Another season of London Fashion Week is over, but not as we know it, thanks to the pandemic forcing many designers to show digitally only, with only a handful hosting a physical runway show, with a much reduced audience.
However, that doesn’t mean they didn’t go above and beyond to show us a spring/summer 2021 offering like no other. Burberry kicked things off with an ode to nature during a spellbinding outdoor performance, and keep scrolling for everything else that happened.
Halpern paid homage to frontline workers
Instead of using models to model his new collection, Michael Halpern captured eight ‘heroines of the frontline’ in joyful films and portraits. He said, ‘To me, times of re-emergence call for pure creation: the most uplifting feeling I can think of. I didn’t design this collection with cocktail parties or ballrooms in mind, but purely from the desire to capture in dressmaking the individuality embodied by savoir-fair, and the joy it brings to those who wear it. This collection was created in celebration of the women on the frontline, and for anyone it may inspire and uplift.
Molly Goddard teamed up with UGG
After starting off with a neutral and paired back collection during lockdown, Molly quickly realised she need to inject a bit more fun and colour in her spring/summer collection, inspired by art, Fruits magazine and Camden street style. The bold and joyful designs were paired with the designer’s footwear collaboration with UGG, which included boots, slippers and platforms, all in gorgeous colours.
Victoria Beckham’s collection was eclectic
‘Eclectic is a word I keep returning to this season – it really encapsulates the woman, her attitude, her nonchalance,’ VB, one of the few designers to show a physical presentation, said in her show notes. Her collection covered everything a post-pandemic woman wants to be. A woman who can be as dressed up as she can be casual, who wants to play around with lengths and textures, but also wants a wardrobe that can fit into her new everyday life.
Fashion East celebrated its 20th anniversary
September 2020 marks twenty years since Lulu Kennedy staged her first multi-designer talent showcase. Since then, Fashion East has launched the careers of over 144 designers & brands, and counting. Its ethos of keeping the community spirit high, and showcasing the heart of British fashion has never come at a better time.
This London Fashion Week saw a four-designer showcase spot-lit through the new medium of film: MAXIMILIAN, GOOMHEO, NENSI DOJAKA and SAULNASH.
Emilia Wickstead created a wardrobe from Faery Lands of the South Seas
Inspired by the non-fiction book published in 1921 and written by travel writers James Norman Hall and Charles Bernard Nordhoff — discovered on Emilia’s daughter’s
nightstand, the SS21 collection is an ‘exploration of both fantasy and refined simplicity’. 90s influencers mix in with delicate colour palettes and prints, for designers that could easily be worn for high tea as they could be in the boardroom.
Simone Rocha delivered an intimate collection
Simone Rocha’s SS21 collection took inspiration from the provocative and the personal, the intimate and the comforting, with underwear details re-imagines in gem and luxe finishes, sheer dresses with practical undergarments, exaggerated hips and breasts.
Rixo took over a bus and launched a recycled collection
Not only did Rixo launch its Recycle collection made of fabric cut-offs last week, but it gave a double decker a floral makeover to showcase its new collection around London.
Scroll down for some of our favourite looks from all the other presentations too.
In collaboration with choreographer Holly Blakey and casting director Madeleine Ostlie, Roksanda champions the unique female experience in the meaningful context of now. A diverse cast of women are glimpsed as they discuss the present and future of our society, exploring the connection between mind and body, whilst a mother and daughter are seen consumed by alternate, digital realities unaware of the outside world; dancers expressively encapsulate the pent up emotions and desires of our recent realities, whilst sat quietly, a solitary figure of an aged woman is enveloped by loneliness. However, all these turbulences are overshadowed by a final scene of serenity and peace.
Hill & Friends celebrated its 5th anniversary with another tongue in cheek video. Check it out here.
Designer duo Matthew Harding and Levi Palmer re-evaluated what fashion was all about during these tough times, hence returning to seasons in line with the weather, to create designs that the consumer wants, without contributing to waste. The collection was shot remotely from different parts of the world, on the designers' friends and families.
London-based designer Bethany Williams presents her SS21 collection celebrating the ethos of the Magpie Project, an organisation she has been volunteering for and collaborating with since 2019.
Newham-based Magpie Project works with children and mothers who are homeless or at risk of homelessness – 80% of whom have no recourse to public funds (NRPF).
For Spring/Summer ‘21, 16Arlington presents a body of work unlike any their ever-growing fanbase has seen from the label. It’s an ode to beauty, anchored by the tension between two conflicting ideas: a total fluidity of ease, and an exacting, almost agonising approach to design details. Think: a duvet-like lilac quilted ball gown, set against rigorously constructed leather corsetry. A timely response to the call for ‘new glamour.’
Richard Malone’s hand has been impacted by a warped, dismantled sense of time. In ‘Rehearsal’, a body of work conceived of and brought to life under the intense quiet of lockdown, Malone looks to the idea of clothes rendered entirely abstract. Clothing as props, within a life reimagined. A moment in fashion history - reference-less but for our extraordinary shared experience of ‘now.’
Shana Bent's SS21 offering celebrates her individuality, self-confidence and the power of femininity through culture and gentle beauty. 'This capsule collection was created during the UK lockdown period with limited access to suppliers and resources with a small team all working virtually throughout most of the process. Whilst being at home for 4 months, I was able to spend a lot of time outside with my Grandparents and actually speak with them and hear all of their stories,' she said.