A new crop of designers made their mark at London Fashion Week SS23 with collections that bring a new ray of hope and vitality to the industry.
London Fashion Week 23 experienced a shift like never before with the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, and while the country mourned her loss, fashion took the moment to commemorate her reign and her influence through the collections of several new designers that are predicted to make a considerable mark in the industry. While some larger, more well-known brands decided not to show during the mourning period, the absence of some resulted in the ascension of others, and the following were some of the highlights of the week, the standouts and scene stealers that took to the catwalk to shine on through the shards. Who are the new movers and shakers to follow in the coming seasons? No Kill Magazine curated the contenders to look out for!
Each year, there are new designers vowing to place inclusivity at the center of their collections, but the reality is that few make it a reality. Sinéad O’Dwyer is an exception to the rule. She has taken an overused buzzword and placed considerable weight behind it with a presentation for SS23 that celebrated different shapes and sizes in an imaginative and colorful way.
The Irish designer chose her debut at London Fashion Week to make a statement on body diversity by employing models from all walks of life – from the wheelchair bound to plus-sized, O’Dwyer was inspired by her own inner turmoil dealing with body dysmorphia.
The mission of her collection was to highlight the beauty of every woman. Showcased in her body positive presentation were shibari playsuits, fitted tuxedo jackets, paneled shorts and stirrup leggings, crop tops, body-molding dresses, and harnesses. The designers used an intricate weaving system to create a number of the pieces, and the extensive tailoring employed proved that full-figured women could represent the full spectrum of femininity in provocative, sexy apparel.
Taking inspiration from three highly decorated female pilots, Yuhan Wang’s collection honored sisterhood and service. The collection showed the multifaceted woman in supreme fashion. Working under the premise that women are both powerful and feminine, courageous and driven, the London-based Wang chose the duality of black and white as the back drop. Featured in her presentation were military jackets and jodhpur trousers adorned in her signature florals; a nod to the classic aviator aesthetic with a modern twist. With sheer fabrics in vibrant colors Yuhan Wang offered a bold, refreshing take celebrating women intent on making their presence known and shaking up the status quo in the process. Enter, aviatrix chic realness!
Fans clamored to get a peek at one of the most highly anticipated debuts of London Fashion Week this year. The enigmatic duo behind Chopova Lowena – Emma Chopova and Laura Lowena-Iron – have quite quickly carved out a sizable lane for themselves in the industry and for their first foray into the big leagues in London, they pulled out all the stops and were rewarded for their presentation.
Chopova Lowena may be celebrated for their calibrated tartan kilts and off-kilter skirts, but there’s more to the label, and this debut used real-life models to display voluminous and colorful pieces both unhinged and refined, surreal, but never subtle. Their in-your-face pieces included oversized metallic jewelry, coupé blouses and dresses accentuated with ruffles, baggy jeans paired with leggings, statement tees and knits paired with embellished arm sleeves, boots wrapped in tinsel, frilly-fluffy dresses, and knots – lots of knots.
The duo know their audience and they did not disappoint, pulling inspiration from their own personal backgrounds and bringing them to the forefront for a delicious kitschy mix.
All told, Chopova Lowena is setting its own course in the industry by redefining style lanes and boldly challenging the status quo, one eccentric and exquisite collection at a time.
Utilizing advanced design techniques combined with traditional, Susan Fang’s ‘Air • Light’ show not only chose a unique venue to present in – a centuries old swimming pool – but went full experimental mode with daring silhouettes and vibrant visuals that were delicate, frilly, popping full of color. The audience witnessed the grand and beautiful entrance of a new belle of the fashion ball. Fang’s organza dresses on display throughout the collection emphasized Fang’s signature pastel shades and avant-garde silhouettes, including splashy prints with colors in full bloom. With spring signifying hope and the start of new things, Fang came through with designs blazing in splashy print with colors in full bloom, answering the call and setting the mood with a show that said it all – par excellence.
Turkish designer Bora Aksu used his debut to examine the intricacies between innocence and perversion. Proffering a collection intent to showcase femininity and the female experience via an homage to the artist Henry Darger. Featured in the collection were military jackets inspired from the 1930s, tailored trench coats with taut silhouettes, and more – much created from upcycled fabric. It was a palette that went big on light pastel colors like soft pink and cream, and coupled with dark navy blues for a dramatic effect that wowed the audience. There are grand expectations from Aksu in the future and the debut ensured that the adoring public will eagerly await more from the designer.