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Tracing a Trend: ‘Historical Romance’

By Jayne Mountford


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Credits: Molly Goddard fw19/Launchmetrics Spotlight

An Antidote to ‘Quiet Luxury’

It’s not exactly new, but you might want to call the ‘Historical Romance’ trend, the current antidote to ‘Quiet Luxury.’ Chiffon, tulle, voile and lace are used in big frothy volumes that emulate the crinolines of the Victorian Age. Maybe we think of them as being in black, but It is interesting to note that before the death of Queen Victoria’s beloved husband, Prince Albert, society ladies wore dresses in bright colors!

Comme des Garçons ss20 look 1 Credits: Comme des Garçons ss20/Launchmetrics Spotlight

Rei Kawakubo: a pioneer of the ‘Historical Romance’ trend

It’s a look that has been around since the 1980s when Japanese designers such as Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garçons championed the style, which the brand promotes to this day.

Lynn Yaeger Credits: Lynn Yaeger/Launchmetrics Spotlight

The editor and curator, Lynn Yaeger, is renowned as being a longtime proponent of the historical romance style.

The London scene

In recent years, young British designers including Emma Chopova, Laura Lowena and Simone Rocha appear to have been inspired by gothic Victorian novels like Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights as well as venerated British houses Vivienne Westwood and Alexander McQueen. In addition to the expected black, they show voluminous confections in a variety of colors, including pink, yellow and green. When Killing Eve’s Villanelle stomped around in a voluptuous pink dress, everyone wanted to know more about its designer, Molly Goddard. She has since become one of the big names on the London Fashion Week calendar. The London fashion week schedule for ss24 has been announced and several designers known for their takes on ‘historical romance’ will be showing.

Bora Aksu

The Turkish designer will show his collection for ss24 during LFW on Friday 15 September 2023.

Fw23: look 20

Credits: Bora Aksu fw23/Launchmetrics Spotlight

A long pink satin dress with balloon sleeves and a square neck with a black voile and lace overlay.

Street style

Credits: Bora Aksu street style/Launchmetrics Spotlight

As seen on the street in 2022 from the fw21 collection, a pale pink layered dress with ivory ruffled and floral trim.

Molly Goddard

Molly Goddard will show her ss24 collection during LFW on Saturday 16 September 2023.

Fw19 look 61

Molly Goddard fw19 look 61 Credits: Molly Goddard fw19/Launchmetrics Spotlight

A bright pink dress with a heavily embellished top and a multi-layered skirt over black pants.

SS23 look 11

Molly Goddard ss23 look 11 Credits: Molly Goddard ss23/Launchmetrics Spotlight

A red and ivory Toile de Jouy long dress with a ruffled trim under a chiffon layer with polka dots in red.


Roksanda Ilinčić will show her collection for ss24 during LFW on Saturday 16 September.

Street Style

Show attendee in Roksanda Credits: Roksanda street style/Launchmetrics Spotlight

A bright yellow vee neck cotton dress with billowing sleeves.

Simone Rocha

Simone Rocha will show her collection for ss24 during LFW on Sunday 17 September

SS22 look 47

Simone Rocha ss22 look 47 Credits: Simone Rocha ss22/Launchmetrics Spotlight

A long dress in a blurred floral print with ruffles over a pink embellished petticoat and a white ruffled petticoat.

Fw23 look 49

Simone Rocha fw23 look 49, Credits: Simone Rocha ss22/Launchmetrics Spotlight

A long transparent chiffon dress with balloon sleeves, embellished with crystals and pearls over an underlay and balled-up straw.


Erdem Moralioglu will show his collection for ss24 during LFW on Sunday 17 September.

Ss23 look 40

Erdem ss23 look 40 Credits: Erdem ss23/Launchmetrics Spotlight

An embroidered velvet jacket under a chiffon layer over a wide net black tulle skirt with a multi-layered underskirt

Chopova Lowena

Emma Chopova and Laura Lowena will show their collection for ss24 during LFW on Friday 15 September.

Street Style

Chopova Lowena ss23 street style Credits: Chopova Lowena ss23/Launchmetrics Spotlight

In 2022, Christine Bateman was seen wearing a white and red Chopova Lowena flocked dress with a pointed collar from ss21.

Ss23 look 25

Chopova Lowena ss23 look 25 Credits: Chopova Lowena ss23/Launchmetrics Spotlight

A long, white ruffled dress with a red print, a scoop-neck and short puffy sleeves, and a ruffled crossbody add-on with a contrast dark red print.

London Fashion Week
tracing a trend