LFWM: Show reviews by guest editor Saffy @StyleGrimoires...
Hi, Hello, Ola, Bonjour and Salam! I’m Saffy Khan. I have my own slice of the internet at StyleGrimoires.com but today I’m here on HOWSTE to share with you all things London Fashion Week Men’s A/W 19. Thanks for having me and let’s get stuck in.
The season started with me literally running to my first show in 6 inch platform boots, my life flashed before my eyes on numerous occasions. Darn you cobbled streets of East London! I soon arrived at the aptly named Fashion Street for my first show. Pronounce – Beam of Light. Stefan, my partner in crime wasn’t due to arrive for another hour or two so I took my seat and waited for the music to start.
I was soon joined by another member of the fashion tribe, Ali Jameel. The fashion community is a wonderful thing, we may not see each other often but we reunite and celebrate in style every season. I’m going to discuss a number of collections, so grab a cup of something warm and prepare to embark on a journey spanning a few continents.
Pronounce The brand is the brain child of Yushan Li and Jun Zhou, winners of both the Woolmark Prize International and The Latest Fashion Buzz Prize in 2017. The designers focus on developing hand crafted heritage pieces that combine elements of Eastern and Western design. The latest collection, Beam of Light explores the connection between light and individuality, dedicated to the notion that ‘each individual is a beam of light’. The beautiful hand sewn piping, representative of said beams of light really stood out to me. It adorned coats, jackets and trousers, often in tantalising neon’s and stark white. The collection as a whole was a mix of relaxed tailoring and delicate craftsmanship.
Rahemur Rahman British-Bangladeshi designer Rahman made his LFWM debut in true South East Asian Style, reminiscent of cosy yet extravagant Eid celebrations in my auntie’s living room in Bradford. I was hardly surprised to learn that he drew inspiration from old family photographs from the nineties. The collection pays homage to the struggles of trying to fit in whilst celebrating the beauty of not. The result is a striking mix of masterful tailoring, colours and patterns. Both regal yet humble in execution. Rahman’s unorthodox use of feminine cuts was refreshing. Jackets were belted at the waist rather than lower down the torso as tradition would dictate. Bangladesh is commonly associated with fast fashion and its consequent human rights violations. This is still very much an issue but designers such as Rahman are shining the light on sustainable fashion and creative talent in South East Asia.
Fashion East - Mowalola London based designer Mowalola Ogunlesi smashed stereotypes with this sexy, uninhibited collection titled Exposed. Mowalola was born and raised in Nigeria. She studied at Central Saint Martins, going on to graduate in 2017. She describes her approach as ‘a celebration of the black, African male: his culture, sexuality and desires’. At a time when representation is still lacking in the industry, Mowalola made a powerful statement by exclusively casting black models. Their faces marked with brightly coloured paint, almost tribal in nature. Regardless of who it was on, male or female, the clothing was proudly provocative and raw.
The collection featured Lo-fi tie dye, patent leather and knee high louboutins in turquoise and yellow. The latter proving to be quite the distraction. The models couldn’t walk in the heeled boots and I found myself focusing on their feet. Praying they made it to the end of the runway in one piece. Notable fans of the brand include Solange, which is saying something. Mowalola is here, she’s unapologetic and the industry is paying attention.
The overall vibe this season was carefree and experimental. The collections were a lot more gender fluid and I was left wanting more. I’m excited for the future of menswear, gone are the days of one dimensional tailoring and bland colour palettes.
Love Saffy xoxo