Whip out the Champagne, let’s celebrate LFW in style..
For a hot second it looked like this year turbulence would be the only thing parading the runway! But, let’s all take a moment to thank the fashion gods, as designers this season buckled up, brainstormed around a pandemic and showcased the best-of-the-best for London Fashion Week. Ingenuity sure keeps the wheels of fashion turning, as we see a digitalised solution emerge, with collections being represented in a whole new light! Here at Glamcult, we couldn’t have logged on faster to check out the best of the season, so at your leisure (from wherever you are in the world), check out our fave’ moments from this season’s LFW!
First up is Charlotte Knowles, our GC-proclaimed Queen of the London scene. This young British designer presented us with “Petals”, an eclectic video presentation which was streamed via IGTV on Tuesday. It was a two-minute dizzying high of sensuality and carefully constructed femininity, broken up by the fragmentary layering of the collection’s sheer garments and leather corsage. Red plastic sunglasses topped looks which bore stark orange and acid yellow stripes. While the 2020 tye-dye trajectory made its evolution into swirled pattern tops that hovered under the infamous gaze of the red light itself. It was a sharp, two-minute capture that took us into the heart of the aesthetics of sexuality. Focus, defocus, and refocus again, was the message here. Because this was not a show. It was a performance of re-centring; an act of building obsession.
ART SCHOOL sure as hell took us on a momentous climb. This 14-minute runway video was a journey of pure emotion, set against the leafy garden scope of an English country house, accompanied by the sounds of Celeste. The climax was brought about by a slow advancement of classic punk aesthetics. Beginning with tailored leather coats with pointed-collars, the show moved on to doc martens paired with billowing silks and military jackets slashed to semi-rags. It was the element of rawness that remained throughout. Through their use of models from Zebedee, an agency focusing on models with varying disabilities, a statement on representation was made. One that has coursed continuously throughout this Queer label’s innovative history. Presenting us with such viridity against the grunge, ART SCHOOL’s SS21 collection was proof that there can be moving and meaningful expression within fashion.
Chinese designer Xander Zhou explored the full limits of menswear in this SS21 collection. Walking a unique line between mysticism and futurism, Zhou developed his own universe on the runway, one in which double-shadowed figures parade their strong silhouettes down a clinical hallway that is dubbed “the world of quantum”. The collection itself only accentuates the cleanness of this future of experimentalism without chaos. Boxy, tight tailoring is accessories with delicate facial decorations and body paint. And the figure of the Chinese dragon makes its appearance as a symbol for both the old and the new. That’s fitting, seeing as Zou is the shining jewel of this futuristic world, as of ours.
Charles Jeffrey LOVERBOY was another British Queer brand showcasing this year, who prioritied queerness through and through. From a fledgling brand to an industry essential, LOVERBOY made a statement this year by handing over their (now quite large!) platform to UK Black Pride; using this opportunity to share performances and discussions from other Black and POC artists – musicians, dancers and other designers too. This brilliant idea had the concept of community running through and through. Decked out in the typically bold prints and plaids of the newest collection, Jeffrey LOVERBOY presented a place for Black talent to show in the most beautiful of all possible forms – when creatives come together.
Traditionalism can be fun, is what Vivienne Westwood tells us time and time again. But it’s okay because they’ve got the collections to back it up. As usual, traditional English tailoring and punk-plaids made their appearance for the iconic fashion house. But it turns out that punk can be fewer snarls and more smiles too, as the featured young creatives (by the likes of Ursula Holliday and Kai Isaiah Jamal) showed as they danced and posed on the bold, graphic set. Westwood also gave us a world on the outside, modelling suit sets of yellow and purple plaid on the steps of typical London town-house doorways. Change scene, and suddenly we’re in one of the best-dressed protests I’ve ever seen – trench coats and loafers under the placards and face-masks that remind us in bold black lettering that classic can also mean “TRUE PUNK”. Though honestly – what else did we expect from Westwood? She’ll never stop making statements.