During London Fashion Week, designers recall their childhood memories

How do you speed up a mediocre fashion week? The question has arisen in London since the heavyweights slipped: This season, JW Anderson left for Milan; Craig Green, Alexander McQueen and Burberry play it personally, off-season. From February 17 to 22, Fashion Week responded by betting on coherent and above all embodied proposals. In the British capital, a haven of creativity that makes convention fly, designers have mainly tried to tell their story, often favoring a childhood memory as the starting point for their collections.

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After maternity leave, Molly Goddard returns to top form and gives an appointment at a gym near Hyde Park. The smocked tulle dresses that made their name are still there, but they’ve lost their princely volume for more refreshing combinations. They are worn with oversized sweaters like kids put on to dress up, or mutate into bags. “I wanted an unbridled and mixed silhouette, very 80s”, the decade when her mother’s best friend who inspired her ran the Portobello market and tinkered with hybrid outfits. In 2022, those memories will resurface on her models, in old floral denims, leggings and large gray coats, plaid and cable knit cardigans, platform soles and naive T-shirts with a winged horse. “This is a print of The Story of Twinkya children’s book by Betty Larom that I have always admired »specifies the thirty-something.

Molly Godard.

At Simone Rocha, the story before you go to bed is that of: Children of Lir, “an Irish legend in which two boys and two little girls turn into swans for nine hundred years and die when they return to their human form”, she says. In the solemn setting of Lincoln’s Inn, a 15th-century buildingand century in which English bar lawyers are trained today, it wanted to “translating the stages of this mythical story into clothing”. After the metamorphosis begins (taffeta coats and games to represent wings), she sets the scene of a lake (silver crystals reflecting the water’s reflection; undulating blue organza like a wave) and then increases the tension until the bloody denouement (a virginal dress stained with red vinyl).

The memories of childhood films remain in the memory forever, here they are invited to Priya Ahluwalia and Michael Halpern. The first, of Indo-Nigerian descent, draws on her teenage experiences with Bollywood and Nollywood hits to envision a colorful wardrobe borrowing suits and saris and turning posters into prints.

Priya Ahluwalia.

Sportswear and Nollywood

The second is more Hollywood trendy and draws its specialty – spectacular sequined or draped dresses. “I thought of the feminine character of Mrs. Satanby Cecil B. DeMille, a woman seeking to win back her unfaithful husband, and to Katherine DeMille herself »the American explains. However, his parade does not take place on the red carpet, but at the Recreation Centre, a gymnasium in Brixton that offers sports activities and houses a food bank. Halpern, whose brand has taken on a social dimension since the pandemic (he had signed a collection in 2020 around the “first jobs” of Covid-19), integrated the teams in the preparation of the show and financed the electrification of the building. “What interests me remains glamorous and artisan fashion, but moved to a different context to take it out of the salons for the privileged”he defends.

Michael Halpern.

Newcomers to the calendar also draw on their youth. Steven Stokey-Daley, the sensation of the September edition, whose menswear is characterized by its romance and its theatrical staging (this time choreographed hugs between the models), especially remembers his years of apprenticeship, in the flowered pyjamas, uniforms or plaid suits.

Steven Stoky Daley.

Beginner Maximilian Davis reveals well-cut tailoring and pieces reminiscent of his Shropshire childhood. Belted jackets suggest the cult of riding; a crown of thorns prints her Catholic upbringing; the short vinyl jackets resembled the bikers he encountered on his way to school.

Maximilian Davis.
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“Making fashion by talking about yourself is more fun”, says Irishman Robyn Lynch. Along with her masculine silhouettes made from surplus Columbia tech jackets and bead-embroidered trousers, she sent photos of her father’s soccer jerseys to Synflux, a Japanese creative lab. “Their algorithm reassembled the 1995, 2002 or 2007 sweaters into a new, more abstract form, which I reprinted on cotton. † A way to revisit his past.

Robin Lynch.

Daniel W. Fletcher has redesigned an old Levi’s T-shirt from his father, Pete, in a red and white leather tank top. His recent death inspired him to create a vibrant and moving collection, celebrating the Manchester club (of which he was a fan) and his love of rock. Attending a memorable Rolling Stones concert together in 2002, the designer parades to the beat of paint it black, proud boys in cream silk or navy striped suits very Mick Jagger. Their faces are veiled in organza, evoking both a mourning mantilla and a nod to the album cover. Goat’s head soup.

Daniel W. Fletcher.

Finally, at the Tate Britain, for graphic sculptures in painted wood by the artist Eva Rothschild, Roksanda Ilincic invites her world to a collection in which we recognize her flowing trousers and glittering dresses. But this time, in collaboration with equipment manufacturer Fila, she added a sportswear touch through monumental neon dresses and epic puffer bags. “I wanted to escape my territory and apply my couture-inspired vocabulary to sport”, she says. Was hidden in the crowd “the most important of [ses] VIP » : Her daughter, who came to the show with the whole elementary school. What, perhaps, to make memories for the next generation of British designers.

Roksanda Ilincic.
Also read: London Fashion Week: after the screen, the parade becomes a live show

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