- Words: Matthew Harden
All of the shows worth paying attention to
01. Vivienne Westwood
Let’s start with the veteran of veterans—Vivienne Westwood. Her show is definitely worth watching in full. An entire troupe of circus performers take on the role of models on this runway (bar a regular few). What’s the point of walking down the catwalk when you can walk upside down, or leap and bound, forming every body shape imaginable? Despite the joy and lightness of the acrobatics, the inspiration behind Westwood’s collection is heavily political. Climate change, pollution, and the looming end of the world were all in focus, sometimes quite literally—it’s hard not to zoom in on the pieces of trash stuffed down the tights of models, or the crushed Evian bottles being worn as makeshift sandals. The lack of truly wearable garments in this collection is perhaps an extension of the sentiment Westwood expressed a week prior at the preview of ‘Bread & Butter’, where she powerfully declared, “buy less, choose better, make it last.”
02. Art School
Like Westwood, clothes were the focus of Art School’s show as much as the bodies wearing them. The collection saw gender flipped styling on a diverse cast that didn’t subscribe to homogenous idea of “models” set by the wider fashion industry. Art School’s spectacle is worth taking note of because it represents the shift happening in model casting right now. The age of skeletal models with the liveliness of jellyfish is becoming old hat, ushering in the age of everyday people walking the runway, expressing self-empowerment, and vitality.
03. Gosha Rubchinskiy
Although Gosha didn’t technically show in London he did show during the London dates—albeit from Saint Petersburg. With this show he continues to enjoy ample hype even after his seventh collection continues to rehash ideas he’s peddled since his debut three years ago. The inspiration for this collection. football and electronica, could have been the influence behind any of his previous seven collections. He’s consistently created looks that seem simultaneously ready for both the sporting field and underground rave.
Although football is more pertinent this time around considering the 21st FIFA World Cup is being hosted in Gosha’s home country, Russia, in 2018. It’s this upcoming event that also motivated his continued collaboration with Adidas, as well as a new partnership with iconic British brand Burberry. As for electronica’s impact on the collection, Gosha’s venue of choice was a building that hosted the first ever rave in Russia, just before the USSR’s collapse in 1989.