London Fashion Week Digital Experience

     This season’s London Fashion Week was entirely virtual, due to the world’s pandemic, civil discord felt around the world, and lockdown closures still ongoing. The average consumer would have found the event lacking with respect to showcases in fashion. The virtual experiment proved helpful in many respects for fashion insiders looking to converse on Zoom in round table discussions about the future of the industry. 

There were very few previews of designer collections, but the few of note by the London Fashion Council during this weekend’s digital event were refreshing and focused on sustainability. Designers showcased included Nicholas Daley, Robyn Lynch’s capsule collection film showcase, Ahluwalia @ahluwalia_studio with a medley of repurposed scarves and denim work together inspired by her heritage Nigerian roots born in London. Daniel W. Fletcher’s video day in the life diary and studio showcase of hand painted detailing on fabric and collection were inspiring for any upcoming designer wanting to see behind the scenes. 

     I was particularly impressed with two collections showcased this weekend. First, Marques Almeida, who’s patchwork designs, lux fabrics, and use of bright colors in a new way, could pull off sustainability and repurposing while maintaining a feeling of luxury. While Label Preen by Thornton Bregazzi also utilized sustainability in the collection while staying on attend with some of the most wearable pieces today. My favorite piece being the slip dress with lace detailing. By far, probably a favorite this week of the digital, “season-less” collections. I was impressed with the beauty, use of rich colors, and feminine details throughout. A must watch from London for purchase in your wardrobe. 

The majority of the highlights were the round table Zoom discussions. Although, there were a few musical performances, a delightful spoken word piece by James Messiah, and a few quick videos of London Week Favorited sponsors/shops, the vast majority of London Fashion Week were discussions. A conversation with Lou Dalton, menswear designer along with 3 of her most notable collaborators, focused on creativity, relevance, reflection, and insight in the age of industry change due to COVID-19. The discussion gave an inside awareness of a fatigue with feeding the machine with season after season of unsustainable goods and new creative thinking to move fashion forward. They didn’t delve exceedingly deep into identifying barriers to creation, but clearly noted these are the current challenges for designers today that must be overcome to survive in the industry. 

 London fashion week was minimal, but still impactful in opening our eyes to see there is a better way. As consumers, we can better inform the industry of our needs and support our environment better, now that we see just how the machine works. We can shop more informed of what we are buying, technology used, and its impact on the environment. The industry can also show more diversity and move towards new paradigms as it evolves in all its forms.