The fashion industry has had its fair share of criticism of late for being unsustainable and exploitative. also there is doubt as to the role of a fashion week as costs soar and catwalks are now transmitted in real time around the world . However, one fashion event is evolving and keeping its promise to make positive changes – the ever-fabulous London Fashion Week, which turned activist this season, amidst news of the government looking at a recommendation for a ‘penny-per-garment-sold’ tax scheme, being considered to encourage brands to recycle.
Edeline Lee used her new collection presentation as a platform to give women a voice, replacing the traditional catwalk with a stage where 35 female experts gave powerful orations. The collection itself was typically quiet and subtle, with a heavy focus on eye-catching outerwear in silk jacquard.
Also tapping into the feminist spirit, Natalie B Coleman partnered with the United Nations Population Fund to create her ‘Sisters’ collection, influenced by the powerful bond between women and created to emphasise the importance and collaborative power of sisterhood. The gorgeous collection uses Irish handcraft techniques such as lace, hand-weaving, knits and embroidery, all passed down through generations of women. Individual capsule pieces will be available to purchase in May.
Richard Malone tackled sustainability and inclusiveness in his AW2019 collection, using a diverse selection of models of all ages to present pieces made from repurposed fabrics including old dog beds and workwear twills. And zero-waste concept label Vin + Omi went even greener for their latest collection, with dresses made from organic nettle and cow parsley, and chunky knitwear made from “combed-off” donated alpaca wool. The results were typically fab.
Bethany Williams won the Queen Elizabeth II award for design based probably oher ethical approach to fashion at LFW this season, presenting a collection entitled ‘Adelaide House’ after a women’s shelter in Liverpool and produced using only recycled and organic materials.
Rounding the event off – and proving London’s fashion scene will remain global despite the imminent Brexit – was the incredible Brave New Worlds exhibition, showcasing the work of 16 of the world’s best emerging fashion designers, with sustainability proving a thread running throughout several of the collections this year.