Image Source: Timeout
The first day of London Fashion Week saw the departure of Vivienne Westwood, one of the most prominent figures in British fashion.
The designer, who died in December, was memorialized at a memorial service at London’s Southwark Cathedral on the day of the Fall-Winter 2023 fashion week. Kate Moss, Marc Jacobs, and Helena Bonham Carter were among those in attendance.
The British Fashion Council (BFC) also announced that the “priestess of punk” would be recognized during London Fashion Week.
Matty Bovan, a designer from North England often compared to Vivienne Westwood because of her experimental shapes, love of clashing patterns, and use of “deadstock” materials, said that Westwood had a huge impact on her work.
It was a very busy schedule, and there were more new brands than well-known ones like Burberry and Christopher Kane. Debuts were aplenty: After a presentation in 2020, the Greek label Di Petsa put on its first catwalk, which was as dramatic as it should be. The Chinese artist Buerlangma performed in the London Fasion Week for the first time. He closed the show with a series of scary masks with horns and gloves with long fingers.
Most importantly, Daniel Lee did a great job with his first collection for Burberry on Monday night. He gave the British heritage house a cozy, punk-inspired look.
On Tuesday, three Ukrainian designers showed their Fall/Winter lines, which they made during the war. If there wasn’t a war going on, Ksenia Schnaider, Frolov, and Paskal would have shown in Kyiv. Instead, London’s special Ukrainian Fashion Week was a beautiful chance to show off the country’s art.
Other highlights of the London Fasion Week included AI-generated animal prints (like piglets, baby chicks, and rats) at Christopher Kane, tiny ribbons instead of eyeliner at Simone Rocha, a nautical-themed S.S. Daley show on Sunday night, and a series of ivory bridal gowns at Richard Quinn.
During the London Fasion Week, there were times when people from different backgrounds were cast, but they were few and far between. Di Petsa’s sage-inspired show had many curves, and Brazilian-born designer Karoline Vitto once again made her collection with larger bodies in mind. Sinead O’Dwyer started the week off well with one of the most diverse groups of models seen on the schedule. This group included models with larger bodies, a model in a wheelchair, and a pregnant model. However, the general trend was toward skinny models, which shows that the fight for true body positivity is far from over.
Pregnant models and clothes for kids
There were pregnant models in not just one but two shows this season. Sinead O’Dwyer, a designer of women’s clothes, has always supported different body types. So on one of the first runways of this season’s London Fasion Week, she showed a heavily pregnant Tessa Kuragi. Meanwhile, Di Petsa, whose “royal wet look” gowns Kylie Jenner, Lizzo, and even Gigi Hadid wore in their last trimesters, opened its Fall-Winter 2023 show with a pregnant model and made several clothes that looked like they were made for a baby bump. The label’s founder, Dimitra Petsa, sat on a rock in the middle of the catwalk and chanted, “Your belly button is the center of the earth,” to drive home ideas about childbirth. The Greek myth of Persephone and themes of rebirth inspired her.
Susan Fang, a young designer, made it a family affair at the 2023 London Fashion Week. On Monday, the brand showed off its first clothes for kids. Toddlers with cute energy wore tiny floral dresses with thin poplin collars. Adult models in matching outfits accompanied the toddlers.
This season’s London Fashion Week, art & commerce designers fell into two groups: those with a more business-like mindset, possibly because they were worried about another recession, and those who seemed to throw caution to the wind and choose art over business.
Natasha Zinko and Mowalola, two young fashion labels, found the funny side of fashion: Zinko’s collection was all about green plastic six-packs and Hulk-inspired makeup. Mowalola’s jeans were so low-cut that they sat at the knees, which was funny.
Even though Dilara Findikoglu’s miniskirts and corsets with frayed pleats were right on trend, there were moments of pure fashion hedonism: For example, a dress decorated with old silver knives fit the body perfectly. Aig metal shields doubled as dystopian body jewelry at KWK by Kay Kwok, . At Harri’s buzzy show at the London Fashion Week, the label that made Sam Smith’s Brit Awards outfit go viral, neckties were worn with ballooning, inflatable pants.
Other brands at the London Fashion Week, like 16Arlington, Ahluwalia, and David Koma, made refined party clothes that could be worn off the runway.
London Fashion Week 2023 and the cultural cues
Some of the references in Fall-Winter 2023 London Fashion Week took a lot of work to understand, even if you knew everything there was to know about fashion. For example, the American designer Connor Ives gave a subtle nod to the 1998 movie “The Parent Trap,” which starred Lindsay Lohan, Natasha Richardson, and Dennis Quaid at his second London runway show. Alex Consani, a TikTok influencer, wore a bridal dress and white veiled top hat inspired by a scene from the movie.
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Matty Bovan equally found inspiration in film. His baroque, sci-fi-looking creations are in part influenced by “Blade Runner” (1982). (1982).