London Fashion Week Expect with New Format

May 15, 2023 0 Comments

A quick glance at the schedule of the last London Fashion Week would leave a lot of questions. The men’s edition of June 2023 was heavily limited compared to previous Seasons, but had a Format that still seemed more Hybrid than ever. Over the weekend, from June 9 to 12, London hosted a series of body catwalks, digital presentations and a selection of conferences and panels, although only six designers participated.

While the city’s large-scale fashion weeks usually take place in February and September, the four-day event now functions more as an experience for the future, combining technology and culture while strengthening emerging British names. This comes as the British Fashion Council (BFC) repositions itself with local talent to strengthen the British Industry, a decision described in a letter from President David Pemsel to BFC members last week before the event.

In the letter, pemsel, who was appointed last October, said that he wanted to help UK-based brands cope with the difficult environment they are currently facing, much of which has been caused by Brexit regulations, the consequences of the recent times and other socio-economic factors. Its main objective was commercial and cultural innovation, the advancement of the British fashion narrative and the promotion of responsible growth through accessible opportunities for the talents of the next generation.

Pemsel’s focus on supporting new designers was already evident in the June issue with the inclusion of three universities, including The University of Westminster, Ravensbourne University of London and the University of East London, each presenting its own graduate exhibitions. Along with this, there were two educational panels, one focused on the future of men’s clothing, the other on the Asian man, called “an exploration of the tribe of forgotten styles”.

venereal fashion prevails
As for the list of designers, the reduced calendar was specifically dedicated to smaller brands and a wider audience, with less exclusive in-person events offered to further democratize the platform. In accordance with its last rebranding in 2020, the showcase continued a gender-neutral approach to men’s fashion, with the selected participants choosing to display gender-neutral and androgynous styles.

The first to attend the event was Hoor Al Qasimi, creative director of Qasimi, whose collection for men and women was inspired by the Sudanese artist Kamala Ibrahim Ishaq, which was reflected in the use of earth tones, traditional silk prints and elaborate craftsmanship. Qasimi also took the opportunity to present the work of two designers from his fashion incubator “Qasimi Rising”, Omer Asim and Salim Azzam.

On the same day, the men’s clothing brand Justin Cassin, based in Los Angeles, also returned to the program after previously showing its AW23 collection in London. However, for AW24, the designer opted for an evening show at The Vinyl Factory in Soho, where he once again presented his own vision of British couture through textured silhouettes and experimental techniques.

Unlike Cassin’s clean cut line, Sagaboi brought an alternative and ironic vision of venereal Fashion. Founded by Geoff Cooper, the brand combined Trinidadian heritage with Streetwear and linked itself to its association with “Saga Boy”, a Caribbean subculture that formed in the 30s as a rebellion against openly masculine ideals. T-shirts printed with phrases such as “Lawd” ave Mercy” have been paired with retro-inspired trousers, while other references to the fashion eras of the past have been seen in coordinated suits and crochet knitwear.

Saul Nash, winner of the international Woolmark Prize and winner of the NewGen Prize, completed the range of designers for his SS24 line. With the “Intersection” collection, the designer has paid to the heritage of his parents, combining Guiana, English and Mauritian roots in a relaxed curation of Looks. The speedos were paired with matching knitwear and tight tops contrasting with embroidered sailor jackets, all in bold contrasting colors.

Looking forward
With this short edition, the BFC is now looking to the upcoming Seasons – with the new strategy in mind. While large-scale women’s clothing editions are likely to remain an integral part of the Organization’s operations and will therefore remain largely unchanged, CEO Caroline Rush told WWD in an interview before the June issue that the Board is considering significant changes to its men’s clothing calendar, given the evolution of the company’s menswear, and the fact that the

Rush called fashion week a “transitional period” last weekend, noting that the next one would be very different. She added that such changes could lead to the introduction of a new platform based on the inclusion of men’s clothing stores that usually deviate from the fashion show, such as Savile Row designers, many of whom prefer events such as Pitti Uomo to LFW. Although they have not yet been confirmed, the measures could be drastic enough that the January issue of LFW, which originally focused on men’s fashion, will never return.

Such efforts to strengthen the industry were again supported by Pemsel in his letter, in which he stated: “We firmly believe in the British fashion industry, its creative heartbeat and London as the fashion capital of the world. Our companies are innovators, Challengers and provocateurs, and our ambitions are too big to be limited by the small team of the BFC. As an industry, we have demonstrated our strength as a community through the recent times and have used this strength in the community to do together what we can all do to help maintain and strengthen our leading position as creators, innovators and industry pioneers.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *