Words Ruta Jane
Major news of the Queen’s passing has hit London just before the London Fashion Week. Highly anticipated brands like Burberry and Raf Simons would no longer be having their runway shows out of respect for the mourning period. Many other brands had to follow in their footsteps due to restricted access to the venues or the cancellation of all the parties that did not match the requirements of the collection presentations. Despite the disruptions, London Fashion Week has carried on. It was quiet and respectful, nonetheless, the Spring/Summer 2023 season has come with a visual bang and did not disappoint.
To no one’s surprise, this Spring/Summer season, florals and colours are flourishing, but whether intentionally or not, there was a certain darkness in the collections. A big funeral staple — lace, has made a comeback, as seen in Nensi Dojaka, JW Anderson, Christopher Kane, Erdem, and the most melancholic of them all — Richard Quinn.
The tribute to the late monarch was loud and clear in Richard Quinn’s SS23 runway show. The Queen has previously sat in the front row of his show in the 2018 making her fashion week debut and awarded him with the first annual Queen Elizabeth II Award for Design, which has boosted the designer’s career significantly. Richard Quinn has closed this London Fashion Week marking the end of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign with models wearing dazzling black mourning veils, tiaras and the Queen’s staple — a large hat, while still including his signature latex features. The first 22 black looks have been created in 10 days following the Queen’s death.
Following the tribute to the monarch, the original SS23 collection has blossomed, models have walked out in astonishing beaded flowery dresses and bodysuits, with oversized roses on their necks, continuing to colourful coats and the big finale — the wedding gown, which featured white floral embroidery and a long veil covering the model’s face, overshadowing the grief in the rest of the collection.
Richard Quinn Spring 2023 Ready-to-wear
The master of the clean and bizarre mix JW Anderson has shown his skills yet again in his new SS23 collection. From a goldfish in a plastic bag to elegant silk dresses with lace detailing, the collection had it all. Fairly simple silhouettes were covered in keyboard keys, turned upside down, had a map of the planet or postcard picture prints and last, but not least, a giant metal ball dress reflecting the lights and the audience. JW Anderson has really bent our minds with his ability to make something simple into fashionable art pieces. The collection has also included elegant shoulder, leg or hip baring dresses, as well as oversized streetwear combos. And of course, a black graphic T‑Shirt with a tribute to the Queen. When I say he had it all, he really had it all.
JW Anderson Spring 2023 Ready-to-wear
This season Christopher Kane has given us a chic anatomy lesson. From the forensic soundtrack, anatomical prints of the body parts to vinyl structures resembling the ribs, it was a playful body of work balanced with pastels, flowers, cupcake shaped dresses and lace detailing. See-through vinyl details were seen throughout the entire collection giving it a sharp and sexy edge next to the soft colours and fabrics of the rest of the garments. Kane’s play with unusual fabrics have paid off again in this sweet and feminine, yet highly sharp and sexual SS23 collection.
Christopher Kane Spring 2023 Ready-to-wear
S.S. Daley has taken us to the English countryside for his SS23 collection. But first, an important mention of the diversity on his runway. Whilst many designers have started including models of wider measurements in their womenswear collections, S.S. Daley is one of the first to do that in menswear and we love to see it.
The love letters between Vita Sackville West and Violet Trefusis were the inspiration of S.S Daley SS23 collection. Their codeword for love — rabbit, was a major statement throughout. Models wearing the bunny ears and the prints of the rabbits have appeared on the runway together with the countryside staple — botanical prints. In addition, very classic shapes have dominated the collection including cardigans, blazers and pleated trousers making it an overall fascinating look into a forbidden upper class love story.
S.S Daley Spring 2023 Ready-to-wear
Yet another delicately detailed Nensi Dojaka’s collection appeared during London Fashion Week. Her signature chiffon dresses and strappy bralettes have mesmerised the runway. This season she has also included cut out heart-shaped details, lace and shimmery fabrics. Two-tone jeans were also a new addition for Dojaka, paired with an oversized blazer or a silver top. The designer has closed the show with three similar striking long see-through gowns in beige, black and burgundy. A very feminine yet powerful SS23 collection.
Nensi Dojaka Spring 2023 Ready-to-wear
Corsets, florals and tulle have dominated the Erdem’s Spring/Summer23 collection. Always romantic yet contemporary pieces included various textures, shapes and even raw hems. Soft fabrics and sharp details have created the perfect balance for the eye. All of the collection was paired with black flat shoes giving the edginess to the overall look. The collection was finished with three black and white gowns covered in long back veil, as a tribute to the Queen.