Monday 11th November

| BY Paul Toner

Be Here & Be Square – Get Ready for the Season Ahead With Our Check-List of Checked Looks

Supriya Lele SS20

Okay, okay. We know we are getting just a tad ahead of ourselves by already thinking about the spring/ summer fashions. But we honestly can’t help ourselves – SS20 was a particularly strong season across the board. And you’d be a fool not to already have a list of garms you’re hoping to snatch up in the new year. Within the month-long tidal wave of killer draped evening gowns, all-star trainer collaborations and shredded trench-coats – what stood out was a brazen approach to introducing checked patterns in all four cities. Both emerging talent and the new establishment splashed checked patterns in eye-popping hues; everything from checkerboard and argyle, right through to twinsets rendered in the finest of tartans. Here’s the check-list of checked looks that should be going straight into our basket when spring rolls around…

Rejina Pyo SS20

Books weren’t the only things we were checking out at Rejina Pyo’s SS20 catwalk, held at Holborn Library. Checked patterns in an array of playful hues were interwoven throughout the collection. Anoraks with pillowy sleeves walked alongside pencil skirts trimmed with shells and beach-ready twinsets; all drenched in different checks rotating around mossy greens, lavender and buttercup yellows. You can always count on Ashley Williams for something a little 1990s, twinged with a sense or irony and always super desirable, no matter how silly the idea might seem at first. The designer’s latest collection does what it says on the Ashley Williams™ tin. Inspired by her stay at the Magic Castle motel (if you’ve seen The Florida Project, that’s the one), the designer clashed boardwalk store-tackiness with an East London cool-girl spirit. Our favourite look has to be the lilac fluffy skirt and cardi combination dotted with slightly skew-whiff Playboy bunnies. They’re paired with a checkerboard jumper, the orange and green combo would be the colour of a brain licker-flavoured Battenburg cake. There’s a slouchy hat that comes in the same soft-to-touch fluffy knit too – we must buy several to finally crack the Ed, Edd and Eddy look.

Ashley Williams SS20

Designer Yolanda Zobel has a deft hand in bringing the house codes of Courrèges to feel in tune with the now, whilst stamping her own distinct vision on the house in the process. SS20 was a continuation of this marvellous journey. It was also a signifier in the designer’s cracking choice of textiles, in particular, gingham check. Raincoats, wrap-around skirts and Bratz doll flares each came in a monochrome variation, perforated with hints of orange and stamped with the Courrèges logo. Playing a similar tune in Paris, Julien Dossena proved yet again he knows how to throw a good party. His latest Paco Rabanne offering was all about standing out on the dance floor. We could spend all day talking about the prints, but within all the technicoloured madness, what really caught our eye was a cream pant and military jacket combo – both in matching black and caramel brown check. We imagine this is what Sgt. Pepper would wear if he was heading for a business meeting with Ben Cobb at Soho house; a lick of the 1970s that looks dashing on the streets of today.

Paco Rabanne SS20

Aside from both being alumni of Fashion East, Charlotte Knowles and Supriya Lele share a lot of similarities. Both brands are part of a new wave designing for their own generation, crafting new ideals around feminine dress that blends hard and soft; sensuality with a serious bite. Both emerging designers took rather different routes for their SS20 collections: the former taking a ravaged approach to club-dressing, the latter offering a rather sombre interpretation to her exploration of the traditional sari silhouette. But both visions resulted with a stellar, orange and yellow checkered dress. Like twins, but not identical. Supriya’s is the sister you see out clubbing more. Skintight, teamed with a barely-there bralette and doused in a sunset madras check, she’s there to be seen. Charlotte’s number is more inclined to the sister who prefers the day. She’ll wear it to an art gallery opening, or an early cocktail dinner – upstaging the rest of the attendees. Like a mother who can’t choose between her twins, we don’t expect you to choose between these two knock-outs. Buy both, we support your decision.

Charlotte Knowles SS20

Backstage photographs by Jason Lloyd-Evans.