Best of London Fashion Week AW21
As another LFW wraps up, we bring you the highlights of the digital happenings courtesy of the Agency ELEVEN family.
LIAM HODGES: Thin Ice
If there was an award for a collection with the best mantra, Liam Hodges would take the win. ‘NORMAL IS DANGEROUS’ one of his new tees reads, acknowledging the necessity for change in today’s world. For his first outing since the pandemic hit, Liam built on his previous ethos. Titled Thin Ice, the collection evolved his method of refreshing archival garments and existing textiles into new, unique pieces. The highlight of this season were definitely the crafty knits and ruched tops which best represent the time and effort spent in creating the Liam Hodges world. And you don’t have to wait ages to get your hands on these gems – parts of the collection are available to buy now, while you can pre-order others via Liam’s e-com.
MILES GEORGE DANIEL STUDIO: NO(N)SENSE
Fresh out of Middlesex Uni with a degree in knitwear, Miles George Daniel has already been donned as one of the most exciting emerging names on the London fashion scene by the likes of Sarah Mower. So as you can imagine, the expectations for his first post-grad collection were pretty high… And as you can imagine, if you have any idea of Miles’ talents, he exceeded them. Going beyond his love of of knitted textiles, the collection emerged with experimental silhouettes and forms by layering repurposed materials and garments into distorted sculptures on the body. Sitting at the inter-section of art and fashion, Miles’ new designs are like clouds – the more you look at them, the more you see.
Through the exploration of the beauty of human evolution and what it takes to go from zero to infinity, PRONOUNCE are taking us on yet another visual tour of their home country. Always spiritual with their stories, for AW21 they looked at the tradition of Chinese pottery and its cultural implications as well as the material itself. Yushan Li and Jun Zhou always effortlessly evolve their garments – each collection is like a new chapter in an ongoing PRONOUNCE book that’s yet to be written. This time, they printed illustrations of broken pieces of porcelain onto skin-tight tech garments, layering them under voluminous trousers and knitwear. Always focused on the tactile experience of wearing their clothes, Lim and Zhou showcased a whole array of textures which enriched some of the more streamline silhouettes. One of the standout stories are the handmade glasses, created with the same technique porcelain is repaired with.
PUBLISHED BY: Eukolia
For their London Fashion Week debut, the makers of the new generation of IT bags are coming at you all guns blazing. Well, all bags blazing. Best known for the sculptural objects made out of recycled car metals, they have now expanded into a new territory by wrapping their staple shapes – Ruby’s Lost Stone, Oyster and Phil’s Third Eye – into the softest lamb leather out there. A new addition to their array is the Tote Bag, a leather exclusive with custom chrome 3D-printed hardware which honours the label’s founder Christoph Tsetinis’ Greek heritage. As a brand that comes from a digital-first background, working within the boundaries of a virtual space isn’t new. In fact, it’s exactly where their power lies. “From every angle – environmentally, practically and aesthetically – designing using the technology that’s available to us just makes logical sense. Ingesting the physical world and filtering it through the infinite possibilities of virtual reality is a constant and often untapped source of inspiration,” explains Tsetinis.
NICHOLAS DALEY: Stepping Razor
Instead of releasing a new collection, Nicholas Daley used this LFW as a chance to celebrate the high craftsmanship and the complex cultural narrative of his SS21 outing which is currently dropping into stores. Paying homage to the reggae legend and martial arts enthusiast Peter Tosh, the new video campaign references classic kung-fu filmography by channeling the visual texture of the 1970s through the 16mm film technique. The star of the film is Jordan Thomas, a former European and World Champion and the UK’s first Olympic Karateka who truly embodies the rich history of elite Black fighters. The film is directed by Joe Ridout, with styling by Stephen Mann and set design by Kei Yoshino. Infused by the soul and disco sounds mixed by another legendary reggae producer Dennis Bovell, the film gives that bit of good energy we’re all craving for ATM.
XANDER ZHOU: Update
Being the tech wizard amongst fashion designers, Xander Zhou has seemingly been preparing for the current state of the world for years. His brand has always spoken in-tune with technology way ahead of its times, as he created work that built a broad archive of futuristic ideas. So it doesn’t them come as a surprise then that for this season, Xander is revisiting a lot of those past ideas. Working without boundaries and through what he likes to describe as a “free evolution”, he is bringing together archival standouts and mixing them together withing details and shapes. However, Xander’s AW21 collection isn’t just an absolute treat for all those XZ stans out there. It also serves as a commentary on the cyclical nature of fashion and what exactly reinvention means. Sometimes, the best idea isn’t in the future – it’s the one you had yesterday.
PER GÖTESSON: Piece by Piece
Continuing the sentiment from his standout SS21 collection, Per Götesson presented the next chapter in his demi-couture approach to menswear – cutting existing garments into voluminous, luxe versions of themselves or transforming them into statement objects. Each piece in the collection is unique and a singular edition; therefore carrying the emotions and memories of its predecessors. And that’s where Per Götesson’s poetic brain comes in – instead of trying to concoct something completely new, he revels in the rich history of his materials. The silhouettes, somewhat fragile in their expression of masculine tradition, are complex and beautiful, like informal illustrations and scribbles come to life. And of course, what’s a PG collection without the stunning jewellery, as created by Per’s partner Husam El Odeh? This time, he made floral sculptures with petals made out of seashells and the sterling silver stems. The inspiration for these came out of the couple religiously watching documentaries about Queen Victoria.
NATASHA ZINKO x DUO LTD: Total Anarchy
At the house of Zinko, Natasha and Ivan are wrapping up their Sober trilogy, a trio of collections exploring different expressions of sobriety. This final one, for AW21, captures the idea of separating oneself from the society and the dangers of what that means for one’s identity. Going back in time, the mother-son duo looked at the French and Russian revolutions and the ways destruction of humanity during those times affected the visual output of the creative brains then. Transformed into the Natasha Zinko x DUO Ltd garments, these stories have a decidedly Gen-Z appeal, with silhouettes referencing both streetwear and historic costume. Their textiles are where their rich inspirations come through especially – colourful florals, elegant lace and textured wools. Who knew the past can look so modern?
JORDANLUCA: You Are Here
Luca Marchetto and Jordan Bowen might be feeling angry and focused, as their show notes for AW21 read, but those emotions apparently suit them well. The bad boys of London have been stuck indoors for a year, and they are going against all frivolities they had embraced before. A collection primarily in the darkest shade of black, their AW21 outing was targeting shape and tailoring as the primary source of expression. The outcome is their most grounded story yet, as their creativity runs wild in the finest details – traces of floral embroideries, pocket finishings and lace-up detailing. The silhouette is narrow and stern, expressing a suspenseful sense of chaos that’s just waiting to be released. But for now, they found the beauty in control.