The fashion set have made their second stop on their bi-annual world tour, also known as fashion month.
The latest stop on their sartorial odyssey? London Fashion Week.
Over at the seductive runways at Nensi Dojaka and 16Arlington, their ideas of bracing the cold weather was to not cover up at all. Save for a leather bomber or faux fur coat, these designers focused on silhouettes that were heavy on sensuality and skin-baring ensembles, and light on wet weather materials.
Given that London has been an epicentre of arts, culture and fashion since, well, antiquity, it’s expected that the designers showing in England would take sartorial inspiration from England’s vast and rich history.
Or, perhaps more aptly, a collection inspired by the pieces that may have drowned to the ocean floor after the sinking of the Titanic.
George Orwell once described England as ” the most class-ridden country under the sun… a land of snobbery and privilege,” so it’s only natural that they’ve absolutely nailed the academia, old money and preppy aesthetic.
However, for the FW/23 season, the design class are giving this classic style a much needed makeover. One that updates the codes cemented in the era of wealth and status into a cost of living crisis.
Just as many in England struggle to keep warm because of the cost of living, Burberry has sent chic hot water bottles adorned in their signature nova check (a symbol of generational wealth) down the runway.
JW Anderson, who is lauded for his tongue-in-cheek approach to design, even made the humble Tesco bag a covetable piece of design. He paired the look alongside wearable and ‘quiet luxury’ staples like the classic two-piece suit and deconstructed trench coat.
16Arlington, perhaps most rebellious, paired a classic calf-grazing grey pleated skirt with a rave-approved sequin top.
Perhaps what these designers are arguing is that the quintessentially pomp aesthetic may go hand-in-hand with British living, but not for much longer.
Winter may be coming, but if we were living by the ethos of the runways at LFW, we’d simply abide by the mantra, ‘who cares?’
Indeed, it may be the Fall/Winter season, but skin is not going anywhere. In fact, designers are showing more skin that ever, simply combating the element by adding in a soft textural layer like an oversized coat à la Michelle Pfeiffer.
Conner Ives’ slinky approach to 90s codes of dressing will undoubtedly be a mainstay in the wardrobes of London’s glitterati. A grey jersey mini with a ab-bearing slit in the middle? A low rise fringe midi skirt? A sultry white t-shirt dress styled open with a tie? Simply say less (because the clothes are doing all the talking, duh).
Of course, when it comes to London designers championing skin there’s no one doing it better than Nensi Dojaka and 16Arlington, and this season was no different.