The London Fashion Week 2023 kicked off on Friday, 17 February, with a schedule studded by a mixture of established and emerging designers. After a tumultuous and exciting NYFW from 10 Feb – 15 Feb, the ramp is all lit up in London for the highly awaited Fashion Week from 17 February to 21 February.
The week began with a memorial to the Queen of Punk, Vivienne Westwood. The fashion industry paid homage to the great designer at her London cathedral memorial service. The Vivienne Westwood London boutiques in 6 Davies St and 44 Conduit St. showcased a key look from the Andreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood AW22/23 runway show collection, previously only seen at Paris Fashion Week. Numerous celebs including Helena Bonham-Carter, Victoria Beckham, and Kate Moss celebrated the very talented designer.
The big names from the first day comprised of Eftychia, Sinead O’Dwyer, Bora Aksu, Fashion East, Di Petsa, Edward Crutchley, Huishan Zhang, Paul Costelloe, Mark Fast, Matty Zovan, Conner Ives and Natasha Zinko. The diversity was immaculate with lines consisting of everything from frothy lace dressed to hourglass silhouette coats.
Tailored apparel and knitwear embellished with pailletes formed a highlight of Zhang’s lineup. These, paid with pointed wedge heels completed most looks. The couture trained designers’ dresses often bear an aura of sophistication, grace and femininity.
Celebrating the outcast, and drawing inspiration from Wednesday Addams and Edvard Munch, Aksu’s collection was truly a show-stealer. A muted colour palette of black, red and white brought to life through Gothic black lace and his signature feminine flourishes, the range was a sight to behold. His front row at the london Fashion Week showed off Laura Bailey, Lady Amelia Windsor and Amber Le Bon.
Focussed mostly on knitwear and graphic patterns in tonal greys, Edward Crutchley’s collection was the much-needed expression of the emphasis to be laid on menswear, which is gradually gaining ground in the London Fashion Week. All of the silhouettes in the collection were fluid and airy, changing forms as blocks of holographic iridescence and almost opaque metallic silvers swallowed the body, influenced by Greek mythology.
Soundtracked by the designer herself, Di Petsa’s signature wet look dresses assigned great significance to the feminine form – in more explicit terms, celebrated it.
Standing Ground’s gorgeous gowns and structured silhouettes were showcased at the London Fashion Week as part of the fashion show by Fashion East.
Metallics and bold florals formed the centerpiece of the range by Paul Costelloe. Fishtails, sculptural necklines, and voluminous sleeves with drama dominated the ramp . The second part of the presentation was filled with jacquard dresses and capes, and the exhibition concluded with a collection of black ball gowns bearing silver prints of scenes from Ulysses. He called his collection his tribute to his beloved city of Dublin.
This season, the locations set for the London Fashion Week include BFC Newgen Space and attendees flock to The Old Selfridges Hotel. Freemason’s Hall will be typically used by upcoming designers on the Fashion Scout Roster.
What’s More to Look Forward To?
On Saturday, Eudon Choi will start the day, before big names such as Molly Goddard, Simone Rocha, Pam Hogg, JW Anderson, Christopher Kane, Julien Macdonald, Paul & Joe and Burberry all take to the catwalk to showcase their collections. A special show by Oxfam, focussing on second-hand shopping and sustainability and the Ukrainian Fashion Week showcasing Paskal, Frolov and Kseniaschnaider are also on the must-watch list. A new immersive exhibition curated by Edward Enninful OBE will be brought to the general public by Vogue and Snapchat collectively.
Burberry will close out the week on Monday night. All eyes will be on Daniel Lee’s first collection for the British heritage brand.