London Fashion Week A/W17: Self care vs Political messaging


Every fashion week, whether in London, New York, Paris or Milan, there can be a rush to define what the city is saying straight away. In New York particularly there was a rush to define the key overarching trend as Americana, and yes while there was a nod to this style, it was not the only takeaway from the city, where designers also made a point of celebrating the grown up woman, with classics pieces to comfort her, wrap her in layering and dress her for the battle of daily life.

And as the fashion calendar moved from New York to London, again there was a rush to talk about Brexit, with headlines about how the impending political move will affect London designers, from trade to the idea of inclusivity (for which London, as a multicultural city, is famous for).

But it was not as cut and dry as the headlines would have you think. Having looked at the collections as a cohesive mass, it’s clear to me that two ideas emerged from the London Fashion Week catwalk, that of self care vs political messaging.

Much like in New York, while political statement t-shirts were a huge talking point, London’s Ashish show had sequin tees, shimmering and shinning down the catwalk celebrating exclusivity and love without boundaries.

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But I felt there was an air of optimism in London too, that New York was missing, a celebratory energy, and self care via design. Unlike our American counterparts who sent their messages out verbally, British designers infused their messages into their designs. Taking care of oneself was evident. Because fashion is always a reflection of the time, the clothes in London reflected how we’re all feeling, when you want to quiet your Twitter feed and phone news alerts, but you also don’t want to miss the next big headline, but you desperately need a self-care time out from the deluge of noise. Design took on the idea cocooning, oversized layers to protect you from the constant threats or cushion you against the fall, to create space for your very valid feelings, and emotions; just look at Joseph or JJS Lee or Marques Almeida.


J JS Lee London Fashion Week

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I think that people in general are really hurting in this world and London’s designers were either making a strong defiant stance or celebrating nurturing with their clothes.



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