The First Digital London Fashion Week
esign is at the centre of what we do at Studio 104, and this inspires our creative team to produce the best bespoke luxury uniform designs. As we are situated in central London we always have a close eye on what is happening at London Fashion Week.
This year, due to the ongoing Covid – 19 pandemic, the British Fashion Council moved Spring 2021 menswear London Fashion Week online. To create a new format, merging womenswear and menswear into one gender neutral affair between 12th - 15th June. Built on a Netflix style homepage, streaming events, and new multimedia content by the industries creatives. There was a focus on story telling and giving a voice to the British fashion businesses.
“Many of our businesses have always embraced London Fashion Week as a platform for not just fashion but for its influence on society, identity and culture,” said Caroline Rush, chief executive of the British Fashion Council in a statement. “The current pandemic is leading us all to reflect more poignantly on the society we live in and how we want to live our lives and build businesses when we get through this.”
However, nothing quite makes up for the intimacy and spectacle of a live runway show, without a front row and street style snaps. With most brands continuing to struggle with the economic fall out of the global crisis, with coronavirus travel bans and social distancing measures still in place, there was a distinct lack of new designs. Also missing from the line up were the bigger names of London fashion scene, with the likes of Craig Green, Burberry, and Victoria Beckham absent.
Without the high cost spectacle shows, Fashion Week allowed newer names to take centre stage and embrace the new gender-neutral online format.
Designer Bianca Saunders showcase her AW20 collection in a new zine, show casing her minimal tailoring line, which pushes at gender and investigates the construction to proposed fresh ideas for menswear. At Studio 104 we are exploring gender within our uniforms, our collection for Japan House (see blog post) plays with gender neutrality. The idea of the suppression of ego inspired us to create an oversized androgynous silhouette that follows the minimal aesthetic of Japan House.
Priya Ahluwalia held a virtual reality exhibition to celebrate the release of her new photography book, “Jalebi,” that allowed the viewer to roam around a gallery and click on information points to find out more about what it means to be a young mixed-heritage person in modern Britain.
A standout of the week was Charles Jeffery, a long-time proponent and perhaps the originator of fashion’s gender fluid movement. Jeffery’s collections have always adapted and pressed the convention. Our design team have been influenced by his work in one of our current projects, in which we are developing a gender neutral kilt for a new central London hotel.
Jeffery cancelled his plans to livestream a drop-in dance party, in the spirit of the Loverboy club night. The designer said that he had been moved to “adapt, respond, and re-think” as he responded to “seismic shifts” due to the Black Lives Matter movement. Instead Jeffery hosted a black talent showcase and fund-raiser for UK Black Pride, alongside launching his charity capsule collection.
The first British online fashion week can be called a work in progress; however, it allowed the industry a chance to explore how they express themselves and for us at Studio 104 that was intriguing to witness.
Written by Bethan