Digitally speaking, London Fashion Week was aberrant. While most London mainstays took to live and in-person catwalks, certain, independent creators opted to show their work through our screens instead, via short films and elusive look books. Here’s all the URL action you might’ve missed out on. Lights, camera, action!
Screened at the Selfridges Cinema on Tuesday, Di Petsa’s Newgen debut was an ethereal short film set on the rocky hillside of a secluded beach-front in Greece. Titled, The Moon Tastes of Wine, it was written and directed by Dimitra herself as an ode to the healing powers of creative expression and earthly connections, grounding muses, mothers, daughters and sirens in their bodies; their vessels; their womanhood; and the water that is contained within them. Inspired by the ritualistic Dionysian Mysteries of Ancient Greece, silk organza kaftans, Birthing Venus knitwear – with the contoured print of the female form –, and slinky silk slip dresses appeared. Elsewhere, signature hand-draped Wetlook illusion gowns made in recycled mesh were expanded for all ages of the divine feminine.
Aptly named, Icons of Mystery, Av Vattev’s SS23 collection was a moody yet irreverent edit rife with boxy blazers, leather vests, zippered jersey hoodies, cropped Harrington jackets and bishop-sleeved shirts cut from gauzy chiffon. Structured tops and wide-legged Bermudas were bonded with surplus swatches of lime and cream cable knit, nodding to the subtly subversive style of Princess Kalina of Bulgaria who has become known for pairing artisanal embroidered vests with spiky dog collars and austere tailoring with golden Cleopatra-braid headdresses. Counterposed by the collection’s lustrous leather pieces – which allude to the sculptural works of Richard Serra – Av Vattev staples are revisited and redesigned bringing high-necked gilets, asymmetric wrap kilts and calf-high cuban heeled boots to Vattev’s techy table.
Opting to show off schedule, Nicholas Daley’s SS23 collection explores the rich visual identity of Calypso – an Afro-Caribbean genre that originated in Trinidad and Tobago – through his personal lineage. His journey begins with his grandmother’s treasured silver picture-frame, that she has had since the 1960s, containing a grayscale headshot of actor, singer and civil rights activist Harry Belafonte in a wide-lapel suit. The inscription reads: “To Dorothy, it was good seeing you, next time, let’s spend more time, love, Harry” – a message passed between cousins. Belafonte’s bespoke suiting informs the silhouettes. Trousers are high-waisted and wide-legged, shirts are open-collared, lapels are large, and prints nod to tropical, floral and aloha designs. Set against a simple studio backdrop, a sizable cast of characters spanning generations and occupations, from barber to chef, yogi to musician, are posed with the tools of their trade – it’s an abundant celebration of craft, DIY culture and Black folk music.
Goom Heo’s SS23 edit, Dystopian Beach, disrupts the tranquillity of seaside bliss with supercharged sexuality and slick misfit models superimposed by disjointed car parts. Inspired by the styles found within Swiss photographer Karlheinz Weinberger’s subversive works through the 1950s and ’60s, Heo amalgamates an apocalyptic fashion fever dream for summer. Like Roman gladiators in a colosseum pit, Heo’s boys don traditional armour detailing. Elsewhere, they posed with cigarettes hanging out of their mouths, their jeans pulled up high and with vacant expressions on their faces. By sporting cowboy hats and subversive denim goodies – made using acid stone washing techniques, hand-painting, fraying, crisscrossing and cropping – they become new-age teen rebels.
Top Image: Di Petsa SS23.