The London Fashion Week – September 2022 edition took place only a few days from the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, so plenty of shows and events planned for this fashion week were canceled and creative directors paid homage to the Queen through looks showcased on the runway (like JW Anderson, who closed his show with a model wearing a black t-shirt that had the inscription “Her Majesty The Queen, 1926 – 2022, Thank you.”).
Overall, London Fashion Week was brimming with creativity; this was evidenced by the designers experimenting with colors and different materials, like sequins and lace.
Here are my favorite looks from LFW Spring/Summer 2023:
1) MOLLY GODDARD: the entire S/S 2023 collection designed by Molly Goddard had fairytale vibes, with romantic looks and contrasting materials; there was a layer of tulle over most of the clothes seen on the runway and the models were carrying ruffled bags. This was also the debut of the designer’s first menswear collection, which had many elements in common with the womenswear line; ruffled fabrics and fluorescent colors were the main characters of S/S 2023 in Molly Goddard’s universe. The designer said in the backstage: “I love contrasting colors, prints and textures.” Her main goal was to create an immersive experience for the audience at the show, combining people, colors and music elements in a harmonious way.
I enjoy the outfit in the picture above because of the ruffles on the pants and the large, fluorescent bag (the giant-bag trend is still going strong and my mother appreciates this so much!).
2) JW ANDERSON: the British designer chose a very original location for the show, next to his London flagship store; Las Vegas Arcade, a popular casino in the middle of Soho, where the models walked the runway surrounded by slot machines. The clothes had 90s vibes, and the designer showcased a series of dresses with bizarre prints like a goldfish in a plastic bag (as shown in the image above), photos of dolphins, sunsets and beaches, which were basically stock digital pictures on the web, borrowed from Getty Images.
Lingerie and T-shirt dresses were also a significant part of the collection. The big bubble dress made entirely of metal was one of the highlights of the whole show, with its surface mirroring the guests capturing the look with their phone cameras (it was one of the most photographed outfits of the collection). JW Anderson reflected on this moment afterward: “Are we falling into our screens, becoming our phones? I think it’s really like an alternate universe, and there are layers and layers and layers to it. I don’t think it’s about futurism, it’s probably about realism. It’s more about a reflection of ourselves somehow. […]I liked this idea that taking a picture is sometimes more important than the picture itself.”
I love this dress with the goldfish print because it reminds me of print dresses I used to wear in my teenage years. It is fresh, it is young and it plays with the theme of surrealism; it’s amazing when designers experiment with outfits in order to convey different concepts and ideas.
As I have previously mentioned, JW Anderson closed the show with a model wearing a black t-shirt printed with a tribute to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, taken from the posters that commemorated her all over London.
3) SIMONE ROCHA: the Irish designer experimented a lot with light details and materials in her S/S 2023 collection. Some of the outfits on the runway were characterized by sumptuous dresses covered in sequined flowers, and the dress pictured above is surely one of my favorite. This collection was also the debut of Simone Rocha’s menswear line; we saw pastel colors and military green interspersing a series of total-black looks. This collection can be considered gender-fluid, presenting various contrasts like sequined flowers sewn on tulle fabric. The designer used lots of veils in the collection, even with menswear, and she also reinterpreted the male version of the trench coat. She told Vogue: “I wanted to work into this beautiful masculinity, and really think about the juxtaposition to everything I’ve done within the last decade with women, and see how that world plays out in the crossover between the two.” It was a bit difficult for me to pick just one look from this collection, because there were so many outfits that I enjoyed, including the couture-like bridal looks that closed the show.
4) TEMPERLEY LONDON: it was basically impossible to pick just one look from Temperley London S/S 2023, mainly because I would wear every single one of those outfits. The one I went for is not necessarily the first one I would pick to wear myself, but it enhances the silhouette in a way that is so chic, I could not resist! Alice Temperley, the designer behind the brand, divided the Spring/Summer 2023 collection in two different parts, spring and summer, creating two distinct narratives. The spring collection includes a range of wide-leg pants paired with jackets and floor-length dresses; the summer collection was inspired by the seaside, and this was influenced by Temperley’s atelier being based in Somerset.
The long floral dresses in chiffon create a very glamorous look for summer days at the beach. The designs are very romantic as usual and they focus a lot on the details, especially the floral embroidery.
5) HALPERN: the New York-born designer first came to London to study fashion at Central Saint Martins. The S/S 2023 collection designed by Halpern presented colorful prints and sequins on outfits made for various occasions, evoking a mood meant for celebration and parties. This show was like a big party reminiscent of the glamorous 80s and it was quite diversified. The first look, a light-blue cloak with a bow, paid homage to Her Majesty The Queen, as the model walked the runway with no background music. The first part of the show included long animalier dresses accessorized with long latex gloves and giant earrings, followed by outfits in velvet gently decorated with golden astronomical details. The second part of the show was a celebration for Barbie’s 60th anniversary, as Halpern considers it one of his biggest inspirations; he dedicated his eight final looks to the iconic Mattel doll. Colorful sequins and macro jewels are emblematic of this great S/S 2023 collection by Halpern. I love this animalier dress, and the giant tulle sleeves are what makes this evening-wear outfit unique and beautiful with that opulence so typical of the 80s.
6) CHRISTOPHER KANE: this show represented the designer returning to London Fashion Week after being absent for two years. The designer centered his S/S 2023 collection on nature and the human body; The collection was very focused on lingerie and consisted of minidresses with lace applications that are attached to plastic bands made to enhance the silhouette. A sort of anatomy lesson was being read on the soundtrack while the models marched on the runway, aiming to underline the fact that this collection is all about the body and the way it moves.
This dress printed with pink roses brilliantly expresses Kane’s interpretation of spring and the flowers become a key element of his work.
The British designer explained: “Flowers are symbolic of love and death. It was all these things: celebration or condolence”, which seemed to embrace the mood around London in the days following the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, as there was also a minute’s silence for the Queen before the show began.
7) ERDEM: the Anglo-Turkish designer presented his S/S 2023 collection among the colonnades of the British Museum (his shows used to be at the National Portrait Gallery and he is always been a fan of using museums as a location, since his very first show at the V&A). Since the show took place on the evening of Her Majesty The Queen’s funeral, his fashion show is dedicated to her memory, with a thin layer of transparent tissue covering the majority of the outfits.
The looks were very elegant and the main colors were white and yellow pastel; the subject of the work is the meticulousness of the restoration which takes place in museums. A print of an ancient Dutch incision from 17th century was on many of the clothes and jackets shown on the runway, as the incision was restored in collaboration with the museum for this specific event. This green pastel dress covered in a long white transparent veil and embellished with flower prints is one of the outfits that give the collection couture-like vibes and it is the symbol of a modern elegance which is also reminiscent of the past. It was definitely one of the most elegant outfits presented during London Fashion Week.
The images in this post link to the Vogue Runway website, where you will find all LFW SS2023 collections.
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