Hello London! We may not be in you, but we're watching from afar, just like New York (you can find our NYFW wrap, here), and anticipating all of the glorious newness you always offer. Always the city of emerging energy, some of the globes most promising designers get their start at London Fashion Week, and this year is no exception. Some of our favourites will return, like Nensi Dojaka, JW Anderson, and the hotly anticipated debut of Daniel Lee's inaugural collection for Burberry. Below, we're rounding up our favourite moments from London Fashion Week so far.
In the thick of London Fashion Week, Jonathan Anderson has put on one of his biggest shows to date, in collaboration with one of his personal heroes, Scottish dancer and choreographer Michael Clark, for Fall Winter 2023.
There were literal references to Clark's costumes – like a pair of yellow Jersey dungarees featuring a smiley face – and simple moments that evoked a branding exercise, where t-shirts, tote bags, and a glittery, distressed sweater were printed with "MICHAEL CLARK" in bold green font. "looking back is not something I do very often," Anderson posted on his Instagram story shortly following the show, "but occasionally it feels necessary as a way to move forward."
As for his exploration of his own archive, it gave Anderson the chance to rework some of his pieces from the past 15 years. Simple grey suiting was of note, properly tailored and darted at the waist to create the slightest bit of exaggeration; tweed trousers, jackets, and coats were left with distressed hems; Anderson's padded, tubular cuffs and collars were applied to slinky long sleeve tops, while green and orange feather boa trims were offered over khaki dresses. You can read the full review, here.
Meet me amongst the hay bales Simone Rocha said for her Fall 23 collection. Against the backdrop of some very Celtic-feeling music that gained urgency as the exits moved the show ahead, Rocha's girls (and boys) marched upon the bright red carpet of Westminster’s grand Central Methodist Hall as an ode to the pagan Lughnasadh Irish harvest festival.
It started with a trio of golden cloque looks that evoked the feeling of sacks of wheat, all ballooned sleeves and swishy skirts, before an offering of chocolate and black leather coats emerged. Translucent slip dresses embellished with sequins, crystals, and ribbons were paired with stompy boots and clutches of masses of fabric and raffia – a material of which was stuffed up the translucent skirts of crinolines later on. Menswear was equally glorious. There were organza jackets and peacoats with bomber arms. Most notably, though, was a collection of naval collars in both fabric and beading.
It was beautiful, moving, celebratory. Bring on the bounty!
For 16Arlington's Fall 23 show, Marco Capaldo draws a line in the sand – or rather, a line in the foam of his cappuccino – to announce that despite the seismic success of his party dresses, Capaldo is serious about the legacy he is creating. It is one that he is no longer walking with his business and life partner, Kikka Cavenati, and in the wake of her passing, for the third collection Capaldo has produced since she left us, the literal idea of a wake came to mind, as well as waking up.
At first glance, a chocolately brown carpet seemed to be the floor in which the collection would be viewed, but upon further inspection, it's confirmed to be coffee grounds instead. And what walked upon those grounds? Not just the perfect party dress (though we can confirm those were offered in droves, too), but tailoring, outerwear, accessories, and red carpet moments that were fit for a mention.
There were cozy knitted cardigans with plunging V-necks and lace appliqué, dresses with bubble skirts and plumes of ostrich feathers, silver sequin two pieces, and a series of black overcoats that felt fitting for a funeral. Technically, Capaldo is levelling up with new fabrications and a focus on detailing, especially noticed in a series of sheer gowns with plunging necks and intricate beading. As the designer moves back into the light, resources more available thanks to his dresses that sell like hotcakes during the party season, it feels as though things can only get better.
Dimitra Petsa's Fall 2023 show was inspired by Persephone, with a collection titled Breaking and Healing. Her signatures are her wet-look gowns, which she offered up in some of her most perfect iterations to date. There were twists on maternity styles, and jagged-cut vegan leather pieces that had been sewn back together to make column dresses and two pieces. Velvet was draped in sections and fastened to mesh, children emerged onto the runway carrying florals, a maternity-accomodating cage dress was offered, and someone walked the runway while holding two giant bundles of burning sage. You can always count on Petsa to offer a full fantasy of mythology.
