The coronavirus has come for Fashion Week, but Fashion Week is unbowed. With the 2020 edition of LFWM going all-digital, the event's key designers talk us through how they've adapted to showing clothes in a world where showing clothes is (almost) impossible.
What’s been the biggest challenge with producing a lockdown fashion ‘show’?
Manufacturing was one of the biggest challenges this season. When lockdown set in all of the factories started to close, but this collection was made possible by the amazing seamstresses I’ve worked with directly, sending them fabrics and patterns so they could work from home. This collection is a testament to their skill and dedication.
What’s been the biggest opportunity?
I saw this as an opportunity to be more conscious of how much I was putting out into the world, not making looks that would go no further than the runway; this season is much tighter and more thoughtful of our planet.
How have you seen London’s fashion community come together in the past few months?
It’s been amazing to see everyone come together to help the community, sewing scrubs, masks, doing what they can to support during this difficult time. We’ve managed to make about 500 masks now and get them out to care homes and the local community, which I hope has helped. Even if it was just making people feel more comfortable if they were going to the shops I wanted to use the resources I had to help.
Is this a watershed moment for the fashion industry?
I hope so; I think there’s a lot of room for change, particularly with the schedule and from a sustainability perspective. I hope brands will use this moment to take a step back and re-asses how they work.
Who is your favourite British designer at the moment?
Chopova Lowena. We studied at Saint Martin’s together and I love everything they do.
Street style is impossible this year. Is that a good or a bad thing?
It’s always funny to see people putting on their best looks and pretending they don’t want to be photographed whilst loitering outside a show for 20mins. Not sure I’ll miss it, though.
What kind of role do you think a fashion show will play in five years?
I think each brand should do what is right for them and for that season, so hopefully there will be fewer shows and more innovative ways of presenting fashion.
What has been your favourite show of all time?
Tom Ford Gucci S/S'97 – the spot light, the unbuttoned shirts, the pants!
If your A/W'20 collection had a mantra, what would it be?
Be whoever you want to be.
Can you pick one piece or look from A/W'20 that defines the collection?
The look with the pink silk jockey shirt with stars on was the first look from my finale collection on Next In Fashion. This collection was started during my time in LA filming the show so I wanted to mark that moment.
In a money-and-physics-no-object world, talk us through your dream fashion show.
Every time I go to the British Museum I dream of doing something. Those huge curved steps in the cavernous marble entrance hall, with a full orchestra accompanying – that would be a good start.
Who makes it onto the perfect frow?
Celine Dion completes any frow for me.
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