pain leaves London fashion week with a dilemma

pain leaves London fashion week with a dilemma

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There was only one show in the city in London this weekend, and that was the Coda. But the London Fashion Week catwalks held out.

“It seemed important to move forward, because this is a time when London needs to stick together and right now some of the young designers in this city are in danger of losing their business,” said designer Jonathan Anderson after his JW show. Anderson.

A black T-shirt printed with the words “Her Majesty The Queen 1926-2022” was included along with a minidress constructed from plastic computer keys mixed into an alphabetic mosaic and a pair of plastic shark fins worn by model and author Emily Ratajkowski. The walkway began on a street in Soho, security barriers held back the crowds that filled central London all weekend, before snaking through an arcade.

Backstage after the show, Anderson cheerfully defended the incongruous combination of looks. “London has felt absolutely extraordinary over the past week. I have never known such an energy. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Soho this busy, and it’s not all gloomy. People are having a drink but they’re just very nice, you know? He is very British ”.

The belated addition of the T-shirt – with a font copied from the Transport for London giveaway posters that appeared at bus stops across the capital on the night of the Queen’s death – “will remind me of what it was really about right now, when I look at the photos of this collection in 20 years, ”he added.

Emily Ratajkowski on the runway at the JW Anderson fashion show.

Emily Ratajkowski on the runway at the JW Anderson fashion show. Photography: REX / Shutterstock

The dilemma of whether to risk appearing trivial by inserting a tribute to the queen among the party dresses, or appear disrespectful for not doing so has divided London Fashion Week.

As it happened, the Steven Stokey-Daley show was about privileges, gender and dysfunctions in the British upper classes, but it had nothing to do with Queen. In the large Victoriana of the St Pancras hotel, the actors read excerpts from love letters between Vita Sackville-West and Violet Trefusis. The centennial words of two women making their way through patriarchal society accompanied outfits that were gender fluid in the style of a 1930s queer gardener leaning towards Sissinghurst: a calico shirt, baggy corduroy pants, a wool sweater merino.

The atmosphere of the Sunday shows was low key. The champagne trays are out; designer Nensi Dojaka instead gave each guest a sprig of white hydrangea. But the front row celebrity made an appearance at Rejina Pyo’s show, where actor Sharon Horgan and singer Jessie Ware showed up to support the young stylist.

On the 28th floor of a new City of London skyscraper, Pyo said he thought of Tolstoy’s saying that “you can live beautifully in this world if you know how to work and love” – ​​and how, when Tolstoy wrote those words, he thought only of men. Pyo, whose fresh tailoring and light grace of hers have made her an influential force in fashion, wanted to celebrate what a life that combines work and love looks like to women, she said. A loose trouser suit and stretch lace dresses worn with flat sandals were available in lemon, sage, duck egg blue and, only occasionally, black.

Michael Halpern’s show began in silence, with a model in a blue cape as long as a coronation and with a silk veil tied under her chin. Born in America, the designer will soon become a British citizen and wanted “a quiet moment to thank a country that has given me a career, friendships, a whole life,” he said. Once the dress hit the runway, David Bowie’s Cat People began to be interpreted and a strapless leopard print dress changed the vibe.

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