5 things to expect this fashion month
Telfar takes Paris, protests in London and Rihanna on the runway. Here we go...
Telfar AW19. Photography Mitchell Sams.
Fashion week and protesters have a long, thorny history. Think of the animal rights charity PETA, who have moved their target from protesting fur to wool use at fashion week (at the AW19 shows a protester at Somerset House held a dead lamb).
This spring, Extinction Rebellion protested London Fashion Week by blocking off roads surrounding 180 Strand, a central show space. And in London this month, the group will return to disrupt once more. “We are planning non-violent direct action civil disobedience,” organiser Ramón Salgado-Touzón told The Times.
There’s no details of what that will specifically involve, but it’s undeniable that fashion has been slow -- if not actively reticent -- to adjust its processes in line with the current climate crisis. “Fashion is one of the most polluting industries and one of the most influential,” Extinction Rebellion said in a statement. “Fashion should be a cultural signifier of our times, and yet it still adheres to an archaic system of seasonal fashion and relentless newness at a time of emergency.”
The global fashion industry is alarmingly wasteful, producing more than 100 billion (!) new items a year. According to a government-sponsored report, UK households sent 300,000 tonnes of clothing to landfill in 2016. But that has slowly begun to shift. This month, 30 fashion brands including Gucci, Chanel and H&M signed up to a new pact for sustainability, which was backed by Emmanuel Macron and presented at G7.
“People taking part will be arrested,” Salgado-Touzón also told The Times. “Let’s hope that they’re not going to be charged but if they are, everyone is prepared.”
Young London designers taking centre stage
“Edwardian, but make it club” -- that’s what we said about York-based designer Matty Bovan’s AW19 collection, which drew from the weirdest British folklore to create a kind of graceful modernity. SS20 marks an inflection point for a clutch of British young designers who are starting to get major mainstream buzz for their DIY-feeling designs. Hell, even Adwoa Aboah walked the last Matty Bovan show.
Molly Goddard seems more unstoppable every season -- and her AW19 collection further pushed her brand beyond its signature frills, expanding into knitwear, pinstriped tailoring, and Bob Mackie-ish spangled numbers since favoured by Solange. Then there’s the bold, deconstructed tailoring of Kiko Kostadinov, Charlotte Knowles, and Supriya Lele, the OTT fabulosity of Richard Quinn, and CSM grad Dilara Findikoglu with her punked-up, utopian vision of femininity. No one makes a safety pin look more glam than Findikoglu, we promise. Not even Liz Hurley.
Young New York designers also dominating
New York’s new generation is in full swing. Old warhorses like Calvin Klein and DVF aren’t showing this season, leaving the field further open for a vanguard of young designers to thrive. Tulle fantasist Tomo Koizumi will pinball off his headline-making, Gwendoline Christie-starring AW19 debut, and Danish upstart Sander Dak of Sies Marjan will build on his luxe proportion-play.
Also keep an eye out for Pyer Moss’s third collection, which designer Kerby Jean-Raymond has titled “The Pyer Moss Tabernacle Drip Choir Drenched in The Blood”. “Yes, you have to say the whole name,” designer Kerby Jean-Raymond tweeted, alongside a video of performers fusing hip-hop and gospel sounds. Meanwhile, Vaquera will unveil their latest exaggerated, skewed take on wardrobe staples. But as some spread their wings, others are flying the coop. Telfar, a foundational figure for New York’s new wave, isn't showing a full collection in the city, instead screening an art film (with contributions from Jeremy O Harris, Petra Collins, Steve Lacy, Ryan Trecartin and more). His SS20 collection, appropriately themed "Migration," will instead be shown in Paris.
Celebrity collabs: sincere partnership or cynical cash-in? Well, Zendaya is taking steps to ensure that her Tommy Hilfiger collaboration, now in its second season, has substance. She unveiled her line with all-black models in SS19 TOMMYNOW’s SS19 Paris show, the upcoming collection draws on “everyday women who have shaped womanhood and power.” Unveiled at Harlem’s Apollo Theatre on Sunday 8th at 8:30 p.m EST, the show’s live streaming at the Tommy website too.
Elsewhere, Miu Miu are teaming up with photographer Sharna Osbourne -- who recently shot Gemma Ward for i-D and Mariah Carey for LOVE -- for an installation at the brand’s store in midtown New York. And cult legend JJ Hudson (the subversive mind behind 90s brand NOKI) will be customising deadstock Katharine Hamnett T-shirts at London’s Hoi Polloi on September 16 and 17 (12-8pm). All proceeds will be going to Trust Judy Blame, in memory of the late creative genius.
It wouldn’t be fashion week without her. The actual Savage X Fenty show will be on the 11th of September in New York, but all Navy members and casual fans of ultra-inclusive lingerie will be able to stream the full show on 20 September via Amazon Prime. On IG, Rihanna promised “the most bold, sexy, super energetic experience you can imagine.” But personally, we’re praying for the return of Slick Woods, who walked the AW18 runway extremely pregnant and gave birth just 14 hours later. Ri gives us life!