It’s eighteen months ago that London fashion crowds trampled the streets with a distinctive, head-turning look, tossing between shows in cultural landmarks across the city and celebrating the spirit of the British capital for creativity and community. Much has changed since then. Brands are closed, stores are closed, and our means of communication have changed. The London Fashion Week scheme has become gender free.
But a warm optimism and anticipation filled the seats at S / S 2022’s shows and presentations, as viewers celebrated the joy of seeing a new clothing collection in real life: the vividness of a color, the texture of a fabric, the unveiling of a silhouette, by budding marks and behemoths, from 2021 LVMH award winner Nensi Dojaka to Erdem, SS Daley to Roksanda. Here are eight things to know about the British capital’s return to fashion and London Fashion Week S / S 2022.
London Fashion Week S / S 2022: everything you need to know
LFW: ‘F’ is for friendship
A sense of community is an integral part of London’s fashion scene, a unit brought into focus by the talent incubator Fashion East, which celebrated its 20th anniversary at The Standard Hotel in London. For S / S 2022, Goomheo, Maximilian, HRH, Jawara Alleyne and Chet Lo made up the budding talent list, the Asian-American designer Lo debuted with a series of futuristic 3D-knitted designs, inspired by the holiday life. Elsewhere, Simone Rocha celebrated her brand’s tenth birthday with a party with longtime partner Dover Street Market. A church installation in stained glass housed a special festive collection with archival pieces and upcycled tablecloths made in collaboration with Lunch magazine.
Matchesfashion celebrated its Innovators initiative, a conversation project that sees its latest team of new talent, including Harris Reed, Chopova Lowena and Grace Wales Bonner speak to their creative heroes. At a party in the retailer’s majestic Carlos Place townhouse, guests talked about sweet mini pizzas in boxes printed with his signature marbled motif.
Richard Malone – fresh from a trip as a gallery curator – marked his collaboration with Mulberry with a show at the Victoria & Albert Musuem. Models slid against a backdrop of breathtaking Renaissance artwork with sporty sculptural splice designs, from carved wrinkled dresses to patchwork leather coats, made using upcycled Mulberry fabrics. They also carried the designer’s accessory interpretations for Mulberry Editions – bold, graphic take on the brand ‘Bayswater’ and ‘Darley’ bags.
Another way to ward off the community-focused energy at London Fashion Week? Huff and cheers from the audience as Nensi Dojaka took a bow on the runway at her S / S 2022 final, or hugged Maximilian Davis’ mother gave him the post-show considering the smiling guests.
The city still lives in splendor
After long months of lockdown and social and physical restrictions, the British capital is slowly but surely regaining its buzz. Nothing exemplified this more than the various venues where London brands chose to stage their shows. To celebrate the 15th anniversary of his named label, Erdem hosted an intimate landing show outdoors among the classic colonnades of the British Museum, framed by a rainbow that appeared at the show’s finale.
Rejina Pyo hot-footed across East London and staged her show at the Zaha Hadid-designed London Aquatics Center in Stratford, which hosted events during the 2012 Olympics. Simone Rocha showcased her collection at the medieval church of St Bartholomew the Great. Roksanda returned to its normal Serpentine Galleries location. And Kiko Kostadinov looked at the roof of Selga’s Cano-designed workspace Second Home.
More gritty took Knwl’s guests to a dimly lit underground car park behind Oxford Street, while Edward Crutchley shone colorful lasers and smoke across the unfinished concrete interior of Collins’ Music Hall. Saul Nash brought back memories of going to school in Hackney for his distinctive performance-focused runway show, featuring male models sporting hybrid tracksuits and Nikes and getting changed in front of the crowd at bus stops.
Skimpy is smart
Supriya Lele S / S 2022. Photo: Chris Yates Media
Let’s hear it to brag about the female form. In continuation of the glamor and body sports chic at New York Fashion Week S / S 2022, a large number of brands embraced shameless body-con silhouettes. Supriya Lele brought a confident, adult vibe to her colorful, 1990s-centric shapes with cut-out soft-necked halterneck dresses, daring bodysuits paired with wrap skirts and cropped bomber jackets. Inspired by archetypal silhouettes, she reinterpreted a man’s oversized vest as a pure sequin mesh dress and imagined a pair of pure mesh capri pants attached to the navel. ‘The collection is about evolution and pushes the brand forward,’ Lele told Wallpaper *. ‘It’s about confirming what we’re good at.’
Nensi Dojaka, which won this year’s LVMH Award, developed its signature lingerie-centric LBDs, updated its transparent straps with pink and brown, and added knitwear and tailoring, such as tuxedos and oversized blazers. Elsewhere, Knwls brought heavy metal-biker-girl-glam to her sexy skin-tight silhouettes with bleached denim, cracked leather, sand-sprayed shades, and cowboy hats.
