The House. Richard Quinn AW20

I want it to be London-centric, but looking out towards the world,Richard Quinn declared after his autumn-winter 2020 show. The set – a house facade with his name above the door – was right there. And then the doors opened and the inhabitants, smothered head to foot in crystal and pearl from gimp masks to shoes, began to walk out. The first two were a bedazzling haute-couture beaded sublimation of a London king and queen. GOD SAVE THE QUIN was embroidered amongst their insanely armored finery. Yes, Quinn debuted menswear. That was a surprise. “If we’re building a house, we need men and women in it,” said Quinn. “I’m imagining a house with rooms that have all these different people living in these interiors, whether they’re the harsh, dark and sexy S&M ones, or the more romantic ones.” The idea – and a very Yves-Saint-Laurent-meets-Christian-Lacroix execution – feels appealing. But I just can’t get why Quinn, whose label is so young, does nearly the same thing over and over again. I understand that he wants to establish the brand’s codes, but isn’t it too early to be so retrospective? The dresses come in identical silhouettes every season, while his prints – which are also his house-made signature! – always end on big florals. He’s a big talent, but I really want to see his creativity go elsewhere from time to time.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Personal. Dilara Findikoglu AW20

Dilara Findikoglu is a designer who injects cultural commentary into each of her collections, having spoken out about climate change, women’s rights, marriage equality and gender disparity in recent seasons. For autumn-winter 2020, she’s speaking out for herself. Backstage, Findikoglu explained how events in her personal life led her into a deep introspection. She psychoanalyzed herself in this collection, christening her models into two sects: light Dilara and dark Dilara. The division didn’t exactly correlate to a color palette or silhouette, but was more about mood. As is her habit, each look was named. Here are some of the most brilliant looks: “Mother” was a blooming harness top in fuchsia with a red, slashed-away maxi skirt. “Self Destruction” was a viciously ruched dress that appeared on the runway on a model holding a white cat. “Borderline” was a ruched black bodysuit, “Insecurity” was strips of silver fabric with floral appliques worn with a bridal veil that came after “Future”, a similar ensemble cut out of blood red fabric. A crimson tweedy skirt suit with a logo belt was called “Gabrielle” (as in Chanel). “Enfant Terrible”, long-sleeved corset top with low-slung skirt, would work for day job goths, as would “Real World”, Findikoglu’s version of a business suit with pointed breasts darted into its vest and high-cut briefs stitched into the trouser. Pretty much always (if we aren’t speaking of anonymous, fast-fashion studios, of course) a designer’s collection is somehow autobiographical and personal, but in case of Findikoglu, this really blurs the lines between fashion and psychology.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Your Inner Child. Molly Goddard AW20

Freeing your inner child through fashion began this season at Alessandro Michele’s Gucci menswear and recently has also appeared at one of my favourite labels in London – Molly Goddard. In lieu of a press release, Goddard sent out a throwback London street style photo as the explainer for her new collection. First published in Fruits, the cult Japanese magazine, back in 1992, the image features just the kind of cool-looking dad and daughter duo you’d expect find on bohemian Portobello Road: him in distressed denim-on-denim and a baker boy hat, his insanely cute sidekick dressed in a tiny ruffled skirt over jeans and a chunky knit sweater. “The little girl is me!” said Goddard backstage at the autumn-winter 2020 show. “I remember those times growing up in Notting Hill so fondly, and really wanting to get dressed up for the market and all the characters who lived there.” In this joyful line-up, you could trace the influence of her toddler self, starting with an exploding blue taffeta dress that was layered over a salmon pink cardigan and worn with chunky creepers, then topped off with a beanie hat that was topped with a giant bow (the accessory of the season is here!). Then, things got even better: Molly’s signature tulle dresses in crayon kept on growing in size, while her sense of layering made it all look somehow… wearable. Goddard showed menswear for the first time this season, largely inspired by her musician-turned-fashion-PR boyfriend Tom Shickle. “He always moans that there’s nothing for him to wear, so I made a suit,” said Goddard, laughing. The retro-leaning checkered tailoring she created had a nerdy sway about it, something you could imagine Jarvis Cocker might have worn in the 1990s. One of these Fair Isle cardigans, please!

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.