London Fashion Week can seem a bit of a chaotic time. From the outside it could look like a lot of fuss over frivolity, peacocks parading for street photographers and avant garde outfits sailing down catwalks in outrageous styles and unnatainable prices. For me the whole point of going to fashion week is just the same as visiting a museum or gallery. It's chance to see the outcomes of everything the designer/artist has most recently been obsessed and in love with. Their fascinations, what they have been dreaming, eating, living, and now created as beautiful things we can wear.
But the serious side of fashion means this is a crucial time for designers, their chance to promote and sell their creations to international buyers and gain press coverage for their work be seen and known. As Alexander Fury writes in Issue 1 of this Febs Fashion Daily; "There's one thing that frequently gets overlooked about the fashion business. Namely, it's a business...Hence I aplaud the BFC's new Business Pillar. It emphasises the industrious work behind fashion, which generates billions for the UK economy."
With all this in mind, I'm happy to say that the joy of fashion is still being upheld. The escapism, fun and enjoyment you can gain from what you wear keeps us creative and individual. This is what makes it such a lucrative business. Enough with the mundane, the sensible option, the reality of life. We can have that any-time. Here are some of the designers I saw with the theme of enjoying life and the freedom of wearing your favourite things, evoking a time of innocence, excitement and curiosity. So let's pour ourselves a bowl of (designer) sugary cereal and enjoy...
First up is Sadie Williams. I loved her collab for & Other Stories so it was great to see some of her catwalk pieces up close in their scrumptious textures. Indulge in softly metallic stripes reminiscent of luxurious Tunnock's teacakes and playful shapes assembled on diaphanous fabrics these were sophisticated, wearable versions of collages we might have pritt-sticked and glitter-glued out of sweetie wrappers at playtime.
Sadie says her own childhood was hands on and creative, with a DIY attitude encouraged by a mum who loved textiles. You can tell from the way these pieces seemed free and light, unaware of anything else apart from the enjoyment of colour, shape and texture.
These combinations of woven fabrics and futuristic flashes was like seeing a scrap box of snippets of salvaged fabrics curated with a magpie's eye. It makes sense that her mum also had a bric a brac stall, from these combinations of old and new stating her influences as "early constructivist Rodchenko and folky shapes" and with an auntie like Venetia Scott, Sadie really makes it work to feel fresh and desirable for a fashionable fan-base.
Walking on a Sugar High! I was addicted to these PEZ shoes- a fantastic idea dreamed up by Camilla Elphick.
My eye was immediately draw to Kirsty Ward's new collection as I wandered the corridors of Somerset House. Kirsty studied her Womenswear degree in my own old uni city of Manchester before her MA at London's Central Saint Martins. Her latest offerings featured sugary shades with baubles and beads reminiscent of strawberry bon bons and twists of licorice. "I like to make pieces that the wearer will love, with thought going into every last detail. I also love to mix jewellery with clothing - blurring the line where one stops and the other starts."
Kirsty Ward has also collaborated with another favourite of mine- William's Handmade, to make her neat but usefully sized and shaped bags to put the fun into functional with their embellished leather cubes in the same sweet palette.
Here are the rest of William's own bags in her new collection shown at London Fashion Week. These portable pouches, and takeaway totes are an everyday version of the asymmetrical silhouettes and jukebox inspired steamer trunks from her big luggage pieces I first fell in love with a few years ago.
I would have to combine this scarf from Cleo Ferin and and a pair of Termite shades for the ultimate brunch outfit.
So it looks like there's plenty of fun to come with the next Season's offerings from our designers. Let's enjoy having fun with fashion a little bit of what you fancy and a LOT OF WHAT YOU LOVE!