The Best Of LFW AW22
If fashion weeks were people, London Fashion Week would be the fashion school dropout, who found Central Saint Martins too constraining and wanted to strike out on their own.
Brands like Molly Goddard, Richard Malone, Chopova Lowena, and Matty Bovan thrive on putting their most creative foot forward. Whether that means they’re commercially successful is a different matter, but the point is that they’re exciting to see. London is a special place that you can wear whatever you want and not look out of place, so although these brands might look hard to wear for the basic biotches like you and me, doesn’t mean you won’t see them walking down Commercial Street, or having a ciggie outside of G-A-Y.
I didn’t particularly enjoy David Koma’s collection this season – it felt a bit of a let-down after the success of his Spring/Summer and Resort range. Boots and hems embellished with Princess-Diana-diamond-chokers except gaudy and garish, cut-out dresses which didn’t seem to fit with the rest of the collection, and several looks inspired by what seems to be the Superbowl/rugby/soccer?? – complete with helmets, gloves, and capulets. In one look the model is wearing a rugby shirt with a diamanté-adorned rose on the chest (the insignia of the English National rugby team) with a head protector, but then is also wearing goalie gloves? Has David ever watched a rugby game? We do not have goalies – or gloves.
16Arlington was very 90’s inspired, with a lot of bellybutton on show. Miniskirts were paired with naval-brushing tops, complete with clunky knee-high boots. There were fluffy bucket hats and faux-fur trimmed coats, and low-slung wide belts – perfect to hook a thumb through while you’re strutting down at the mall. Low slung baggy pants with a collared slinky shirt brings us back to the days when we were listening to that NSYNC CD on repeat carrying our Walkman around.
Also 90’s inspired was Conner Ives, with butterfly hair clips, and fringy sarongs worn as serious skirts. Interestingly as an Autumn/Winter collection, all the models look like they’ve just come back from a family vacation in Florida, with kitschy beach necklaces, bandanas, and halterneck dresses.
Daniel W. Fletcher, while relatively new on the scene (this is his first womenswear collection), reminds us of a pared-back Raf Simons.
Nensi Dojaka seems to have inspired the fashion industry with her love of cut-outs, with brands like Christopher Kane and 16Arlington following suit. She also incorporates ruffles into her collection, another big trend this season. One of my favourite dresses she showed on the runway was worn by a pregnant model, which brings the wow-factor in more ways than one. Fingers crossed we all get to wear Nensi Dojaka while brewing our first child!
My favourite disco night brand, Halpern, instead of going hard out disco like they normally do, had more of a feminine touch to it this year. Pink and green silk dresses, fringing, Victorian-esque ruffled layers, all while being undercut with the brand’s iconic sequins made for a softer, classier Halpern as opposed to their party-girl image.
As it looks like to me, it’s shaping up that femininity is coming back, complete with ruffles, layers, fringing, and cut-outs. We’re also seeing some ginormous silhouettes, from David Koma’s voluminous sleeves on bodycon dresses, to mammoth coats from Roksanda and Richard Quinn. On to Milano… a presto!