Men’s clothing is in the mix
S / S 2022 saw the men’s and women’s catwalk schedule physically merge. Cue Saul Nash’s school-inspired sportswear takes, complete with Nikes, Kickers and tracksuits printed with the Hackey-born designer TFL travel card; plus Molly Goddard’s menswear development, which saw silhouettes inspired by children’s clothing, and models with sporty heart-motif intarsia knits, thigh-revealing shorts and ballet pumps. Upcycling wunderkind SS Daley’s debut catwalk show featured whimsical, upcycled silhouettes, from paisley suits to rugby shirts, voluminous trousers to robes, while Stefan Cooke looked at classic wardrobe pieces, such as training trousers, polo shirts, vests and bomber jackets, gen oeil effects, cheerful dance-female motifs, cable-knitted appliqué and chain mail.
Put your sights on distant horizons
Not surprisingly, a host of designers set their sights on escapist scenes. At Fashion East, Maximilian looked with a nostalgic nod to the sun-drenched colors and vitality of the islands of the Caribbean, inspired by memories of family visits to Trinidad, which presented ocean colors, reds inspired by the island’s scarlet ibis bird, and clothes that riff on carnival attendees. .
Chet Lo’s innovative knitwear also looked at sun-drenched stays, the tones of tropical cocktails and the contours of pool-inflatables.
Laura and Deanna Fanning looked to the streets around north London as they went under lockdown for Kiko Kostadinov’s A / W 2021 collection; but for S / S 2022, they looked to the sunny shores of their home country Australia, where they have not returned since the Covid-19 pandemic hit. Looking at beach literature by Kathy Lett and Tim Winton, the brand’s collection refers to surf, salt-baked tones from sand to oceanic blues, the undulating forms of waves and the relaxed lightness of the beach. Wrap skirts were adorned with shells, blouses had flowing handkerchief shapes, and rib knits were considered inverted cardigans. ‘For many Australians, the coast is such a common aspect of growing up that it can be a fetishised and commercialized norm. That being said, there are so many beautiful parts of the coast that really give you a sense of perspective, relief and a moment to reflect in its serenity and frugality. When we could not return home, we really felt a sense of longing for the tranquility and balance that coastal walks and moments give us, “the sisters told Wallpaper *.
The show must (not) continue
Not all brands were left on the catwalk, with notable exceptions to the schedule were Burberry, Christopher Kane and Chalayan. Margaret Howell skipped a physical show in favor of a movie and a small collection of accompanying appointments — the perfect way for the brand to allow editors to touch the tactile, time-consuming production and attention to clipping and comfort that the label spends hours on To consider . Chalky, paint-like textures were central to the men’s and women’s collection, featuring pastel-colored simple striped dresses, Mackintosh-designed boxy cagoules, casual unlined tailoring and school-inspired styling. ‘Every season there are a lot of tweaks going on,’ Howell Wallpaper * told of silhouettes nodding to heritage styles in the brand’s extensive archive.
Prince of party clothes Halpern also avoided a physical show in favor of a digital film created in collaboration with The Royal Ballet. At the Royal Opera House, the dancers spun in flowing silk dresses and dresses soaked in colorful fringes. JW Anderson also skipped an IRL show and instead debuted a collectible film and in-store activations at the brand’s 6a-designed Soho boutique.
The world is a stage (and a swimming pool)
Theatricality was high on the agenda for a host of immersive, performance-focused shows. At the London Aquatics Center in Stratford, Rejina Pyo displayed a colorful print-sprayed collection of Canadian tuxedos, dresses with puritanical collars, wrinkled skirts and oversized tailoring. At the show’s finale, models climbed up into the room’s diving boards and were joined by members of the GB diving team, who wore cool swimming costumes and performed breathtaking dives in the swimming pool below.
Roksanda returned to its favorite Serpentine Pavilion venue design for 2021 by South African architectural practice Counterspace, using Portuguese cork and bricks made from construction waste — with a show-cum performance, created in collaboration with choreographer Holly Blakey. Dancers climbed seats, crawled across the floor and climbed on each other’s shoulders in a performance inspired by layered human emotions and tensions, wearing the designer’s colorful, motion-driven pieces, such as bell sleeves, fringed dresses and a sloppy fit.
Menswear designer Steven Stokey-Daley — whose star began to rise after his whimsical, upcycled designs were sported by Harry Styles — got members of the National Youth Theater for his brand SS Daley’s debut catwalk show, with a performance riffing on notions of masculinity, stereotypes of public and private school, power structure and class. The designer developed these fascinations while studying at the University of Westminster, which has a campus overlooking Harrow Schools rubgy fields. Meanwhile, Charles Jeffrey returned to dramatic form and staged ‘Portal’ at the gruesome metalworks in Islington, with models walking among laser beams and sporting century-exciting garments, flames in flames with burning candles.
Mother is the word
Simone Rocha recently gave birth to her second daughter, and for S / S 2022 she had motherhood at heart. The designer referred to ‘Sleep walking, mothering’, ‘Communion dress’, ‘Baby teeth and lack of sleep’ in his collection notes, which included voluminous cotton nightgowns edged with brocade and embroidery anglaise, girly ballet shoes, ethereal layers of petticoats, ribbon details, cardigans and beaded crowns. . Spring spoke of vulnerability and strength.
Elsewhere, Molly Goddard – who is on maternity leave after giving birth to her first son – subtly alludes to her new role as a mother, looking at baby and children’s clothes she has collected over time and bursting silhouettes like smock dresses to adult proportions. §