Although all expectations were directed towards a dark and pessimistic show due to the current socio-political situation of the country that has established Brexit, the catwalks were manifested with trends that sparked joy rather than sense and gargantuan gowns. This season London Fashion Week, with a focus on sustainability, showcased a heady mix of schedule regulars ,breadth of exciting new and emerging talent alongside established favourites. Here, a recap of what you can't miss:
For the first time, London Fashion Week host public-facing catwalk shows from A-COLD-WALL, AlexaChung, House of Holland and Self-Portrait. Fashion fans could purchased tickets at 135 pounds and Front Row tickets at 245 pounds to the immersive fashion experience.
EXTINCTION REBELLION, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH
The future is quality not quantity and less is more sustainable.The activist group tapped into fashion week’s conscience. Manifesting in the street during London Fashion, they prompted us all to reconsider how and why we consume clothing – and at what expense.
Vivienne Westwood, Asai, Shrimps and Ashley Williams didn't feature on the schedule. Peter Pilotto moved his show to Milan. Mary Katrantzou headed to Athens and Grace Wales Bonner opted for private appointments.
INTRUDERS IN WOMEN'S CLOTHING
Are the genres in fashion becoming unified? Designers like Samuel Ross, Craig Green and Bobby Able - who are mainly dedicated to men's clothing design - were integrated into the women's fashion week parade for greater visibility
Fashion for Relief is a personal charity set up by Naomi Campbell, which is dedicated to fighting poverty, sickness and distress. The all-time supermodel brought her charity runway show back to her hometown to raise money towards disadvantaged communities in London.
For the very first time, the United Nations brought the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, also known as The Global Goals to London Fashion Week. A universal route map and call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that every global citizen enjoys peace and prosperity by 2030.
In addition, Pause Conscious, the global movement that showcases sustainable fashion around the world, came to London for its ninth edition. The pop-up featured 80 sustainable designers and combined shopping with art, live performances, music, and educational experiences.
THE POST BOX MAZE BY ANYA HINDMARCH
To celebrate London Fashion Week, and the launch of its Postbox bag, Anya Hindmarch built an immersive art installation inspired by M. C. Escher’s mural, designed for The Hague Post Office.
“FITTING ROOMS” by IKEA and Virgil Abloh
IKEA unveiled the first look of the new MARKERAD collection with Virgil Abloh, with an interactive pop up open to the public, seeking to get people statement-dressing their homes just as they do with their clothes.
BOBBY ABLE (DEBUT)
Next stop? Paris Fashion Week from 23rd of September. Keep posted!
Who says it's not possible to succeed by remaining true to yourself in an industry as competitive, changing and demanding as fashion?
Founded in the mid-1990s by designer Consuelo Castiglioni and her husband Gianni, Marni has achieved success by remaining true to its vision and identity, as concrete as recognizable. Conceptual and sophisticated. Austere and imaginative. Timeless and avant-garde, Marni - ignoring trends and despising red carpets - has established itself at the epicentre of the fashion landscape.
The Italian brand has become well known - and much appreciated - for its unconventional forms, its shocking prints, its ugly shoes and its fantasy jewellery. Gallerists, Architects and Fashion Creatives such as Mario Testino and Jamie Hawkesworth are among its dedicated fanbase.
With its particular European-inspired aesthetics, Marni has evolved over the years into today's aerodynamic style maintaining its peculiar balance of antagonistic concepts, impregnating modern classics with a peculiar bohemian inflection.
In 2013 Marni became part of OTB, an international group that brings together and promotes the development of alternative brands in the luxury sector such as Diesel and Maison Margiela. Shortly afterwards, the Castiglioni family handed over the creative direction of Marni to Francesco Risso - a former student of the Centre de Saint-Martins and Creative Director for more than ten years at Prada - who renewed and reinforced the brand codes with a spirit of irreverence and anti-conformism.
Inspired by sources as varied as the Dada art movement of the early 20th century, childhood memories and Japanese deconstructionists, Risso expanded the Italian brand's tailoring vocabulary by fusing Castiglioni's radiant colours and uncommon quality with elements of the art world and a total rejection of industry conventions.
Marni has recently stopped working with fur and on the subject of sustainability, Risso believes that as a company, they are taking steps to improve certain areas, particularly in regard to fabrics. They also have a charitable programme, Marni Market, that works with communities making artisanal products.
As one of the most copied brands in the market that seems to be off the radar, Marni has ambitiously expanded internationally by establishing stores in the best areas of cities such as Milan, London, Paris, Los Angeles and Tokyo.
Marni is a mystery box. Is a vortex of extreme influences and playfulness, of contradiction and dynamism. It’s many things and it’s the immense number of possibilities that makes it so exciting.
Although many disliked Risso's entry into Marni, it is visible that the brand's halo of success continues to work well: new boutiques continue to open and all online stores - including us, LABOUTIK - fill with the brand each season, from the commercial pieces to the most eccentric outfits.
