The line-up for London Fashion Week this year focused on clean fashion and creative craftsmanship. With a mix of new and old talent, the three-day fashion week came in packed with strong moments of thought-provoking fashion. Although it was primarily a virtual event, there were a couple of Covid-secure physical shows that happened in London. Here are some of the highlights from 2021’s phygital version of London Fashion Week 2021.
1. Biomimicry Influenced Digital Collection in Augmented Reality
UK’s avant-garde fashion house Auroboros amalgamated science and technology to create inimitable designs. The label presented its debut digital ready-to-wear line, Biomimicry, in partnership with the Institute of Digital Fashion at London Fashion Week, pivoting digital fashion from ‘to view’ to ‘to wear’ through an AR experience housed on Snapchat. Inspired by the cyclical forces of nature, technology, Alex Garland’s sci-fi films and Hayao Miyazaki’s anime, the futuristic pieces were individual masterpieces. The size-inclusive collection produced zero waste and material, as the attires were solely virtual, creating a Utopian experience for the consumer.
2. Timeless Is Always In Trend
Justin Thornton and Thea Bregazzi of Preen displayed their resort 2022 collection through a short film. Cecil Beaton’s photographs of society figures from the 1920s served as inspiration for this line. Taking a cue from the elaborate costume parties of that era, the garments were detailed with pie-crust collars, vintage prints, oversized statement sleeves, ruffles, frills and sequins. Think of the style from the roaring twenties but repackaged in a Gen-Z friendly way!
3. Integration Of Art And Community In Fashion
For her latest presentation, popular menswear designer Bethany Williams collaborated with artist Melissa Kitty Jarram. She conducted workshops with homeless women and children from the charity Bethany supports to create abstract art out of the stories they narrated. The illustrations created by her on a blank canvas were further developed into trousers, tailored jackets, summer dresses and corsets.
4. Embracing History In Style
In a historic collaboration, British brand Mulberry joined forces with London-based designer Priya Ahluwalia, which resulted in the reimagination of the classic Portobello Tote and scarves. The silhouettes drew inspiration from hair as a defining symbol between identities. It paid a subtle homage to her own mixed Nigerian-Indian cultures. The wave print designed for the line impersonated the black braided hair, a detail that has been further incorporated in seams and patchwork. The Afro comb, which was a symbol of pride in the ’60s and ’70s, was converted into embroidered badges for surface ornamentation on the garments and the bags.
5. Genderless And Guilt-Free Fashion
Paolo Carzana, a recent graduate, presented his debut line. Departed from the heteronormative way of designing clothes, his line erased boundaries through 18 androgynous looks, handcrafted by him alone in a studio. Fabrics like bamboo silk, organic cotton, pineapple leather, tapestry blankets, and quilts were procured and upcycled from his collected stash. Ditching the option of using zippers and buttons as fasteners, he created ribbon tie-ups and knots in trousers, dresses and jackets. He used madder root, raspberries, and strawberries to dye things pink and red for an all-natural colour palette. Turmeric was used for greens and yellow and logwood and lavender for various shades of purple. Ingredients like lavender and rose oil, holy basil and witch hazel were infused for their healing properties.