London Fashion Week’s shows always have completely contrasting atmospheres with shows embracing the traditional and almost fragile aspect of history to others showcasing modernity and all it has to offer. Yet, this season London strongly leans towards the traditional with even those pushing the modern showcasing the dangers of modernity.
Erdem’s show was held in a London square decorated with traditional English greenery and a quaint path, very typical of Erdem’s Victorian garden party aesthetic. This show in particular felt like a Victorian painting come to life, helped by the accompaniment of classical music. Erdem’s collections are often based on specific people and this particular collection was based upon Tina Modotti, an Italian Hollywood actress who later joined the Mexican Communist Party. The Mexican influence can be seen in the bold colours of the collection, the dress pictured above showcasing a beautiful crimson like colour. The dress also sports a continuation of a major trend (featured several times at New York Fashion Week too) of over the top ruffling. The almost balloon like shape of the dress completely hides the wearer’s figure yet creates its own beautiful silhouette. These exaggerated shapes were also influenced by pictures Erdem looked at of Tina Modotti.
Christopher Kane’s show was almost a polar opposite to Erdem’s, with it’s futuristic space-like music. Yet, Kane’s collection was called ‘eco-sexual’, its inspiration was nature and specifically ‘people who love nature’ and ‘being in touch with the earth’. For something that projected such a futuristic approach, it harked a natural and traditional beginning. The stand out look for me was the dress pictured above, I love the plastic detailing at the top. It looks like a combination between washing detergent tablets and petals. This again shows off Kane’s inspiration of nature, yet what nature looks like in the future. The irony that this petal like shape is made out of plastic material suggests that Kane could be reminding us of nature’s importance in a world where human’s have such a detrimental impact. Kane’s eco-sexual collection perhaps is trying to instil the idea that nature is still important in our future and celebrate those who value our earth in a modern world.
Simone Rocha’s show transports us back to the traditional with its bare, wooden floorboards showcasing intricately detailed dresses that almost act as the furniture in an old British home. Rocha’s show is beautifully delicate, it has a sweet sadness to it, enhanced by the sad but hopeful classical piece of music accompanying. Rocha’s inspiration was the Irish ‘wren-boys’ who hunt and kill wren on St Stephen’s Day. Rocha said she wanted to bring masculinity but also take inspiration from the houses of the doors the boys knock on, looking at the china and the wallpapers. The dress pictured above hones this idea, it explores old-fashioned detailing with an almost china-like print and colouring. The ballooning silhouette adds an obscure beauty to the piece, Rocha said the shapes were inspired by the outline of the birds, linking back to her overall inspiration.
Finally, a show which fully threw its audience into the modern world was Fashion East. The theme of this collection was the internet and its intention was to shock. The look pictured above showcases this idea with its Lolita and Japanese manga inspiration it explores over-sexualisation. The grungy, harsh make-up accentuates each facial feature forcing a sexual outlook on you and fulfilling their shocking aim. Perhaps again highlighting the dangers of modernity, in which modernity creates a world which is connected by the internet, but the internet then creates new dangers such as over-sexualisation and exploitation at a young age.