of his childhood suburban Yorkshire home and the point where rolling hills and moors clashed with the urban sprawl, one felt the full force of his creative vision in a masterful display of mixed fabrics and media. From hand crocheted flowers adorning further striking gowns sprouting tufts of dark greens, purples, yellows and blacks, to screen-printed figure-hugging dresses belted around the chest with gypsy-esque bikini tops, there was something carnivalesque about the clash of colours, textures and silhouettes. The increasingly eccentric and whimsical headpieces featuring everything from toilet plungers to plates of sushi recalled some sort of mad hatters tea party and the imaginative games of childhood summers.

However, this collection did not succumb to nostalgia. Models with intricately dyed hair reminiscent of The Man Who Fell to Earth that matched a gorgeous array of laced ankle boots and canary yellow cuban-heeled highwayman's boots designed by Gina kept driving this energetic collection forward.

In a time when the London Fashion Scene, mirroring the wider socio-political climate has been through something of a crisis, one felt a glimmer of hope. A message that the natural world, that beauty, inspiration and creativity would reclaim a scene that had become a slave to social media and plagued by plastic influencers. This collection was subversive, but subversive for being beautiful, natural and expressive.

In the words of the late, great Leonard Cohen, "there is a crack in everything, that's how the light gets in".

Words: Mitchell Kirkham-Cooper| Writer

Images: Eloise Peachey | Fashion Week Photographer | @eloisepeacheyphoto