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The Fashion Review: October

Whilst October began with Paris Fashion Week in all its splendour and grandeur, there was still more fashion news to carry us through this autumnal month.

The highlight of New York Fashion Week was undoubtedly, SavageXFenty, Rihanna’s inclusive lingerie brand. Featuring women of all shapes, sizes and skin tones, it was one of the most refreshing displays of body positivity that the industry has produced recently. So, initially at least, it was uplifting to learn that Victoria’s Secret, usually home to tall, skinny supermodels, had unveiled their first ‘plus-size’ model, Ali Tate Cutler, as part of a campaign with British lingerie firm Bluebella. Entitled #loveyourself, she is featured alongside transgender model May Simón Lifschitz. When you learn, however, that both models are employed by Bluebella, and not Victorias’s Secret, the company’s progression isn’t quite so prolific. Although VS’s sister brand, Pink, featured its first trans model this year, the company has been slow to change. Small steps like these aren’t quite enough for an industry that is trying to make a fundamental shift in the right direction.

With thoughts of ‘who on earth signed off that idea’, Boohoo made headlines for a rather insensitive mistake. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) upheld a complaint that centred on Boohoo’s use of the phrase “Send Nudes” within an email advertisement. The phrase, which the company used to promote a range of clothes that resembled skin tone, was deemed to make light of a potentially harmful trend. It’s ludicrous to think that there wasn’t anyone questioning the ethics of using such a phrase. But then maybe that was the point all along – make an ‘error’ within an email and you’ll generate extra exposure by provoking complaints. It’s just a thought…

October saw the announcement of the passing of Sophia Kokosolaki. Launching her eponymous label at the beginning of the millennium, she was at the beating heart of London’s creative set. She brilliantly mixed this setting with her Grecian roots, combining the punkish eccentricity of London with draped silks and intricate pleating. It was no surprise that she was chosen as the creative director for the opening and closing ceremonies at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games. Twenty years on, London hasn’t quite been able to reimagine the feeling of freedom that Kokosalaki and her peers created in the early noughties.

Virgil Abloh is, justifiably, considered one of today’s creative visionaries in the world of fashion design. Having, earlier this year, announced that he would be slowing down his work commitments due to health concerns, it was pleasing to see that none of this has transferred into consumer concern for the brand. According to the latest edition of the Lyst Index; a quarterly report that analyses the online shopping habits of more than nine million shoppers a month searching, browsing and buying fashion across 12,000 designers and e-stores; Abloh’s Off-White was ranked top, once again. With so much focus on health, a positive news story like this further cements the idea that health can be a priority and business can continue to flourishing.

News that throwaway Halloween costumes creates 2,000 tonnes of plastic waste must be the scariest thing about October 31st. According to Hubbub; an environmental charity who researched 19 supermarkets and retailers; 83% of costume materials include polluting oil-based plastic, likely to end up in landfill. It might be a bit late now to offer advice for Halloween, but with Christmas just around the corner, why not buy from charity shops or re-use costumes. Even better, get creative at home, using non-plastic materials and make your own unique, eye-catching outfit to wear out and about during the festive season.

Speaking of Christmas… this means Claridge’s Christmas Tree will be making its spectacular appearance very soon. This year, Christian Louboutin has been invited to design this famously ornate festive tree, marking the 10th Anniversary that Claridge’s has exhibited its uniquely designed tree. The shoe designer told Vogue that he’d be bringing “a little bit of Paris to London.” We excitedly await the unveiling on the 21st November, whilst wondering what other magical things November will bring on the run up to the season of joy and goodwill!

Imagery courtesy of Vogue, BBC and The Guardian

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.

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