London Fashion Week braves Storm Eunice

The five-day event began today (Friday 18 February) as Storm Eunice battered the UK. Train services up and down the country were cancelled and residents in some parts of the South East and South West of England were warned to stay indoors. In central London, fashion week attendees struggled to keep their composure against the blustery weather for street style photographers.

During her opening speech, chair of London Fashion Week organiser the British Fashion Council, Stephanie Phair, said it was monitoring the storm, but in the end the day’s schedule went ahead as planned – and buyers, press and influencers braved the elements.

On day one, Bora Aksu (main image above), known for his dramatic, frothy frills, held his AW22 show in the imposing and beautiful St James The Less Church in Pimlico, South West London.

The collection was inspired by Italian born 14th century writer and historian Christine de Pizan, who was part of the court of King Charles IV of France, and is believed to be history’s first feminist, for earning a living through her literary craft. The new season at Bora Aksu is a contrast between masculine, tailored houndstooth suit blazers teamed with pencil dresses, and layers of pale blue, lilac, pale pink and monochrome tulle. Aksu also repurposed imperfect pieces of unwanted fabric into deconstructed dresses. Canine shaped, tartan bags were an ode to Pizan’s prized pet dog.

London Fashion Week’s opening day included a roster of mostly emerging labels, with big names including Erdem and Roksanda showing later this weekend. Making its fashion week debut was young, contemporary brand Poster Girl, which launched in 2017. It  tapped into the Y2K zeitgeist with figure-skimming looks, including sheer lace bodysuits, shimmering chainmail mini-dresses, moon boots and the return of the visible thong strap, placed high over the hips.

Poster Girl founders Francesca Capper and Natasha Somerville made a statement by showing in a derelict building that was stripped bare, apart from the walls, floodlights and benches. Unfortunately, this did not do much to protect from Storm Eunice.

Poster Girl AW22

A troop of models made their way through the vast room with a raw plaster ceiling and uneven concrete underfoot, trailing shimmering evening gowns through building site dust.

The Y2K trend continued at Conner Ives’ first London Fashion Week show. One of this year’s Drapers 30 Under 30, Ives showed a collection based on a series of female archetypes, from Anne Hathaway’s portrayal of Andy Sachs in The Devil Wears Prada – reflected in a pale blue twin suit – to tie-dye patterns, handkerchief hems, bandanas and scarf print dresses that noddes to the noughties. Model Edie Campbell opened the show, wearing a 1960s-style yellow jacket and red, knee-high go-go boots.

Meanwhile, contemporary womenswear brand Rixo took us back to the 1930s, in a champagne fuelled presentation at the regal Goldsmith’s Hall, in central London. The AW22 collection was full of feather-trimmed neck- and hemlines, ruched, strapless gold dresses and a healthy dose of the brand’s signature florals, but in a darker black and red theme for the winter season. Metallic embellished headpieces completed the nostalgic look. Models shared drinks from a champagne trolley, adding to the joyous feeling in the air.

rixo aw22

Rixo AW22

London Fashion Week showed both menswear and womenswear designers again this season. Emerging

Saul Nash AW22 14 DETAILS

Saul Nash AW22

menswear designer Saul Nash’s AW22 show started with a video dedicated to Kensal Rise barbershop Gee’s, the owner of which died in January. The collection proudly stated Nash’s Guyanese heritage across baseball shirts, while mermaid motifs referred to folklore from Africa, the Carribean and Latin America. Nash also experimented with tailoring for the first time, seen in a black blazer with detachable sleeves and hood, and trousers that allow the same movement as joggers thanks to a relaxed fit.

Menswear designer SS Daley’s collection was shown on a catwalk alongside a disheveled four-poster bed, strewn with colourful silks. The walkway was covered with lavender and thistle wildflowers, and vintage picnic sets. The gender-fluid collection included windowpane check suits, worn by both male and female models, as well as masculine balloon-sleeve white shirts and oversized, wide-leg black satin trousers.

London Fashion Week showed that, after weathering two years of the pandemic, it is not about to be stopped by a storm.

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