While quiet luxury ruled the New York runways, London Fashion Week offered the exact opposite – eccentric elegance and avant-garde fun. London Fashion Week has always been a playground for designers who dare to defy convention and LFW Spring 2024 was no exception. In fact, we witnessed a sensational surge in experimental fashion that pushed the limits of imagination. The London shows took place from September 15th to the 19th and it was clear from the start that this season was going to be all about taking risks, celebrating the bizarre, and embracing the unconventional. Runways came alive with avant-garde designs, pushing the boundaries of what’s considered fashion. Leading the charge were some of the industry’s most iconic names. Let’s dive in:
BREAKING THE MOLD
The genesis of JW Anderson’s Spring 2024 collection was inspired by the humble yet powerful medium of clay. Yes, I said clay. Jonathan Anderson, found himself captivated by the malleability of clay, its capacity for transformation, and the inherent connection it bears to the human touch. In his collection, Anderson endeavored to capture the essence of clay, showcasing its versatility, sensuousness, and raw beauty through every piece. Case in point, a variety of looks that looked as though they were molded from Play-Doh — and they sort of were. Created out of plasticine, a British label of modelling clay, Anderson’s creations were stiff, lumpy, and totally camp. Almost like looking at a model wearing a cartoon.
ETHEREAL ROMANCE MEETS THE AVANT-GARDE
Simone Rocha’s Spring 2024 collection was a triumph of ethereal romanticism intertwined with experimental fashion. The runway was a dreamscape of whimsical silhouettes and intricate detailing. Rocha merged bold fabrics and textures, combining lace, tulle, and leather in unexpected ways.
One unforgettable piece was a voluminous tulle gown adorned with cascading floral appliqués. It was as if the models had stepped out of a fairytale and onto the runway. Simone Rocha reminded us that experimental fashion can be soft, romantic, and utterly enchanting – embellished Crocs and all.
THE CLASH OF HERITAGE AND FUTURISM
At Burberry, Creative Director Daniel Lee (this is his sophomore collection for the heritage brand) took the concept of experimental fashion to a new level. The collection was a vibrant blend of heritage and futurism, as models walked down the runway in reimagined trench coats. Models strutted tailored coats with low slung belts and Lee’s updated Burberry Prorsum ‘knight on horseback’ logo, one that is deconstructed and taken apart – the pattern consists of images of metal carabiner clips in the shape of the knight’s horse and heavy-duty silver chains. The Spring 2024 collection was a perfect balance of elevated grunge and classic Brit appeal that is the signature of Burberry.
Richard Quinn’s Spring 2024 collection was an extravaganza of excess and opulence. The show, held at the Grand London Ballroom, was an ode to the designer’s late father and stayed true to Quinn’s signature creations, as models walked the runway draped in lush fabrics, feathers, and sequins, creating an atmosphere of grandeur. The collection took a pensive tone with regal opera gloves, exaggerated collars, and cage dresses in both mourning blacks and angelic off-whites. Supermodel Jessica Stam closed the show in an embellished bridal jumpsuit, signaling that even in grief, there is love. Quinn’s collection proved that experimental fashion can be a celebration of the extraordinary.
HERITAGE MEETS SUBVERSION
Chopova Lowena’s Spring 2024 collection was a masterful blend of heritage and subversion. Models wore garments that juxtaposed traditional textiles with unconventional design elements. The design duo, Emma Chopova and Laura Lowena-Irons, merged tough skate culture with frilly folkloric dreams creating a gothic girlie look that was superb. Case in point, a delicate lace collared jacket paired with a black lace dress and leather studded accessories, symbolizing the collision of old-world charm and modern edge. Chopova Lowena’s collection was a testament to the beauty of contrasts in fashion.
THAT’S A WRAP
As the curtain fell on London Fashion Week Spring 2024, these British designers left an indelible mark on the fashion world. Their experimental creations challenged norms, pushed boundaries, and celebrated the art of self-expression through clothing. In the grand tapestry of fashion, they remind us that it’s the rule-breakers and innovators who propel the industry into exciting new territories, ensuring that fashion remains a vibrant, ever-evolving art form. Oh, and it looked like they were having lots of fun doing it!