There was only one show in town in London this weekend and that was The Queue. But the London Fashion Week catwalks went on.
“It was important to keep going because London has to stick together at this time and right now some of this city’s young designers are at risk of losing their businesses,” said designer Jonathan Anderson after his JW Anderson show.
A black T-shirt imprinted with “Her Majesty The Queen 1926-2022” was worn alongside a mini dress made of plastic computer keys jumbled into an alphabet mosaic and a pair of plastic shark fins worn by model and author Emily Ratajkowski. contain.
The runway began on a Soho street, crash barriers holding back the crowds that had packed central London all weekend before winding through a video arcade.
Backstage after the show, Anderson happily defended the inappropriate combination of looks.
“London has felt absolutely exceptional over the past week. I have never known such energy. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Soho so busy and it’s not all gloomy. People have a drink but they’re just being nice, you know? It’s very British.”
The late addition of the t-shirt – featuring a font copied from the Transport for London tribute posters that appeared at bus stops across the capital on the evening of the Queen’s death – “will remind me of what this moment is really about.” going when I look at pictures of this collection in 20 years,” he added.
The dilemma of whether to risk looking corny by including a tribute to the Queen amidst the party dresses, or appear disrespectful by not doing so has London fashion week divided.
Steven Stokey-Daley’s show happened to be about privilege, gender and dysfunction in Britain’s upper class, but it had nothing to do with the Queen. In the large Victoriana at the St. Pancras Hotel, actors read excerpts from love letters between Vita Sackville-West and Violet Trefusis.
The 100-year-old words of two women making their way through patriarchal society were accompanied by gender-specific clothing in the style of a 1930s queer gardener tending to Sissinghurst—a calico shirt, wide-legged corduroys, a merino sweater.
The mood at the shows on Sunday was reserved. trays of champagne are out; Instead, designer Nensi Dojaka gave each guest a white hydrangea sprig. But the famous front row performed at Rejina Pyo’s show, where actress Sharon Horgan and singer Jessie Ware showed up to support the young designer.
On the 28th floor of a new skyscraper in the City of London, Pyo said she had thought about Tolstoy’s saying that “if you know how to work and how to love, you can live great in this world” – and how, as Tolstoy wrote those words, he thought only of men.
Pyo, whose fresh cuts and easy prettiness have made her a force influential in the fashion world, wanted to celebrate what a life where work and love merge is like for women, she said. A soft pant suit and stretchy lace dresses worn with low sandals came in lemon, sage, duck egg blue – and only occasionally black.
Michael Halpern’s show began in silence, with a model in a coronation-length light-blue robe and a silk headscarf knotted under her chin.
The American-born designer will soon be a British citizen and wanted “a quiet moment to say thank you to a country that has given me a career, friendships and a life,” he said.
As soon as the dress left the catwalk, David Bowie’s Cat People began playing, and a strapless leopard print dress changed the mood.