Fashion Week Highlights: New York + London
Let's start with New York...
New York hasn’t, over the past few years, had quite the same attraction as the other three major fashion weeks. But this September, pop sensation Rihanna proved that New York still has the power to entice, with her SavageXFenty catwalk show. In today’s digital age, it was special for two reasons. Number one, Amazon Prime Video had the sole rights to stream the entire show. And number two, this meant that all spectators were banned from using their phones to document their viewpoint in real time. The use of Live Stream combined with the prevention of anyone else owning the content, made for quite a buzz around New York. Rihanna’s aim was to “blend music, fashion and culture,” but what stood out the most was its inclusivity. Women of all shapes, sizes and skin tones took centre stage. It looked beautiful and normal, just how things should and will, hopefully, continue to be.
In another fist pump for inclusivity, a nine-year old model, who had both of her legs amputated as a baby, took to the catwalk. Believed to be the first double amputee child to walk in an official New York Fashion Week, Daisy-May Demetre is also set to model at the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, later on in the month.
Besides this encouraging prospect of a more diverse New York Fashion Week, some exciting trends have emerged. These include ‘the white shirt’, ‘draping’, and ‘gothic prom’. The flawless, unisex, white shirt featured on the catwalks of The Row and Tibi, with no frills allowed. Whilst the white shirt creates a staple line for everyone, the draping at Proenza Schouler is destined to create beautiful, flattering curves on just about anyone. It was a stunning show, created as a love letter to the working mothers at the Schouler studio. In more dramatic fashion, Oscar de la Renta and Area created volume in gothic black. How to replace the trend for frothy pink prom dresses and make them more striking – make them black!
Oscar de la Renta
Oscar de la Renta
And now on to London...
At London Fashion Week, Molly Goddard, famous for the frothy pink dress Villanelle wears in the critically-acclaimed Killing Eve; in basic terms she’s famous for dressing a psychopath; showcased her growing talent. For her 10thcollection, she didn’t disappoint Villanelle fans, with Edie Campbell closing the show in a taffeta, fuchsia gown.
From her early beginnings, showing to a select number of fashion professionals, this season saw Victoria Beckham showcase her designs with the pomp and grandeur of a seasoned veteran. Already spotted on the catwalks at New York, once Beckham’s fashion home, her show channelled 1970’s dressing, with bright colourful accents only adding to the more neutral elements. These sumptuous surroundings also launched her beauty line. Victoria Beckham Beauty will be “active and effective, but clean and kind.” Alongside products that don’t use any parabens or sulphates, the packaging is made from 100% post-consumer waste, with shipping materials that are either recyclable or biodegradable. In the current climate these are all vital selling points for any new brand, even one with a famous name like Beckham at the helm.
As sustainability continues to dominate the fashion industry, so too does climate change. Extinction Rebellion, the climate campaign group, have become a name synonymous with 2019. At London Fashion Week they chose to remain in the headlines by staging a ‘die-in’, hours before the start of the event. Throwing buckets of fake blood, they strove to symbolise how it was ‘business as usual’ for fashion, which they believe will ultimately lead to the extinction of life on earth. They reacted and railed very visibly against fashion week in its current form, bookending the 5-day event by staging a funeral on the final day. A worthy cause when one considers that the fashion industry is said to use more energy than the aviation and shipping industry combined. But the high drama of it; activists in dramatic red, laced garments, accessorised with veils; made it look like something akin to a fashion show itself.
As for current trends emerging from London, long sleeves, for those potentially chilly summer nights, featured at Erdem, along with his continued love of long gloves. Dainty, beautiful and striking florals are so often a feature at Erdem, but they were an added welcome at Richard Quinn, who presented bridalwear for the first time. Gothic glamour, already evident in New York, could be glimpsed at Simone Rocha. Her Irish Wren Boys inspired collection, taken from the historical practice of men dressing in straw outfits whilst attempting to hunt and kill a wren on St Stephen’s Day, featured whispers of black that turned night gowns into something altogether more dramatic. Who said black was just for winter!
But if there were two shows that really brought high-fashion-esque glamour to London Fashion Week, then look no further than Halpern and 16Arlington. It was clear to see why 16Arlington is becoming a red carpet favourite, with a collection inspired by Raffaella Carrá, a 1960’s popstar and long-time muse of the brand. Halpern’s inspiration was Barbra Streisand in Funny Girl. Sequins, psychedelic prints, dip-dyed feathers, and voluminous gowns created a fashion party, twice-over.
Images courtesy of Vogue, The Guardian and BBC News
About Our Author: Katie Calvert's background is in fashion and textiles with a first class honours degree in Fashion Communication and Promotion and experience in trend, PR and events. She decided to take the plunge back into education in 2015 to complete a Master of Arts in Multimedia Journalism. Using these newfound skills and her love of fashion and culture, Katie has been freelance writing for over a year.