LFW: Mark Fast - “The show must go on”
Sep 23, 2020
For a London Fashion Week to have just three traditional catwalk showcases taking place with an audience is unheard of, but for some designers, like Mark Fast it was essential.
“The show must go on,” expressed Mark Fast to FashionUnited. “When it comes to fashion and creating fashion/being part of a movement, contributing to culture, we aren’t simply creating clothes/garments - we are creating a look. This normally all comes together in one moment through the unique energy of a show - through the make-up, the attitude of the model, the focus and styling of the outfit. It all happens at one precise moment.”
Fast, added: “By not having a show we wouldn’t be able to witness the moment and therefore we wouldn’t be able to share it digitally with our audience.”
The catwalk showcase, which took place in the impressive Hackney Bus Depot, brought high energy, vibrancy and a rave-light atmosphere to London Fashion Week with Fast’s neon-lit ‘Future Vision’ for spring/summer 2021.
The British designer stated in the show notes that while the world slowed pace due to Covid-19, this allowed him to reflect and examine what’s at the core of his inspiration, while also reconnecting to his original fashion fascination and cultural aspiration.
The result, hedonistic escapism filled with stonewashed 80’s inspired denim, neon print graffiti, and typography inspired prints, which Fast states “creates the perfect backdrop for a new optimism” alongside his signature knitwear.
It is this sense of hopefulness that is central to Fast’s London Fashion Week showcase, with the designer explaining that it is more than just a collection unveiling, but a chance to connect with the brand’s global audience.
“We are committed to our wholesale orders, our own retail stores including our new flagship in Beijing that is opening soon and we believe that by continuing our tradition of the seasonal live shows this time, via live stream, we will be able to reach out to our global audience,” explains Fast. “Not only providing them with the quality of a visual photograph experience we are known for but also sending a message of optimism and productivity alongside our vibrant colours for the good times to come.”
Mark Fast’s future vision is neon and bright for spring/summer 2020
The spring/summer 2021 collection is fun, positive, and uplifting, a welcome relief at a time of uncertainty, and evokes the 90’s club scene with retro sporty elements in a vivid colour palette of neon green and pink alongside lilac, baby blue and orange.
Fast’s signature body-conscious knitwear were seen layered with oversized jackets with bold ‘MF’ logos, while super-short mini skirts and shorts styled with matching crop tops underneath branded hoodies, sweatshirts, slouchy cardigans, and boxy denim jackets.
This is a collection that’s on-brand for Fast, an exciting reimagining of his knitwear with sensual and fun styling, with cut-out detailing, feathered skirt trims, and go-faster stripes, teamed with sock-stilettos, neon graffitied bags and clutches.
Fast played on his strengths, while also looking to the future with an expansion of his emerging menswear and unisex pieces. Men wore tracksuits and casual wear, emblazoned with scribbly MF motifs in neon and monochrome, paired with Mark Fast branded high-tops and retro striped sports socks.
There was also a strong denim offering, with sandblasted denim with pink and purple undertones, patchwork denim, boxy denim shorts, oversized bomber jackets, mini skirts, and even a striped denim jacket and jeans for the men.
Yes, the show must go on, but getting to the catwalk wasn’t easy for Fast, with the designer adding: “I have to admit that normally designers have the luxury of needing to deal with fashion crises, creative blocks and other dramas, all of those had to be put aside because our determination to continue with our show and collection to the same standard that we usually do meant that we had to designate a special team to monitor and provide the right assurances from show production and logistics that would work with all government guidelines.
“It was a challenge, but it was worth it! Being able to have the show and being able to share my design vision is totally worth it. The show brings together months of hard work. The energy of a catwalk could never be recreated on a photoshoot.”
Mark Fast opens his first standalone store in Beijing, China in November.
Images: courtesy of Mark Fast by Chris Yates