Timed to run from Saturday January 5 through Monday January 7, the three-day season lists 42 separate events, four less than the June 2018 calendar.
Runway action kicks off Saturday morning with Art School, a non-binary brand noted for its tube dresses for trans-identified people. While the day climaxes with LVMH Prize finalist Charles Jeffrey’s Loverboy, whose brilliant show last season married Noh theatre, transgressive samurais, detritus dresses and models wearing papier-mâché sewing machines as hats. LGBTQ fantasies at their best.
Classic brands have largely skipped the season of late; however heritage labels such as Barbour and Belstaff will show; and tailoring driven designers from E. Tautz to Oliver Spencer are still very much present.
However, the key focus of the London menswear collections is very much to discover new talent, or monitor how recent discoveries are maturing. Like Delada, a unisex collection infused with Russian nostalgia by designer Lada Komarova; or Feng Chen Wang, another LVMH finalist, noted for his cool, conceptual outerwear. Or Paria Farzaneh, who won raves in June for her Iranian family heritage show staged in a truck with drop down sides in South Bank.
And, no trip to a London season will ever be complete without catching Fashion East. Traditionally a joint show of three fresh talents, this season will feature Stefan Cooke, noted for his subversive textile techniques; Mowalola, by British-Nigerian Central Saint Martin’s graduate Mowalola Ogunlesi and Robyn Lynch – a Dublin-born graduate of the University of Westminster Masters course.
“The power and simplicity of both Mowalola and Robyn’s singular visions hit me right away at their graduate shows. Theirs is a fabulously concise exercise in storytelling and editing – untroubled by the usual rules and regs – which doesn’t mean their lines don’t have commercial appeal; they’re already being worn. And just as we have proudly watched Stefan’s highly crafted runway collections land straight into top international stores, we have great ambitions for our new female additions to the line-up,” said Lulu Kennedy, the legendary fashion talent spotter and long-time director of Fashion East.
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