- Vivian Hendriksz |
London Fashion Week Autumn/Winter 2018 was an event in its own right, with beautiful shows, several examples of experimental fashion, a final goodbye to one of the UK's most celebrated designers as well an appearance from her Majesty, who attended emerging designer Richard's Quinn show. While some emerging designer labels strived to continue to develop their own unique aesthetic, other more established talents took the time to strengthen their brand's DNA and some even shifted their brand in an entirely new direction. As the industry continues to evolve, FashionUnited shares its selection of 5 upcoming designers who took their collections to the next level for Autumn/Winter 2018.
Fyodor Golan explores the power of aerodynamics
For Autumn/Winter 2018 the design duo behind Fyodor Golan, Fyodor Podgorny, and Golan Frydman, sought to explore the idea of aerodynamics. Best known for their vibrant use of color and edgy sportswear-inspired silhouettes, the duo looked to billowing hot air balloons, thick woven ropes and the motion of flight for inspiration. This resulted in a collection which was full of juxtapositions - such as cropped crochet capes combined with tech fabrications which mimic a billowing balloon and the sleeves and legs of bright tracksuits which opened to reveal soft silk layers. The work from American conceptual artist Jean Baldessari influenced the designers' placement of color in the collection, which is seen in bold blocks on neutral pieces and blended on different materials. Rainbow stripes, always a key identifier from Fyodor Golan, can see been throughout the collection but they have been re-ordered and restructured. Rather than just placing them on the garments themselves, the rainbows have also hidden in the lining of a coat or in the slit of a leg so they can only be seen during movement, offering a surprise splash of color.
The design duo referenced vintage sportswear once more, but reworked it and modernized it by mixing reflective tech fabrics with faux suede, faux fur and crochet to add a hint of luxury. A first for the designers, Fyodor Golan also collaborated with MTV, placing the iconic 90s music channel logo on patches placed on puffer jackets or crocheting it onto oversized sweaters. The collaboration was designed to reflect the brand's associative nostalgia and contemporary pop-image into ready-to-wear, which it certainly did. Some of the most wearable items from the collection included Fyodor Golan’s oversized MTV jumpers and a cropped bomber-style jacket featuring MTV logo sleeves. "MTV has been the voice of youth cultures for decades, we wanted to embrace this and the memories of our teenage years," said Podgorny and Frydman in a statement. "This collaboration combines the iconic pop culture symbol with the vibrancy and bright colours of today's MTV." With inflatable planets and golden orbs decorating the runway, it is clear that the designers aim to lift their brand to new heights this season with this collection - and judging by the positive reactions surrounding the emergence of the floating, billowing skirts they seemed to have done just that.
Marta Jakubowski celebrates the power of women
Polish designer Marta Jakubowski chose to reflect her own personal journey towards womanhood in her AW18 collection while paying homage to her late mother. This resulted in a strong, yet very wearable collection full of 90s throwbacks, including the sharply-tailored power suit - complete with shoulder pads and nipped in waists, the professional dresses with ruffles to the maxi and longline cashmere coats. "It's all about my woman. She exists somewhere in my head and is growing every season," said Marta Jakubowski in a statement. However, the colors and the silhouettes of her designs were modernized to suit the demands of working women today. She incorporated adaptable mix and match separates, party dresses as well as reconstructed trousers suits which featured different styled jackets that were both business and sensual at the same time. Some jacket lapels and dresses were low cut, showing off the vibrant and lacey undergarments worn underneath to celebrate the female body as Jakubowski believes her woman does not see ambition and sexuality as mutually exclusive.
The collection's colour palette featured neutral colors like taupe and incorporated soft tones like mint, lilac and evergreen together with contrasting red, tartan and pink. She also revisited signature pieces, such as the trouser-skirt with tulle underlay and the seam split jean. The show itself seemed to capture the essence of the 90s power women, as models smiled to the audience, posed with their hands on their hips and flounced down the runway in a very old-school modeling type of way to Whitney Houston's 'I'm Every Woman.' A versatility and incredibly wearable collection, it also taps into the sentiments of our times. In the age of #MeToo and ongoing pay discrimination against women, it is pleasing to see a collection which references a time when women strived to be seen as equal to men and donned their executive-uniforms in a sign of equality. Although we may still be facing same battles that our aunts, mothers, and sisters did in the past, it is hopeful to see these issues being reflected in fashion 30 laters later.