These days, most of us recoil at the idea of having to scan another QR code in our lifetime. But when Turkish-British designer Dilara Findikoglu put a QR code on her show notes to invite guests attending her Fall 23 show to donate to relief funds in the wake of the earthquake in Turkey and Syria, it was a welcome gesture for people, many of whom are balancing their work in the industry, and are coming to terms with the devastating affects of the disaster, to feel as though their attendance at shows wasn't completely futile.
The clothes weren't, either. Findikoglu's signature corsetry work and play on the female form was offered in droves. Wisps of mesh and tulle were stitched together and held up by boning, mini suit skirts were unzipped to reveal satin corsets, and ultra-femme bodices were paired with distressed cashmere skirts. The reoccurring theme of LFW seems to be fantasy, and Findikoglu leant in.
View this post on Instagram
It was fun to see Dojaka's offering for Fall 23 grow beyond the slinky, strappy going-out dresses that she has become so well known for. Technically, she has levelled up her design process ten-fold. Everything is tighter, neater, and more streamlined, and the addition of winter layering pieces helps ground the Dojaka woman beyond the carpet or club, as does the choice to expand the sizing of the clothes. There were skin tight skivvies and perfect long tailored black coats. Denim was introduced, and there was even a glimpse of a track pant. Her floral explorations always feel exciting, especially when they are rendered in such delicate fabric and positioned around the torso. Overall, Dojaka kept things simple, playing to her strengths, honing her vision.
The noise around Daniel Lee and his much-anticipated debut for his inaugural Fall Winter 23 Burberry show was always a call that was coming from outside the house. The loudest he has perhaps ever shouted was with his dedication to Bottega green, and for his first go with Burberry – held in a cavernous hall with no set but some down lights and tartan blanket covered seats – it was a satisfying reminder of this fact.
Lee doesn't need to yell through viral set tactics or big ticket runway appearances, there was barely even a nepo baby in sight (just one). Instead, you could tell his singular job was creating a collection that lived up to the pressure of being fashion's golden boy.
Here, Lee splices many facets of British culture in a way that feels astute, but not obvious. The grunge and the punk and the streetwear that keeps Britain's creative pulse on beat is introduced into aristocracy. Into heritage homes and long walks across the field with the dogs. But there is more, too. A lot of us were curious about how Lee was going to translate his process into a House like Burberry. The answer? Seemingly, with little sweat off the brow. Immediately, in the scrunchy, straight leg trousers, rounded toes, rich colours, and instantly attractive accessories, you know that this is Lee's handiwork. In the tartan and the trenches and hunting jackets and the wellington boots, it is also clear that this is Burberry.
Moncler unleashed a new vision for Moncler Genius through an immersive live event, The Art of Genius. Transforming its collaboration model into a platform for co-creation, Moncler challenged the boundaries of possibility at the intersection of Art, Design, Entertainment, Music, Sport, and Culture. A platform for co-creation across varied creative spheres, The Art of Genius saw distinct artistic worlds collide under one roof as the 2023 lineup of creators took over the space, bringing together their unique interpretations of Genius. From an invitation to lay down sounds with one of the world’s most visionary record producers, to an outstanding and unforgettable live music performance, or an immersive journey through digitally created mountains – the mammoth arena was teeming with creative energy. Moncler’s heritage was reimagined in ways that went beyond fashion, including a futuristic journey into modes of transportation, and a psychedelic take on glamping in the wilderness. Amongst the collaborators, were Alicia Keys, Pharrell Williams, Palm Angels, Mercedes Benz, FRGMT, Adidas Originals, Rick Owens, Jay-Z, and Salehe Bembury.