Party frocks, animal print corsets and tulle-skirts reign supreme at London Fashion Week AW21.
London Fashion Week returned true to form this weekend after an entire year of uncertainty, though instead of the regular gaggle of influencers, front-row mainstays and students hustling their way into 180, The Strand, this season, everything was online. Now speaking to the world through films, lookbooks and virtual presentations, all players in the fashion realm had to think carefully about their next move, after all, how do you design for a future that remains murky at best? Will we be living in sweatpants forever? Might we have to consider gimp-masking up to avoid the spread of the virus? We don’t have the answers, but hopefully this round-up will make things abundantly clear.
Italian label 16Arlington are forecasting after-parties and red-carpet splendour for their FW21 collection. We’re talking hot-fix rhinestones on curvaceous evening gowns, huge ostrich plumes splashed over bias-cut bodices, mid-riff bearing shirts adorned with junky zips and fanged collars and skin-showing mesh embroidered with, you guessed it, more rhinestones! These are outfits for all the gaffs we missed, the parties never organised, the New Year we never celebrated – not properly anyway. Taking the hedonistic ethos of the 90s, and combining it with the grotesque yet stunning ethos of Jubert Durprat’s ‘Caddis’ – where Caddisfly larvae are adorned by gold leaf and diamonds, the brand have somehow managed to make insects incredibly sexy…
Listen, your mum might want to give some of Bianca Saunders’ FW21 collection a good go on the ironing board, but you’ve just got to explain to her that it’s the style now – great news for us crinkle clothed lovers, horrendous news to the purveyors of ‘smartness’. The Royal College of Art MA grad has long been toying with ideas of masculinity in her sharp menswear fits, and for ‘Superimposed’, Saunders continues to push the boat out. We’ve got our eyes on the crumpled jumper-shirt, her puffy-sleeved bombers, those split hem jeans, and, well, everything else.
Molly Goddard is another designer who knows how to turn the party and fashion it up into layers of tulle genius. For FW21, Goddard resurrects her traditional dresses, and introduces some new faces, like tight taffeta dresses adorned with oversized bows, tartan kilts, ruched shoulder bags and a clash of patterned knits that’ll make your eyes water and your brain burst (in a good way, of course!). You want kitsch? You’ve got it right here, in spade loads too.
Leatherheads and gay-ravers – this one is for you! Rory Parnell Mooney dreams of the dancefloor this season, a vision that, for many of us, marks almost a year since we last got down and dirty under some strobes. For Mooney, he still dares to bare, whether it be slender torso’s in strappy long-sleeves or washboard abs in corsets cropped, and laced, in neon. There are fierce animal prints, tactile leathers on puffy trousers and chaps, bleached denim, even frilly gloves get a look in. We don’t exactly know what party Mooney’s planning for, but whatever it is, we hope we get a bloody invite…
Art School have never been afraid to mix things up, they even had Real Housewife of Cheshire Dawn Ward walk for them not too long ago… Now headed up solely by Eden Loweth following the departure of Tom Barratt, the brand are trying homogeneity for size, presenting a uniform vision of future wear. Models old and young take to the runway in slinky-snakeskin mini skirts, resplendent red gowns covered head to toe in glitter – with a matching beret, of course – and severe leather jackets, amongst them are Drag Race UK’s Bimini Bon Boulash and A’Whora, with makeup smeared and hair extensions extra-rock chick. Have you ever heard the phrase ‘dragged through a bush backwards’? Loweth has created the sexy version of that, and we want in.