Spectacle. Richard Quinn SS20

Richard Quinn‘s spring-summer 2020 collection was LFW’s theatrical finale that consisted of extremely dramatic gowns, Erin O’Connor’s appearance, and even more of signature floral prints the designer is so loved for. Quinn’s show also featured a gaggle of schoolgirls adorned in fantastical white feathers. The baby-birds walked the runway alongside a matching bridal look (Richard’s new venture) at the show’s close. The designer’s aim was for the show to be “a fashion sanctuary, where we can all come and celebrate”. While majority of the looks felt like a grand déjà vu of his previous collections, the entire spectacle was impressive. But then, do we need constant newness from designers like Quinn, who already have their well-established style and continue to thrive?

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Eco-Sexual. Christopher Kane SS20

Leave it to Christopher Kane to talk about sex in fashion. After his memorable The Joy of Sex collection, there are certainly no more tabu subjects for the designer. His spring-summer 2020 collection, entitled Eco-Sexual, was another chapter of his sex-in-fashion journey. “It’s about people who love nature,” Kane said backstage. “Making love in nature. Being in touch with the earth. Sleeping with the stars! We’ve had a lot of fun coming up with words for it in the studio.” The first looks were all about the print, which was actually a photograph he and his team took this summer in a local park. Florals for spring? Ground-breaking. But no, this wasn’t just about flowers. The next looks refered to Christopher’s past collections: 2011’s neon lace, neo-corsetry from his debut collection in 2007 and plastic, fluid-filled patches that appeared many times throughout his line-ups. All that adds up and creates a distinct Christopher Kane look. There were also outer-space prints on sweatshirts, statuesque gowns with galactic views all over them and lunar landscapes in infrared. This surely is one of the best collections from London fashion week. Just one think I would love the label to consider: it’s great we’re talking about sex, but if we also mention eco, it would be more than welcome to see some specific, sustainability-forward steps Kane’s brand can take. A good idea to consider for the next season.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Odd Elegance. JW Anderson SS20

For the second season now, Jonathan Anderson seems to be experimenting with odd elegance at his name-sake label. There’s something both ritualistic and futuristic about his draped tunics with jewelled bras tied on with rope straps, and chunky, crystal studded belts worn to one side of the hip. Who is this woman? Where is she heading to? There’s something unexplainably refined about her, and definitely elusive. Tailored jackets and coats with contrasting lapels where also embellished with rhinestones, in circular patterns, while the mainly earthy colour palette was contrasted with the least expected detail: silver and gold lamé. Non-chalance is the new norm for spring-summer 2020, that’s visible across countless of shows we’ve seen up to date. The fringed, knitted and highly crafted elements felt Loewe-ish, which is actually new to J.W. Anderson (the designer never mixes his codes between the two brands he designs at). Still, they work in this collection very well, even though they might not match at a first glance.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Tina Modotti. Erdem SS20

This season, Erdem Moralioglu‘s collection was inspired by Tina Modotti, who photographed Mexico’s sights and people’s daily life, simultaneously participating in bohemian circles with Mexican intellectuals and artists such as Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera. Erdem characterized his spring-summer 2020 muse as “a romantic and revolutionary, a woman of principle. Each outfit was like a postcard from a part of her life.” The pictures of Modotti’s life were the main reference behind Erdem’s voluminous, vibrant proportions, the exaggerated shape of yoke blouses, hand-made floral embroideries and the gorgeous fringed shawls. “It was the waistless-ness, tiers, the combination of Victorian dress and traditional dress that interested me,” he said. The season’s colours appeared to be as bold as the silhouette. Erdem had spent time at the Casa Luis Barragán in Mexico City, which already suggests the palette: the amazing, saturated cardamom, yellows, and pinks. Stunning.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

Wren-girls. Simone Rocha SS20

The story behind Simone Rocha‘s phenomenal spring-summer 2020 might not be that obvious – especially if you’ve got nothing to do with Irish origins. “I was thinking about the Irish wren-boys, who go hunt and kill a wren on St. Stephen’s Day in Ireland—punkish boys who go knocking on doors, kind of like trick-or-treaters,” said the designer backstage. “So I wanted to bring that masculinity to the table, but also turn and look into the houses of the people whose doors they knock on – at the Delft china, the tablecloths, the wallpaper.” More explanation: it’s about the pre-Christian wren-boy tradition: the day-after-Christmas parade when men dress in straw outfits,  capture a wren, and knock on neighborhood doors to demand money. Some of the girls in Rocha’s line-up had wren feathers painted on their foreheads. The straw was used in basket bags, while in some looks it could have been spotted as an armor covering the dresses. Although the reference might have killed the collection with its heaviness, Rocha created something subtle, magical. Yes, magical. There were hints of something raw and ritualistic: blasts of folk music, straw sashes and crocheted raffia. The delicate blue-and-white ruffles and the nods to old tablecloths and curtains you can find in your relative’s attic brought even more of mystical nostalgia you feel charmed by as a kid. The floor-sweeping gowns that closed the show had something very witchy about them, even etheral. This collection instantly becomes one of my favourites of the season.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.