Innovative and multifaceted, Marni is recognized all over the world and it has become a symbol of elegance and sophistication. Marni is a beloved lifestyle with an avant-garde spirit that holds a creative ongoing dialogue with the world of art.
Boris Bidjan Saberi is one of the leaders in the avant-garde of contemporary menswear, considered as the heiress generation of great Japanese designers like Yohji Yamamoto and an essential date during the Paris Fashion Week.
Attracted by the Spanish way of life, Boris Bidjan produces his collections from a workshop located in Barcelona, a cosmopolitan city and the European mecca of skateboarding, notable influence on the young designer work.
Saberi launched his own menswear brand in 2007 and at the beginning of 2013, exalting his interests for the punk movement and the hip hop culture, the designer launched a second line aimed at a streetwear audience: “11”, an experimentation with graphical applications and thorough research in graphics and treatments.
His German roots reflected in the most pragmatic and minimalist aesthetics; and his Persian side which emerges in the special devotion to texture and details coexists on efficient designs where artisanal and natural are fused with high-tech fabrics, seeking functionality and standing up for quality.
While developing his own label, Saberi also collaborated with notable brands such as New Era, Solomon or Reebok, that placed reliance on the meticulous designer to create a limited edition model of the iconic Instapump Fury.
Bori Bidjan designs are dominated by dark tones that drive almost all the attention to the design of the clothes, although there is no lack of luminosity on his work as he also explores within an exquisite pallet of bright and vivid colours.
“I use a lot of blacks because it suits my skin and it fits me. All the changes you see in the collections is an evolution in creativity and living life happily and truly.”
Tireless seeker of new forms, Saberi manages to transport us to a futuristic millenary Japan and delights us with the Bedouin breeze of nomads of the desert. A vest that turns into a fanny pack, unbreakable buttons or waterproof long-lasting products is some of the ideas that the talented designer brought to life with the intention of covering day-life needs.
The message under the aim of functionality intends to criticize society behaviour as one of the many other moral concerns of the artist, making an approach that denounces the culture of “use and throw”.
If we consider the end of the era of technology and the return of the primitive where artisanal forms that this designer defends are a common process, as a possibility; wouldn’t it be a revolutionary movement today?
In a world in which fashion is being distorted and separated from art, approaching at a strategic speed towards numbers and masses, it is remarkable the involvement and commitment of the designer to offer quality and authenticity.
Boris Bidjan Saberi does not aim the commercial expansion. He doesn’t consider responding to higher demand, his priority is to maintain the singularity and excellence of his product, retaining the spirit of the brand intact.
At LABOUTIK, we share Boris Bidjan's vision and we are happy to support his goal of keeping fashion as something special, useful and with great design value. Soon available online and in our store, the 2020 collection.
Judi Werthein is the activist Argentine designer behind the polemics Brinco sneakers, designed to help illegal immigrants cross the U.S.-Mexico border along with the organizers of inSite (a "cross-border" art exhibit that economically supported the project).
The sneakers, in the form of boots, feature the colors of the Mexican flag. On one side, the hologram of "Made in Mexico" with the Aztec eagle and on the heel, the image of Santo Toribio, patron saint of immigrants. They also bring a small bag to carry money or medicine and a compass that guides those who enter the desert. Include a flashlight since most people usually cross at night and on the detachable sole of the shoes, there is a map detailing the Border Strip that runs from Playas de Tijuana to the Arizona desert and the most popular illegal routes to get there.
Made in China, at a cost of $17 a pair and having been personally given away by the designer to those who needed it, the shoes are sold over the border in the US city of San Diego as 'limited edition' art objects for over $200 a pair. Werthein donated part of the money she raised to a Tijuana shelter helping migrants in need.
"The main problem people have at the crossing is their feet. Since people are going to try anyway, at least this will make it safer."
Today, the sneakers are in a display in Tate Modern and due to the controversy created around them when they were presented, the exhibition includes responses to the project, such as media reports, online reactions and threatening messages received by the artist, who was accused of defending and promoting illegal immigration.
Judi Werthein's intention was to draw public attention to the drama of all those who flee from the misery and hypocrisy of a political system that needs cheap labor from immigrants, but hides their rights and considers them politically invisible.
The sneakers reflect an uncomfortable reality about the dangers of illegally crossing the border. A reality that we prefer not to see, and it is just that, what an artist reveals. Presented as a product halfway between a work of art and an article of first necessity, this tool allows all those fleeing from misery in the limits of Mexico and the U.S. to travel between the First and the Third World.
A CLOSE UP TO MILAN DESIGN WEEK
There has always been a strong and unbreakable link between interior design and fashion. Not only do they share the same aesthetic concepts as space, form and function, but they also are an artistic expression accessible to the masses. Interior design and fashion represent something personal, supporting individuals to show their personality - indoors and outdoors - helping them understand others, themselves and their environment.