Alice Archer takes a romantic, floral flight of fancy
It is evident that Alice Archer looked to winter florals and fruits for inspiration for her Autumn/Winter 2018 collection, as her designs were covered in snowdrops, white and purple anemones, winter jasmine and myrtle as well as a cocktail of cranberries, elderberries, and oranges. Other art influences which can be seen in her work include painter Gustav Klimt, the Whistler and Botticelli's 'Primavera.' Renowned for her embroidery skills, which she honed while working at Dries van Noten, the collection sees Archer elevate her talents through her precise sequin work, silk shading embroidery and printing on top of embroidery with life-sized oil paintings of white anemones and citrus fruit painted by the designer herself. Although the collection mainly focuses on evening wear and includes long, flowing evening cocktail dresses with frilled hems or fine tulle layered over prints, there also also two-piece sets, A-line coats as well as kimono styled-wrap coat.
Stand out pieces from the collection include an a voluminous cape covered in embroidered snowdrops and a dark floral gown, featuring purple and fuchsia anemones with fine-tulle embroidered layer and deep v-back. Waists and backs are emphasized throughout the collection, as Archer made sure no little detail is missing. Exposed buttons are covered to match the silk and duchess satin used and girly ribbons draw attention to high waistlines. The static presentation gave the audience plenty of time to fully admire all the little touches that went into creating the romantic, wintry collection, and if the AW18 is a true reflection of the designer's current stage in life, then she must be in very secure and content place in her life.
Faustine Steinmetz moves beyond denim to archetypes
Parisian born designer Faustine Steinmetz moved beyond denim for her collection 011, choosing to work around a series of archetypes instead of her usual experimentation with denim fabrics and weaving. The collection saw Steinmetz deconstruction and reinterpret 10 iconic pieces from the typical Parisian wardrobe, such the classic Burberry trench coat, the silk shirt, Levi's 501, the cable knit jumper and Hermès silk scarf. The show opened with a number of sleeveless denim jackets, tucked into high-waisted jeans which at a quick glance could be a denim jumpsuit. The collar of the denim jackets were replaced with oversize mint-colored silk panels, for a 80s touch. Mint-colour silk was used throughout the collection in dress, shorts and blouses.
Steinmetz reworks the current trend surrounding biking-lycra shorts, presenting denim shorts, as well as textured, felted shorts. Highlights from the collection include her reinterpretation of the trenchcoat, which is reflected in a simple mac, a crushed textured trench coat as well as a monogrammed, knitted mohair blanket coat. The silk scarf is also progressive reimagines and seen in the form of a scarf before transforming into wrap silk skirt, a scarf top and finally a silk top featuring Swarovski beading. While the show successfully managed to showcase the designers evolution of each item, it did not give viewers chance to see Steinmetz textile experimentations up close.
Edeline Lee reflects on her secret garden
Edeline Lee momentarily transported viewers to her own secret garden for her Autumn/Winter 2018 collection presentation. Staged at the BFC show space, the immersive presentation saw the designer transform the space into her version of Eve's garden, complete with a grass carpet, trees and sculpted greenery which served as the perfect backdrop for the collection monastics silhouettes. Inspired by the dark and secret gardens within herself, the designer reworked some of her signature fabrics, such as the Flou Bubble Jacquard as well as her Georgette Champion dresses for AW18, while experimenting with new styles. A dark, yet romantic collection, colours were rich and jewelled, with deep purples, red, navy, amber green and black with a touch of white.
Stand out pieces included a flowing floral jacquard coat in thick wool and floor-length floral coats which closed at the navel, with matching wide legged trousers. Silhouettes were long and modest, with lengths of fabric draped into lush folds and flounces. “The woman is turning inward and she’s grounded and contemplating,” said Lee on her muse for this season to WWD.
Photos: Catwalkpictures and FashionUnited