Fashion lovers everywhere are arguing that London Fashion Week was the best week of Fashion Month. From Mowalola to Chet Lo, these are our favorite LFW shows.
New York-inspired collections have been a common theme this season, and Mowalola is no exception. MoMa-inspired merchandise redesigned as “MoWa,” along with Yankee emblems across belt buckles and windbreakers, were just a few of the tributes to the NYC culture Mowalola brought to Britain. Playing with textures, Mowalola used leather and denim textiles to give outfits an edge while adding cutouts in less commonly seen places like the crotch with jean skirts that hang at the knees or lower stomach with a slit just below a printed “insert disc here,” longer pants revealed skin where pockets would be, and short leather skirts detailed with cut out rectangles all the way around.
Priya Ahluwalia’s LFW appearance took place on the second day of fashion week. Live 90’s RnB blasted down the runway while her latest collection, inspired by her Indian-Nigerian heritage, showcased a “greatest hits” moment that had everyone talking. Every piece was carefully tailored with a bold color palette of jewel tones. Known for her color theory in her collections, Ahluwalia’s knitwear and co-ords were fluid in the tailoring across the body, meant to be relaxed for the everyday wearer. Even more, targeted towards Gen Z, Ahluwalia’s collaboration with Microsoft added an element of tech to the designs, allowing people who wear the clothes to scan a QR code printed on them to see the song that inspired each piece.
The JW Anderson collection, yet again, pushed the envelope on what fashion is and what it can be. Giving the idea of accessorizing a whole new meaning, Anderson styled a neon green boa with a tan suede dress, a furry pronged poncho over a nude bodysuit, a tesco bag patterned romper, neon green slip-ons with gray sweats, and a silver metallic jacket. Playing with symmetry and structure, a few pieces stood out because they literally stuck out, skirts were tailored with pockets protruding from the sides, and long sleeves with words like “dentist” and “sham man” scribbled across a bandage-like wrap around the waist and one arm. In NYFW, we saw a lot of designers playing with body shape, accentuating the waist and hips, Anderson takes this to the next level, tailoring pants with triangular-shaped fabric sticking out around the hips and thighs. JW Anderson may look like it takes after other trends, but it really makes each look their own in an undeniably distinct way.
Bringing puckered fabric back to life once again, Chet Lo took a spin off its last bold and colorful line to showcase a darker, almost foreboding collection. Lo’s most recent collection was inspired by a more tumultuous time in his life, and the clothes reflect that in color and design. He calls the pops of color used “strategic” in a sense that they were deliberately placed to symbolize the moments of light in times that feel darker. Many of the looks were monochromatic black but none looked similar, each model wore different combos of puckered long sleeves and puckered bottoms. Emulating that almost gothic aesthetic, glaring anime eyes were emblazoned across t-shirts, while a mesh shawl was styled with a gradient black to purple skirt. Debuting last September, Lo is making a big name for himself as an upcoming designer.
Sinead O’Dwyer continues to show us that her clothes are for everybody to wear. She prioritizes inclusivity. Her most recent collection was inspired by her grandmother's closet, the collection features the professional elegance of a box pleated skirt while contrasting with a mini neon pink silk dress cut out and weaving around the chest. O’Dwyer named the collection “Dúil” for desire. She wanted the looks to emulate lust, romance, and longing, making the wearer feel wanted and giving the viewer more to desire. Runway looks are typically designed for one size, so using models who are all different sizes means that the designer has to craft and sew these looks specifically for the model, not just for any size 14 body. A pregnant model wore a brown bodysuit detailed with silver lining and cut out around her stomach, models of every skin color and size wore navy blue trench coats and cut-out tights weaving up their legs in neon green, neon yellow, and brown. O’Dwyer is returning fashion to its intended roots, for the body to be worn on everyone and anyone.