LFW S/S20 in Review

22/10/2019

That time of year has been and gone again and flashed before our eyes; London Fashion Week. In an industry where the pace is rapidly increasing, SÝN are taking time to reflect back on the designer shows and presentations that caught our eye.

JAMIE WEI HUANG – “OBSESSIVE. OCD”

The fashion week calendar commenced with designer, Jamie Wei Huang. Set in the spectacular Waldorf Hotel, I was already breath-taken by the exquisite setting. The foundation of the collection was based on OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) and the final garments encapsulate this subject perfectly. The designer discusses his desire for the focus to be on the process of how the garments were created rather than the final pieces on the runway. Huang describes the nature of the collection as,“the unfolding line of the artist, the process of moving through repetition in an obsessive space and finding infinite details.”

PHOEBE ENGLISH – “In Memorium”

Attending show after show can make you lose sense of where these garments came from and how they were made. In a dark basement however, in the middle of London’s Marylebone area, sustainability was central to the S/S 20 Phoebe English presentation. Guests were greeted by a large pin-board displaying care labels, fabric samples and even printed contracts of sustainable manufacturers – documenting the entire process of the collection. With craftsmanship and zero-waste key to English’s manifesto, the press release begins with the question, “How does design evolve?” and lists garment details such as buttons made from milk proteins and biodegradable natural rubber. The minimalist nature of the collection made for a thought-provoking and atmospheric presentation and rightly questions, “We are just the middle men. What are we going to do with that ?”

UNDERAGE – “A SURREAL IMAGINING OF A SECRET SOCIETY WHERE SENSUALITY REIGNS SUPREME”

Underage launched their Spring / Summer 20 collection in a rather more intimate setting, surrounded by illustrated, suggestive female figures, tightly squeezed into the space. The collection communicates the power of the cult, drawing references from the work of Maisie Cousins, Claude Cahun and Richard Prince. The designer challenges femininity with dark undertones and envisions a society that champions the female figure. Garments were heavily embellished with rich motifs and embroidery, merging religious iconography with cult imagery. “Underage believe in the power of the people; the misfits, the trailblazers and the rebel spirits of the underground.”

TOGA – “WRAPPING, REDEVELOPMENT, EFFICIENCY”

Don’t prioritise productivity within a world that does. Yasuko Furu accessorised Toga’s S/S 20 collection with designs deemed unnecessary. The designer indulged in creating unnecessary things to see what would come out of the process, with the outcome resulting in a vinyl corsage over a business suit and ‘urban’ beach sandals. Unusual tailoring and structured silhouettes set the aesthetic for the collection with a clear consideration for detail. Taking reference from “Sometimes Making Something Leads to Nothing” (1997), a performance by Francis Aly, Furu clearly envisions a future for more unorthodox design.

SHARON WAUCHOB

Gold interior and a grand organ set the tone for Sharon Wauchob as guests arrived at St. Cyprian’s Church for the highly anticipated show. The collection was perfectly understated yet riffling in texture. The garments draped gracefully over the models’ bodies as they moved opulently down the church aisles. The craftsmanship behind the cut of the garments challenges the conventional views of what masculine and feminine should be and combines the two together perfectly. This collection shows how Wauchob is a master of making something so simultaneously delicate and strong.

by Louise Mair