The Salone Di Mobile, which started being a private fair created in 1960 to promote Italian companies inside the sector - and the Fuorisalone, built in 1980 by those who were not able to access the limited start-up, spread all around the fancy districts of Milan. The remarkable event opens his doors to more than 370,000 visitors and around 2,300 creative companies per year . Based on the notable attendance, the event is also a platform to promote innovation and sustainability; architects, designers and brands, are committed to pay attention to the importance of re-greening the environment, the eco-friendly design solutions and in particular, to the circular economy, where waste is economized.
The Milan Design Week apart of capturing the attention of the aesthetically trained eyes around the world, concentrates an incredible variety of brands and artists, from the best known to authentic outsiders. Here’s a selection of some of the most striking proposals for the 2019 edition;
RIMOWA X GUILLERMO SANTOMA
The contemporary art magazine and creative studio KALEIDOSCOPE works next to the iconic luggage company RIMOWA, featuring Spanish designer Guillermo Santomá, who was invited to share his vision of this timeless icon of functional luxury. The installation at Spazio Maiocchi, inspired by the idea of a conceptual gas station, is focused on a fully functioning car customized with RIMOWA aluminum with an interior upholstered with paint. A short film by French director Thibaut Grevet at the Monegros desert completes the project with content-rich visuals.
WANG & SÖDERSTRÖM - TIDES
Aesthetics affects our brain and our wellbeing, so does the moon. As an otherworldly landscape in dreamlike colours, Tides - hosted and presented by Korean paint and innovation company Noroo Group - showcases 100 modular stool designed by Kwangho Lee who takes inspiration from the layers of time, pulse and temporalities in an universe that we cannot easily feel sometimes. The installation decoration is a clear tribute to the moon's beauty and power where visitors can travel in a heavenly changing light and colour exceptional space.
NIKE BY YOU x HERON PRESTON
After the successful Nike Air Max 720/95 by Heron Preston preview , a coveted space has been reserved at Milan Design Week in which is possible to personalize your own Nike Air Max 720/95 Heron Preston By You, together with one of their creators: Red (graffiti artist), Elia (shoe designer), Elena Mottola (stylist and fashion designer) and Heron Preston himself, who will lead the customization workshop. The new Nike Air Max 720/95 will be accessed in advance by a limited amount of design lovers before the global release on the 15th of April.
“I’m excited to see what kids create, to see their process, them sharing that process just as much as them sharing the final product, really bringing that magic to life.” Heron Preston.
EILEEN FISHER - WASTE NO MORE
The Waste No More installation face visitors with the reality of society’s dismissed clothing, while demonstrating the innate aesthetics of recuperated materials in contemporary design. Taking their old clothes back—over 1 million pieces since 2009- and the responsibility of what is made and where it ends up , Eileen Fisher is building a better industry turning the conventional cycle of consumerism and design into a future without waste. In addition to designing simple, timeless and never trendy shapes that are made to last in the most sustainable materials they can find, the brand also repairs the damaged clothes they get back and transforms them into one-of-a-kind artworks.
HERMÈS- ALL ABOUT COLOURS
This year in Milan, the Hermès collection pays tribute to colour. Embedded in a tasteful and minimal proposals, the series for the home decor are presented within an installation of seven oversized rooms filled with a modernized tribal atmosphere created by Charlotte Macaux, Co-artistic Director of Hermès together with Alexis Fabry. Materials and craftsmanship are expressed in the architectural structure, entirely covered with moroccan zellige, a small square tile made of glazed earthenware.
PEZO VON ELLRICHSHAUSEN
Described as a ‘direct echo of its historical surroundings’ and set within Milan’s baroque Palazzo Litta, the Chilean architecture studio Pezo Von Ellrichshausen has created a mirrored inverted pyramid pavilion that it not only reflects the historic palazzo, but also the stone pavement, the colonnades, and the corridor beyond
"In its radical simplicity, the pavilion will turn into an immaterial presence that, almost as in a fleeting mirage, will capture the discreet beauty of the three hundred and seventy-year-old palazzo on its flat surfaces’ - say the architects. - ‘Ground level visitors will encounter an unprecedented version of the monument and by looking up they will see themselves reflected on an impressive tilted ceiling".
DORNBRACHT - IS MEMORY DATA?
Opening an infinite field of possibilities and sensations to how we interact with water, Dornbracht, interior designer specializing in bathrooms, has used virtual reality as a tool to create a link between imagination and water, both infinite and unlimited. The installation will comprise a simple bucket and hose through which real water circulates, but looking at them wearing the goggles it will appear as a marble basin with a "hyper fountain" that spouts luminous water droplets and geometric shapes. Surrounding it will be "high-gloss scenery" rendered with graphic stripes and multicolor surfaces, to wash our hands has never been cooler.
The Milan Design Week it is expanding into many related sectors including automotive, technology, telecommunications, art, fashion and food, exposing the state of the threads that connect humans to their environments in some of the most original ways ever seen. The renowned event has over the years become the world stage for the latest trends and launches in the design industry. To speak of the Milan Design Week today is to speak of the place that manufactures dreams, where the quality of the proposals and exhibitions presented over time have made Milan recognized as the design capital of the world.