Garments resembling supermarket carrier bags by JW Anderson and a dress decorated with knives by Dilara Findikoglu were among the highlights of this season’s London Fashion Week.
From February 16 to 21, designers presented their womenswear collections around the city for the Autumn-Winter 2023 season, dedicated to the British fashion designer and activist, Dame Vivienne Westwood, who died in December 2022.
The Autumn-Winter 2023 season at London Fashion Week featured highly anticipated collections such as Daniel Lee’s debut collection at Burberry and large-scale presentations and collaborations such as Moncler Genius, where Mercedes revealed a familiar G-Class car puffer jackets.
Read on for seven rare and notable shows from London Fashion Week:
In collaboration with Scottish dancer and choreographer Michael Clark, JW Anderson saw his show staged at The Roundhouse performing arts and concert venue in Camden.
While Odes to Clark appeared throughout the show, through name-brand tank tops, jerseys and reinterpretations of his costumes, Anderson also resurfaced looks from his brand’s 15-year-old archive that were slightly updated.
In addition to the reference pieces, models wore footwear shaped like animal paws. A dress that resembled Tesco carrier bags also appeared on the runway.
Mowalola presented his latest Autumn-Winter 2023 collection, titled Dark Web, at a cavernous, underground art space in Marylebone.
The collection featured plunging waist trousers with groin cutouts that were tied with belts across the thighs from models and graffiti-covered jackets. Leather was sprayed with trompe l’oeil-graphics, and hoods were emblazoned with a “MoWA” logo that parodied the items in the Museum of Modern Art gift shop.
“A clique of hackers – underground vigilantes fighting to undermine corporate law and order – sports a look that embodies the spirit of dissent,” the brand said of the collection in its show notes.
Marking Daniel Lee’s first collection for British fashion house Burberry, the designer staged the show in Kennington Park inside a tent inspired by the tents designed by Thomas Burberry in the 19th and 20th centuries.
Signature Burberry checks were presented in deep purples, reds and blues across accessories, knitwear and coats, while models wore fresh knit hats including one built into the head of a Silver Appleyard duck.
Burberry’s Equestrian Knight Design, recently unveiled as the brand’s new logo as part of Lee’s rebranding, embellished garments.
Turkish-British fashion designer Dilara Findikoglu’s show was held at The Heritage & Arts Center in east London, a former 19th century church community center called Bow Church of the Holy Trinity.
Findikoglu began work on the collection last year after the arrest and death of Mahsa Amini in Iran, which sparked global outcry. The collection featured gothic silhouettes covered in upcycled knives and hair clippers – a nod to the fact that Iranian protest has seen women cutting their hair in defiance of the country’s morality laws.
“Why is a woman’s body a question of everything?” said Findikoglu after the show. “Why is it so exploited? It’s always a matter of: what should she wear? What shouldn’t she wear? This is my little revolution dance to take back your body.”
Design and wine shop Lant Street Wines in Southwark was the setting for Talia Byre’s Autumn Winter 2023 show. Throughout the collection, Byre applied screen printing methods to wool, and garments were constructed in weatherproof technical fabrics in colors that refer to the work of American painter Helen Frankenthaler.
“The show takes place at Lant Street Wines in Southwark, where Jermaine Gallacher’s intimate interior is the perfect setting to watch the anti-hero in action,” read the show notes.
“Who said life is all about fulfillment and wedding bells? This season, Talia Byre delivers a proverbial middle finger to the expectations that come with tradition.”
Marking the first day of London Fashion Week, American fashion designer Conner Ives presented his once-a-year collection at The Old Selfridges Hotel, a white box event space in central London. The collection, titled Magnolia, was a reflection of his youth, in which he reimagined different archetypes and characters from pop culture and fashion references.
He saw vintage t-shirts remade into bias-cut dresses, Swarovski-encrusted two-piece sets, fringed vintage hoodies, and fringed skirts flowing from upcycled piano scarves. British milliner Stephen Jones created hats throughout the collection.
Recycled coffee grounds covered the floor of British-Italian brand 16Arlington’s showroom in Bloomsbury. Entitled Wake, the collection focused on the idea of ”emerging from the depths, coming to the surface,” and “awakening to a new life.”
As models emerged from behind the dark walls of the exhibition space, decked out in sequins, feathers and donning Italian schoolgirl uniforms, footsteps were traced in the aromatic coffee-covered floor.