Another fashion month just drew to a close and if you’re still recovering, you’re not alone. Between the relentless shows, parties, Ubers and outfit-changes, it may all feel like a blur. For a refresh, join us as we spotlight some of our brands at fashion month, from New York to Milan.
New York Fashion Week
Starting across the pond, Aussie’s most loved Dion Lee opened NYFW with a clear message: you better werk…literally. Utility has long formed part of Lee’s visual language, and this time, the focus was construction. Denim overalls hung open, bearing skin-tight tanks beneath, tool belts came crafted in jet-black leather, spanners replaced corset boning and screws punctured garments throughout.
Corsetry took notes from Timberland boots, coming front-laced and sand paper toned. The footwear was equally work-appropriate, spanning BDSM-esque Bob the Builder boots and a collaboration with upcycler Ancuta Sarca (think black knee-high FMB complete with parachute belts, all crafted from Lee’s deadstock fabrics). And as always, the boyish silhouettes were juxtaposed with lace intimates and luxe satins throughout, bringing back the raunch we’ve come to expect from Lee.
London Fashion Week
We may be biased, but it was a particularly good season for London’s latest roster of design talent. Newgen recipient Tolu Coker staged her first ever show, an exploration of Yoruba culture and Nigeria’s Aladura Church. Chet Lo ventured into tailoring, translating his famed 3D-knitted spikes into cut-away suiting panels. And LVMH-finalist Aaron Esh was the designer on everyone’s lips after delivering a lineup of couture-worthy looks.
Jonathon Anderson deals in wit and wearability in equal measures. Opening his show was a 3D hoodie and short ensemble made entirely from clay, both oversized and shrunken asif the models donned child’s clothing. Plastic bags were draped into smart two pieces and feathers exploded from cutaway bomber jackets like burst pillows. Anderson’s use of seemingly unwearable materials may read as a gimmick, yet these off-kilter looks carried through into undeniably refined pieces throughout the collection.
Playing with cartoon-like proportions, Anderson’s clay looks were mirrored in slouchy sweatshirt dresses and a hoodie-cum-leather jacket. Elsewhere, evening wear took on 3D silhouettes like a child’s soft play shapes. Between feather boa belts, toy-like silhouettes and plasticine show invites, it felt like a grown-up’s dive into a dressing up box.
As Adwoah Aboah stepped out in a floral silk two-piece, an immediate sense of joy resonated throughout the British Library. This season, Priya Ahluwalia celebrated print and color, looking to Algerian artist Baya Mahieddine (a surrealist icon who served as inspiration for Picasso’s ‘Women of Algiers’) for inspiration. Mahieddine’s rich colour palettes are reminiscent of the earthy tones throughout the collection, offset with pops of cobalt, lime and mint.
Print exploration is a mainstay for the brand, and this time abstract motifs wove into denim and knit fabrics and splashed across cowboy boots, whilst pops of florals and brashy zebra print cropped up elsewhere. Codes of tailoring carried through this season, with impeccably smart tracksuits and sport-striped suits to kit us out from work to play.
Milan Fashion Week
Denim lovers rejoice! Diesel returned with another blue-tinged lineup, this time serving it distressed, devore and - as the models stomped the runway - disintegrating. If last season gave us looks for the party (and the after party) this time Martens was looking to the future. With undertones of environmental demise, models - some painted iridescent, some with chalky, peeling skin - donned a new dystopian uniform. Knitted dresses akin to washed-up fishing nets appeared alongside cargo pants strewn together from mislaid pockets, flaming D logo belts and a foreboding denim undertaker’s jacket.
It all felt like a post-apocalyptic rave, where outfits must be formed hunter-gatherer style. A lime green fur coat came paired with swimming goggles; bomber jackets were crafted from shiny garbage and thrown over thongs and stilettos. Under a torrential downpour, the final lineup could have been the queue for some fabulous party - and we will be attending.
Words - Ella Aldersey-Williams