LFW remembers the Queen: S.S. Daley, Paul & Joe, Eudon Choi, Molly Goddard and J.W. Anderson
As the UK capital spent the weekend in deep mourning, devoted to observing the passing of the Queen, designers in London Fashion Week made respectful homages to the late monarch, in a busy day of shows on Saturday.
Church bells pealed to open the show of S.S. Daley, as the designer staged a fashionable funeral procession.
Seven mourners, each bearing candles, marching around the interior of the St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel, all dressed in black. Attired in massively wide corduroy trousers and blazers; satin pants; and high-collar or altar boy collar white shirts.
“It’s such a unique moment and we didn’t know if we were even going to have a show. But if we did one, we knew we had to pay a tribute, especially as a lot of my work references the aristocracy and the monarchy. It’s been a really emotional week. I actually told my gran’ the Queen was going to die, and she burst into tears. In her 70-year reign, she has been there, stable and the one constant, who meant so much to people. So, we needed to start today by paying our respects,” explained Daley post-show.
Noted for his upcycling, Daley made shirts and tops from multiple antique tea-towels featuring monarchist memories - Charles and Diana’s wedding; the Golden Jubilee of 1977. All made from 450 tea-towels - some with calendars - Daley had collected. Similar covering totes with images of seaside resorts like Torquay or even Big Ben.
Though the leitmotif of this collection were the letters Violet Trefusis wrote to Vita Sackville West, lamenting her lost love and decision to marry. Written over a seven-year period, and read out by another septet in the show’s finale.
Even these ladies code-word for love, a rabbit, appeared in bunnies on knits and mesh tops, as did British fowl like mallard ducks. One model even carried a basket of eggs and chicken feathers.
A tad gimmicky perhaps, but Daley made the clothes look smart thanks to his marvellous ballooning multi-pleat pants and crisp linen jackets worn on a cast of multiple sizes and weights.
“I really like to wear my own clothes and to offer a big range of sizes,” concluded Daley, who is not exactly skinny, and who had just earned a huge cheer. Remarkably, 12 months after his first show, Daley has won the LVMH Prize, and become a top-five show in London.
Pre-show, an announcer called for a “moment of reflection” in memory of Queen Elizabeth II. The room fell silent. The audience automatically bowing their heads, in symbiosis with the beefeaters and princes inside Westminster Hall.
“I think it is the very least we can do, considering what a remarkable woman she was,” said designer Sophie Mechaly.
Entente cordiale in evidence in a unique weekend in London. The name Paul & Joe is English; the brand is quintessentially French and its inspiration this season was British.
Paris-based Paul & Joe riffed on Lewis Carroll’s poetically pretty world, in a charming show staged inside a Regency-style ballroom. The legendary English author’s wonderland evoked in magical mushrooms; blown up dandelion and daisy prints seen in ruffled dresses and mini capes; prairie flower matching hot pants and blouses.
Best of all were the posh psychedelic silk pants, shirts and matching scarves, a blend of florals and bestiary. Magic mushroom mode at its best.
Add in some fresh snappy lamé suits in sea blue and and buttercup yellow and you had a fine expression of French fashion finesse in London town.
Eudon Choi: Côte d’Azur cool
Eudon Choi looked south this season for inspiration, all the way to the Côte d’Azur, creating clothes with an insouciant air and summery breeziness.
In distinct juxtaposition to his show location, a dingy basement in Soho below the Vinyl Factory record store. Nonetheless, the mood was summery throughout this show, aided by some classy tailoring from Eudon: fluid pants, pleated trousers, lightweight jackets that all seemed ideal for catching a Mediterranean breeze.
His sense of detailing, whether the waistline slits or artful pleats, was suitably subtle. Choi knows how to drape too, sending out neatly folded cocktail dresses in a color palette of Breton-stripe blue, taffy pink and tangerine.
Jean Cocteau would have been pleased with Choi, who featured aquatic prints by the artist, referencing his designs inside his Villa Tatouée, in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat, of sensual neo-Grecian fishermen.
Plus, Choi introduced menswear with charming fine wool suits with billowing pants, or pink seersucker blazers, worn with shorts.
All backed up by another French soundtrack featuring 'La Forêt' by Lescop and le troubling témoinage of Paul Martin.
Molly Goddard: Ruffle and roll
Few shows in London pack as much kick as Molly Goddard, whose dramatic catwalk display took place inside the soaring light-filled Seymour Hall gymnasium.
Ruffle and roll, with dozens of dresses worn over jeans and Spanish-made cowboy boots in her typically bold color palette. Cowboy saloon molls for the 21st century, accompanied by men in micro jackets and volume pants.
“I love making toiles and I love making things in calico,” explained Molly Goddard, after showing her latest collection.
All made of a beautiful cotton, allowing Molly to madly dimple, ruch, pucker, ruffle and twist fabric with obvious glee; giving her clothes an instantly recognisable silhouette.
She revamped the Twinky print which she first unveiled last season, turning it into a toile de jouy, and printing it on knitwear, mesh and denim, in different scales.
Staged in four different sections or chapters, since the designer prefers her shows to have “a messiness and a chunkiness.” Each section underlying different manipulations of the material. Climaxing with an acid-hued section, where Goddard happily clashed prints and textures.
Driven on by a roaring soundtrack including 'Triplets II' by Sticky or 'You' by Delta 5. One needs to be pretty self-confident to wear Goddard’s eye-catching clothes and volumes. But if a gal has the requisite self-confidence, she can make an enormous fashion impact.
J.W. Anderson: Game parlour riot girls
Jonathan Anderson’s final look was a black-and-white sweatshirt featuring a simple message 'Her Majesty The Queen 1926-2022 Thank You'.
“I think pretty much everyone in this country thinks the Queen did a remarkable job. But, whatever about the politics, I think she was also an incredible icon. No wonder some many artists were inspired by her,” insisted Anderson, whose show location was light years away from Buckingham Palace, even if close physically.
The setting - a Soho basement arcade named Las Vegas, with neon lights, video games and slot machines, where Anderson spent many happy late nights as a student in 1990s London. He even opened up his main London store right next door.
In a visually arresting display made in multiple recycled fabrics, Anderson’s theme was the current notion that taking cell phone pictures is more important that the picture itself.
“Are we falling into the screen, or we becoming a phone?” mused Anderson, one of whose opening looks was a white T-shirt dress made of recycled and crumpled upcycled silk, which looked synthetic even if it wasn’t.
In his first show back in London since 2019, he also displayed Aran sweaters with metal hanger neckline.
Wantonly conceptual, the collection included styrofoam hamburger boxes applied to black cocktail dresses and solid, egg-shaped metallic dresses.
“It was very important to continue with the show. It’s important everyone in London sticks together. In the collection I liked this idea of riot girl, of surf and individualism,” Anderson opined.
The Ulsterman also presented a series of fab’ booties, with palm tree and sunset beaches images, based on stock images acquired for literally a dollar websites like Shutterstock.
“I like the idea they are the antithesis of the beach, or maybe the beach will never like that anymore,” Anderson told FashionNetwork.com
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