ryan lo, faustine steinmetz and fashion east at day two of london fashion week
The Saturday of London Fashion Week autumn/winter 17 shows saw an explosion of colours, cuts and undeniable creativity.
All photography from Mitchell Sams
Anyone a fan of RuPaul's Drag Race? Season 7, episode 11 in particular, where the girls had to create bespoke outfits in homage to everyone's favourite Japanese icon Hello Kitty? Well should Ryan Lo have been on season 7, he would have been "the winner of this week's challenge," as the fashionable cat was incorporated into bespoke magenta and orange camouflage on skirts and drop waist organza dresses throughout his autumn/winter London Fashion Week show at the BFC showspace. 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 gathered dresses with rosette details were completed with super-long multicoloured bunches (courtesy of hair maestro Sam McKnight) and exaggerated blush on the apples of the cheeks (thanks to Isamaya Ffrench), that were ripped straight from the streets of Shibuya.
A "dystopian medieval sci-fi future" is how Matty Bovan describes 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 explains, noting that the fabrics are all treated, washed and felted to give them an almost sacred quality. Opened by the stunning Chantelle Winnie, an incredible line-up of models that included the iconic Grace Bol and fellow i-D cover stars Adwoa Aboah and Dilone wore Bovan's heavily layered looks.
Asymmetric, shredded and patchwork-style knitwear is layered with tops and skirts printed with woodcuts from the 1400s of witches and the devil, bright orange torn denim separates, and tomboyish trousers with 'Bovan Corporation' patches. The patches are a tongue-in-cheek reference to sci-fi films like Alien and Blade Runner, where the evil entities are companies and corporations, and also a joke about his production - all Matty's garments are unique one-offs. Looks were finished with the mixed media jewellery Matty makes with his mum Plum Bovan, and leather bags contributed by Coach and customised 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 their 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, with a 'Dial M for Mimi' slogan taken from the 'Dial P for Pink' of the Pink Panther cartoon (itself taken from Hitchcock's 'Dial M for Murder'), and posters of her own design, 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'" for his intensely textural collection of brightly coloured, patchworked fine knitwear, shredded satin crafted into anemone-like ruffles, and tailored jackets. This season's static presentation, from RCA grad Supriya Lele, was a meditation on femininity and the "dialogue between her Indian and British cultural identity". Using a romantic colour 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, with Indian costume jewellery repurposed as zip pulls.
Text Charlotte Gush
Few can reinvent such basic material as denim each season, turn the most workmanlike and humdrum of fabrics into something marvellous and magical. But of course denim is also the most versatile of fabrics, the most ubiquitous, everyone's got at least one pair of jeans. So Faustine's show took us on a world tour of denim from Seattle 92 to the Canadian tuxedo to diamanté embellished denim from Colombia. She 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 though was a two piece look, covered in thousands of sparkling crystals, with the thread used to attach them to the denim hanging long down across it.
Text Felix Petty