Reached my quota of the year for the most drunken night ever recorded in recent history, retaining (more like suppressing) no memory of it, celebrating St. Patrick’s Day has long been a standing holiday tradition to me and those near and dearest. The current amnesia is starting to decay to recapture the hideous flashbacks of when I was sashaying around in very few layers of clothing in frigid temps holding Jack (my sidekick, Jack Daniels, we go way back). In this instance, however, I had realized I forgot my coat back at the house. Somehow, I managed to defeat the hypothermia with my old man’s fleece sweatshirt, effectively concluding that a statement coat is necessary for an ensemble at all times, especially if your life depends on it. Cue: the most phenomenal cow print vintage faux-fur coat to date, worn with a graphic tee, cropped flares, sock boots, statement bag and a hat. Cool vibes take many forms, including a faceless cowgirl.
All shenanigans aside, I’ve been reflecting on London fashion week fall ready to wear highlights and what directions the designers took after New York fashion week. Generally, the United Kingdom is widely known for its history, monarchy, parliament, colonialism and imperialism; remarkably synonymous with its caste system of working class merged with punk rock elements in defiance of the elite, so political statement are abiding to the Brits. Rebelling against the establishment is kind of what their notorious for. After New York, my curiosity peaked as to what British designers would deliver after the infamous Brexit. The question is, how would British designers articulate (through clothes) the times we’re living in? The answer is surprisingly hopeful. It was all about the craftsmanship of the garment. With the help of technology, deconstructed silhouettes amid materials were assembled by Christopher Kane and Christopher Bailey’s Burberry which authenticated this theory within their collections. The word craftsmanship has been (to a certain extent) lost in praise of the aristocratic world of fashion. Brit designers are shining a sartorial light on its workers, tons of hours a garment makes, and what labor goes into production manufacturing the threads on your back. Its encouraging and uplifting in a lot of ways. Other designers exhibited the same.
Simone Rocha demonstrated the distinguished pride of women as a force to be reckon with. Rocha’s collection was a willing testimony to the identity of women in a collective sense, displaying a union strike or rather legion of women, of all ages who, incontestably, marched in cozy yet robust velvet militant coats tied together at the waist, voluminous sleeves, cross-body belts, army pockets, sheer numbers, appliqued taffeta rain coats, supple fur coats with contrasting belts, fur stoles, and that’s just the beginning. Synchronizing femininity with military, with an assembly of roses, daisies, and lace while keeping its signature Victorian aspects. You couldn’t help but wonder, Rocha’s tone of reality for women for the foreseeable future. The clothes are functional yet real and ready to be fought in. Practicality is a real dimension we can live by and live for especially protesting our rights. Times may be uncertain, but Rocha is advocating the resiliency of who we are and all we do. It resonated a proclamation of female strength and empowerment for which could be a forecast for what’s to come.
J.W. Anderson cultivated a fascinating collection for fall that ostensibly depicted a functional yet capable woman with all the complexities of her life and streamlined it down to more simplistic terms. Anderson’s woman is inclined to survive through fundamental purposes, and self sufficiency while preserving its femininity adorned in feathers, chain mail fixings, drop waist skirts, sensually draped jersey silhouettes, bras over tops, asymmetrical patchworks on frocks, and gem studded wedges in conjunction with the eloquent color palette was also enticing. Anderson is clearly insinuating the quality and refinement in his latest sportswear acquisition and it made a lasting impact.
To sum up London fashion week, realism is required to our existence now in a time where fact vs. fiction (fake news) are called into question. Social issues, indeed, stamp an imprint into our societal subconscious and it’s our job as creatives (fashion in particular) to echo the culture we live in (ironically, weaving a bit of humor in there) and nobody does that more better than the British. Ask William Shakespeare. Inherently, everything had a profound meaning; not just viscerally speaking. As usual, London, you make us hunger for more.
“British fashion is self confident and fearless. It refuses to bow to commerce, thus generating a constant flow of new ideas whilst drawing in British heritage.” -Alexander McQueen