lfw fall/winter 17, day two: ryan lo, faustine steinmetz, and fashion east
Anyone a fan of Ru Paul's Drag Race? Season 7, episode 11 in particular — in which the queens had to create bespoke outfits in homage to everyone's favorite Japanese icon Hello Kitty? Well, should Ryan Lo have been on season 7, he would have been "the winner of this week's challenge." The fashionable cat was incorporated into bespoke magenta and orange camouflage on skirts and drop waist organza dresses throughout his fall/winter show at the BFC show space. Elsewhere in the collection, Ryan meditated on his adolescence in Hong Kong, as well as now-defunct magazine FRUiTS, for some super kawaii inspiration. Chunky knits, and gathered dresses with rosette details were completed with super-long multicolored bunches (courtesy of hair maestro Sam McKnight). Exaggerated blush on the apples of the cheeks (thanks to Isamaya Ffrench) were ripped straight from the streets of Shibuya.
Text Lynette Nylander
A "dystopian medieval sci-fi future" is how Matty Bovan described his barnstorming second catwalk outing for Lulu Kennedy's talent incubator Fashion East. A vision of the future, "but not in the way people always portray sci-fi as something very white and clean, it was gritty," he explained, the fabrics were all treated, washed, and felted to give them an almost-sacred quality. An incredible lineup of models — including opener Chantelle Winnie, the iconic Grace Bol, and i-D cover stars Adwoa Aboah and Dilone — wore Bovan's heavily layered looks.
Asymmetric, shredded, and patchwork-style knitwear was layered with tops and skirts printed with woodcut prints from the 1400s of witches and the devil. Bright orange torn denim separates and tomboyish trousers were spangled with 'Bovan Corporation' patches. The patches were tongue-in-cheek references to sci-fi films like Alien and Blade Runner, in which evil entities are companies and corporations. The adornment was also a joke about his production — all Matty's garments are unique one-offs. Looks were finished with the mixed-media jewelry Matty makes with his mom, Plum Bovan. Leather bags were contributed by Coach and customized by Matty.
Mimi Wade's first catwalk slot — following a series of static presentations for Fashion East — brought an expanded collection that added corduroy tailoring to the mix of printed silk slip dresses and asymmetric skirts with the designer's signature lace underlayers. Billed as a reimagining of her school uniform, Mimi's movie poster influences — and the legend of her B Movie star Granny Pammy — were present as ever. A 'Dial M for Mimi' slogan was taken from the 'Dial P for Pink' of the Pink Panther cartoon (itself taken from Hitchcock's 'Dial M for Murder'). Posters of her own design were torn and pasted onto a black lace skirt.
Newcomer ASAI was inspired by Jane Norman, boho disc belts, and the ghetto fabulousness of "girls who have money, who want to look expensive, but don't want to look 'chic.'" His intensely textural collection included brightly colored, patchworked fine knitwear, shredded satin crafted into anemone-like ruffles, and tailored jackets. This season's static presentation, which featured RCA grad Supriya Lele, was a meditation on femininity and the "dialogue between her Indian and British cultural identity." Using a romantic color palette of pinks and reds with navy, the collection mixed hard, shiny vinyl trousers and plastic layers with delicate skin tight tops, satin gowns, and louche tailoring. Indian costume jewelry was repurposed as zip pulls.
Text Charlotte Gush
Few designers can reinvent such basic material as denim each season, turning the most workman-like and humdrum of fabrics into something marvelous and magical. But, of course, denim is also among the most versatile fabrics, and the most ubiquitous. Everyone's got at least one pair of jeans. So Faustine Steinmetz's show took us on a world tour of denim — from Seattle 92 and the Canadian tuxedo to diamanté-embellished denim from Colombia. Steinmetz presented these originals, then took us on a whirlwind of reinvention as she deconstructed, reconstructed, reimagined, distressed, and glammed up denim jeans, jackets, and shirts. The highlight was a two-piece look covered in thousands of sparkling crystals.
Text Felix Petty
Photography Mitchell Sams