The London Fashion Week spring/summer 2020 schedule was as packed as ever, with more than 60 on-schedule brands taking part, and for some designers the way to stand out from the crowd is to showcase their new collection in a presentation environment, allowing them to focus on the inspiration and allow close-up inspection of their incredible designs.
This season FashionUnited was wowed by a number of presentations that we decided to do a round-up of our favourites:
Shenzhen-born Caroline Hu, a BA womenswear graduate from Central Saint Martins in London and a MFA fashion design and society graduate from Parsons School of Design in New York, made her London Fashion Week debut for SS20 after winning the BoF China Prize in partnership with Yu Holdings.
Her ‘Impressions of Love’ spring/summer 2020 collection was presented at the Serpentine Gallery set amidst a forest-like setting with real plants, which beautifully framed her collection full of romance, femininity and craftsmanship.
“I want to convey my most intimate and romantic feelings,” said Caroline Hu in the show notes. “All too often these are hidden in our minds, and I wanted to bring these to the forefront for a really dramatic, personal story.”
The collection juxtaposes soft chiffon and appliquéd lace with architectural detailing shown in the ruffles and embroidery and beautiful muted colour palette. Each piece delicate, romantic and a call for care-free summers in the countryside, beautifully showcased within the explosion of textures, fine detailing and intertwining 3D flowers.
Images: by Danielle Wightman-Stone
London-based, hyper streetwear brand DB Berdan, from Turkish designers Beg Berdan and Deniz Berdan made their on-schedule debut at London Fashion Week with their spring/summer 2020 collection that paid tribute to the LGBTQ+ people in the sports industry such as Greg Louganis and Stella Walsh.
Entitled the ‘Self-Love Club’ collection, DB Berdan presented silhouettes inspired by the late 80's and early 90's hip hop and rave cultures, with bold colours, oversized tie-dye denim hoodies, and joggers that turn into shorts, which was all showcased in a chaotic, high-energy presentation with models sporting their personalities with customised underground footwear, fans and sports gear, enhanced with Olympic rings and pan inspired spiked up hair sculptures.
Collection highlights included cotton 80's bat sleeved button-up shirts, and basketball shorts that turn into skirts, all incorporating authentic environmentally friendly prints created by DB Berdan, as well as the brand’s collaboration with Smiley, which saw the iconic smiley face emblazoned on sweatshirts and T-shirts.
Images: courtesy of DB Berdan
The magical romance of Alice Archer takes inspiration from watercolour paintings of Charles Rennie Mackintosh for spring/summer 2020. This collection sees Archer creating embroideries that feel like watercolours, using techniques including embroidered line drawings, painted prints sublimated onto embroideries of luscious peonies and delicate sweet peas, jewel-like sequin work and layered tulle to form textures which are rich and fluid.
As with all of Archer’s collection there is a romance to her signature style that is decorative and beautiful which has been given a renewed clarity in the shape and simplicity of the silhouette of the floral embroidered gowns.
“These pieces are made to be treasured,” explains Archer in the show notes. “Slow fashion that exudes the care with which it has been made.”
Images: courtesy of Alice Archer / group shot by Danielle Wightman-Stone
British luxury brand 16Arlington, founded by design duo Marco Capaldo and Kikka Cavenati, created a 1960s party feel for their spring/summer 2020 collection, delving into the world of the show girl with high octane, feel-good glamour.
The collection played heavily with volume and movement, with fully cocooned dresses featuring hand-sewn struzzo feathers that had been dip-dyed in ombre pink to red and lilac to yellow, while other looks featured hand-dyed chiffon drapes that hung long and loose and were tied effortlessly around the neck, and movement was further explored through beaded fringing, with heavily embroidered evening gowns and jumpsuits.
There was also a nod to Emilio Pucci, with psychedelic prints appearing in lame 3-piece trouser suits, which the brand expressed “encapsulates the brand’s notion of igniting the party girl in everyone”.
Images: by Danielle Wightman-Stone
The “evocative of travel and escapism to warm new climes” was at the heart of Temperley London’s spring/summer 2020 collection inspired by byzantine tilework, Venetian palazzos and beautifully curated gardens.
While opulent eveningwear is a given for the British brand, with gowns featuring shimmering sequins in varied sizes to create a 3D effect and depth, with beautiful overlay satin stitch, encrusted lattices and embellished star clusters, this collection belong to the daywear, with new denim styles, matching suit options, and an array of long, billowing, off-the-shoulder summer dresses.
The idea of the collection is to take the Temperley woman from “Hotel Boudoir, French Riviera, Peggy’s Venice and Botanical Retreat” offering daywear featuring high waisted denim paper bag style shorts to explore, while for evenings spent al fresco there were long line smoking jackets worn with matching wide-leg trousers, and crisp cotton, line and cotton silk checks in short dresses in a soft colour palette of rosewater pink, cantaloupe, pastel jade green and seashell contrasted with the stronger orange, plum and vibrant tigerlily.
A key highlight was the denim, with styles including Capri, wide-leg with sailor button front detailing as well as a button-through skirt with matching bodice top and jacket in French blue, dark washed denim and white. Additional versions were adorned with Matisse inspired graphic leaf prints in sugary pink with white and black with copper orange motifs.
Images: courtesy of Temperley London
For spring/summer 2020, Edeline Lee continued to use her on-schedule slot to showcase an immersive presentation, in previous seasons we’ve had dancers, feminist speeches, and this season a combination of theatre and catwalk, with models weaving between scripted performances.
“There are so many parallels between the performance of life in the theatre and the everyday performance of feminine identity through clothing and press,” explains Lee in the show notes. “There is a wonderful juxtaposition between the catwalk models performing the ‘real world’ and the actors performing another version of the ‘real world’ in this piece.”
The performance scripted by actor, writer and producer Sharon Horgan lasted 15 minutes, repeating on a loop over the two-hour presentations with the audience able to eavesdrop on domestic scenarios played between the actors in duologues, each exchange depicting a “bitter-sweet human moment” from loneliness to suicide, and a break up.
Both models and actors wore Edeline Lee SS20, which featured a colour palette that graduated between navy, blue, green, yellow and red, alongside pieces in a colourful zebra print and raffia floral jacquard that added texture to the collection.
Images: courtesy of Edeline Lee by Simon Melber