We’ve been deeply discussing our overall experience of London Fashion Week, looking at what stood out for us in a ‘big messages’ kinda way, and it seems that this AW15 LFW has been all about extremes. Yes, London is known for pushing the creative envelope to its outer limits, but this is something more than that. This is about extreme opposites of ethics, approach, vision and execution.
On one side of these opposing parties are those brands, designers, labels that are pushing forward into the future of fashion, somewhat in line with the vision expressed in ‘The Next Black’, which you can see here in our post from September’s LFW. These visionaries are delivering product made in brand new ways, with new technologies, blending traditional craft skills with a new view of craft that incorporates 3D printing (watch out for out Larissa Hadjio post) and taking traditional techniques are using them in fresh ways (watch out for our Georgia Hardinge post).
This is the side that we are sticking with, that we are loving and supporting. This is the side that includes designers like Christopher Kane who season on season deliver us a new take on femininity, a fresh view on surface pattern and who embraces innovative textiles and construction techniques.
This is the side where Mary Katrantzou can be experimental, creating a new view of beauty. Where she can create her very unique aesthetic all around new digital printing techniques, and then drive that forward to deliver a brand new take on surface interest in a fresh, bold and geometric, 3 dimensional way.
On the opposing side are a shockingly large number of labels who were showing real fur with utter abandon, in quantities that we have never seen before in the British fashion industry. We were left feeling very conflicted when a few of the labels that we regularly feature and have loved for the longest time, included this inexcusable material in their AW15 offer. Actually this feels like a continuation of several social media conversations we’ve had with Brit brands over the past few months, where we’ve called them out on their use of fur and asked them about their sourcing policy, only to be pretty much shut down in a public forum and invited to contact them directly, privately. Hmm, if you don’t feel able to publicly discuss your controversial choice of materials, then perhaps you need to consider those choices a little more deeply?
For us this is very firmly the opposite camp to those wonderful fashion innovators as it represents a carelessness, a very old-fashioned viewpoint and a lack of ‘big picture’ thinking. These are the fashion ‘backsliders’. These are labels that seemingly haven’t taken the time to investigate that perhaps there are better, more ethical and more effective materials to work with. These are the labels that need to take on board that luxe comes in many guises, that fashion is not relevant if it is without a conscience and without a thorough, well thought though set of decisions behind it. Remember angora-gate?
There is a trend for using real fur as a trim on accessories. How little regard must you have for the creature to use real fur to create utterly pointless clip on pom-poms for your shoes? Taking this natural material, then dying it bright, bold, dayglo colours makes even less sense to us when you can create that look brilliantly, Shrimps style, using fabulous faux fur?!?
Shrimps, we love you and your brilliantly bonkers AW’15 collection by the way, showing just how exciting and innovative fake can look. We think all of you fur wearing fashionistas and all of you fur using fashion brands need to take a leaf out of this young Brit brand’s book.
The future for fashion must be forward with innovation, approach and ethics. Are you with us?
For more from London Fashion Week, just take a look here.