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London Fashion Week September 2023: Creativity Rises When the Chips are Down


It’s rather apt that the press view of Rebel: 30 Years of London Fashion at the Design Museum kick started the seasonal schedule of London Fashion Week (15th – 19th September 2023) shows. The likes of notable designers such as Alexander McQueen and Matty Bovan emerged from debut collections that were put together on a shoestring. Full of boundary-pushing, cutting-edge innovation their collections won over the fashion crowd and yet, in McQueen’s case, he was still signing-on at the time.

Moving on to 30-years later and the ups and downs of the economy can relate to today. McQueen launched his label in the midst of an economic downturn in the early 90’s and here we are again. Now, in 2023, we have a new roster of designers brimming full of talent and ideas ready to launch their vision on the London Fashion Week (LFW) platform. Be it digitally, physically, or both the September edition of LFW comprised of a packed schedule of designers from around the globe and there was something to suit everyone’s taste.

It’s no secret that fashion, in particular, is facing a tough time right now, BFC Chief Executive Caroline Rush, stated that while it is really tough at the moment, it is at times like these that “creativity really flourishes,” and it’s this optimism and hope that drives the industry forward. Creativity aside, it is tantamount that every designer understands, or at least has a partner that understands, the business side of their brand. There are lots of intricacies when dealing with fashion, from sourcing and production to marketing and sales, and it can be overwhelming. Putting on a catwalk show is an expensive undertaking and with other options available brands need to consider whether it is worth the financial risk.

That aside, read on to find out which designers impressed this season…

The Boundary Pushers:

For those old enough to remember Hussein Chalayan wowed the fashion pack back in 2000 with his table that turned into a dress. Similarly, the crowd were astounded this season with otherworldly sculptural designs by KWK by Kay Kwok. His Chapter 4 collection, seasons need not apply here, was created using 3D software and took expression and form into a futuristic and genderless arena. BFC NEWGEN recipient Harri meanwhile, introduced Chapter 3 of his inflatable latex creations. Described as wearable sculptures, Harri drew press attention when Sam Smith wore one of his blow up designs to the Brit Awards earlier this year, in this collection he experiments with air filled shoulders and bulbous pleats as well as adding relaxed wearables into the mix.

16th September 2023, The Block, London. KWK by Kay Kwok presents his catwalk show as part of London Fashion Week. © Chris Yates/ Chris Yates Media
16th September 2023, The Block, London. KWK by Kay Kwok presents his catwalk show as part of London Fashion Week. © Chris Yates/ Chris Yates Media

Showing at both London Fashion Week and Digital Fashion Week, Accidental Cutting by Eva Iszoro for the very first time presented the entire collection “ENJOY” with the use of artificial intelligence. Working with volume, layers and applying an experimental pattern cutting method the collection is described as the brand’s most joyful and carefree.

“ENJOY!” by Eva Iszoro / ACCIDENTAL CUTTING/, SS2024, uses artificial intelligence (AI) technology, so the models and the garments showcased are not real.

The Classics:

In contrast to the avant-garde are a selection of brands that have built a signature style based on traditional staples. All eyes were on Burberry and Chief Creative, Daniel Lee’s second outing for the iconic brand. For SS24 Lee tweaked Burberry classics such as the trench coat and dropped the waist to create a fresh take on the silhouette. Other established names such as Paul Costelloe accentuated small waists with high-rise cuts, while the likes of Bora Aksu, Roksanda, Erdem and Simone Rocha offered tweaked variations on their distinctive, winning styles. 

Paul Costelloe SS24 by Chris Daw
Paul Costelloe SS24 by Chris Daw

7 Take Away Trends From LFW SSW24:

Fluid Wide Leg Cuts 

Noon by Noor
Apujan by Chris Daw

Sharp Shoulders

De Fichier – Episode Three
15th June 2023, London, Chiang Wen Hsuan, FJU Talents present their catwalk show as part London Fashion Week. © Maja Smiejkowska/ Chris Yates Media

Totally Recycled

18th Sept 2023, Kachette (Old Street) 3 Drysdale St, London, Noki SS24 present their catwalk show as part London Fashion Week. © Olu Ogunshakin / Chris Yates Media
Helen Kirkum – Cobbled Together image by Bernhard Deckhart

A Flash of Skin

Malan Breton by Chris Daw
Apujan by Chris Daw

Lace & Broderie Anglaise

Paul Costelloe SS24 by Chris Daw
Noon by Noor

Black & White

Kim Perets at Fashion Scout by Chris Daw

Take it to the Maxi

Gazal Mishra by Chris Daw

FEL CEO Jenny Holloway commented: “At FEL we have always excelled at combining industry with the learning environment. I’ve spoken to many Fashion Technology Academy learners and apprentices that really appreciate reviews on the very latest in trends in terms of colour, style, fabric and print.

“A big thank-you to the marketing team that attended and reported back and to catwalk photographer Chris Daw.”

JoJo Iles

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