London Fashion Week is one of the most thrilling weeks of this Spring/Summer 2015 season. It is a week during which talent, creativity, and explosive vision come to life on the catwalk, in front of an international array of fashion professionals, editors, enthusiasts and world-wide acclaimed names.
Fashion East is a fantastic initiative, dedicated to fostering the tremendous talent flourishing in this English capital. Every season, young emerging designers are given the opportunity to showcase their work, as this season Helen Lawrence, Louise Alsop and Ed Marler made their strong debuts.
The show began with the designs of Helen Lawrence. Reminiscent of pastoral simplicity and ease, the models held slouchy bags overflowing with broccoli and corncobs, as if they were strolling to their village market. The collection had a general air of nostalgic hippy-ism, with flowers tucked in the strands of long uncombed hair, adorning innocent and fresh faces. Leather mules added to the bucolic feel of Lawrence’s inspiration with panels of deconstructed garments and various fabrics. Barely there tubes of matching knit cropped tops and mini skirts uncovered their tanned bodies, as if returning them to mother nature. One cannot help but feel the rising of a slight spoof of proclaimed ‘green-fashion’, with its coarse fabrics, wooden elements and the ever-prevailing colour green. Nevertheless, latex cutouts peeped through open slits or emerged from underneath bulkily knit sweaters, as if to pose of reminder of the unavoidable influence of futuristic approaches. Lawrence also collaborated with Slim Barrett, to create marrowbone jewellery pieces. Despite showing interesting assembling techniques, such as large cross stitches on knit, the wear-ability of the collection remains somewhat questionable, theme which resonated throughout Fashion East’s other two designers.
Helen Lawrence Spring/Summer 2015 Looks:
Louis Alsop made a strong introduction with symmetrical neoprene dresses cut out and centered along the spine. Although ill-fitting, the awkward movement of the garments on the model’s hips, waists and torsos somehow added to the spontaneity and edginess of the design. Worn with simple white laced up trainers, it was the attire of wild, careless urban youth. The disgruntled-looking models bore dreadlocks and smoky eyes, and adorned metal-loop hooks, evocative of dog collars. The outfits that followed were an attempt at a rough, spastic a rebel energy, but somehow failed in ticking the box of aesthetic quality. Unfinished hems and stringy edges may be a look yes, but it has to be executed with a clear reasoning and thought. Other attempts at a punk-like aesthetic, such a lacerated long jersey skirts, ineptly delivered the desired effect, as models struggled to walk, their legs uncomfortably hindered by the ill-fitting cut. Whereas Louise Alsops can and should be lauded for creating a modern amazon, a character of unrestricted energy, her experimental style was disservice by design and technical imperfections and lack of direction.
Louis Alsop Spring/Summer 2015 Looks:
Concluding the show was Ed Marler, a recent graduate of Central Saint Martins, who delivered what he called to be a ‘gang of vampires’. Having lived forever, the characters impersonating his collection had collected fabrics and garments throughout centuries, reworking them into their own, customised wardrobe. Marler seemed to be striving for a Vivienne Westwood-esque identity, somewhat conveying the same ideas, but through eclectic and glitzy fabrications. A series of incongruous elements were amassed, ranging from bulletproof vests to flourished bandanas with baroque gold work. The dysfunctional extravaganza was topped with makeshift paper crowns, giving a air of play ad make-belief to the designs.
Ed Marler Spring/Summer 2015 Looks:
Marler’s collection shines a light on a question that has forever loomed over the fashion-industry, and it most implausible creations: what is the point of it all? This young generation of future designers seems to be struggling to find an identity, the factor that will make their differentiation in a highly competitive and fast-passed market. However their discordant cries for attention and voice loses themselves in the face of an all too obvious determinant: is it wearable or not.