Commuters, crushed velvet and curve-accentuating cut-outs at Fashion East AW23
From athletic performance wear to dresses that jingle when they move, the talent incubator’s latest lineup is very much on-the-go
image Silvia Draz
words Sophie Lou Wilson
How clothes feel and move against the body is one of fashion’s great joys. The current lineup at Fashion East, the London talent incubator who gave a start to Jonathan Anderson, Martine Rose and Grace Wales Bonner, were preoccupied with movement this season. Silk jersey gowns flowed with ease while athletic performance-wear was designed for women on-the-go. Metal eyelets embellishing slinky cut-outs jingled pleasingly with each step.
Michael Stewart’s evening wear label Standing Ground opened the show with immaculate draping that conjured gentle seduction. Pink crushed velvet, ethereal gowns and a Victoriana-inspired coat in Donegal tweed lent the latest collection a fluid, dreamlike quality. Columnar silk jersey dresses evoked classical Grecian elegance while form and fabric came before all else. These are clothes you want to reach out and touch, a timeless solution to formalwear that can still be worn with comfort and ease.
Newcomer Johanna Parv looked to the London rush hour, seeking inspiration in everyday commuters on their way to work. The Estonian designer made her Fashion East debut with athletic performance-wear inspired by the practical considerations of professional women cycling into the office. Garments considered the real-life style hacks Parv has witnessed on the road. Jackets were stretched over backpacks, skirts could be hiked up and waterproofs were ever present in case of rain – this is London, after all. In elevating those ordinary moments, she made the slog of getting to and from the office feel luxurious. Time to romanticise your commute. Just don't forget to wear a helmet!
Karoline Vitto closed the show with sensual cut-out stretch dresses that jingled with each step. These glamorous, goddess-like garments accentuate rather than hiding curves, celebrating the natural form. In fact, no models under a U.K. size 10 were cast in the show, a decision made in defiance against the returning Y2K aesthetic and the era’s problematic idolisation of thinness. Instead, the collection harked back to the 1980s. The noisy metal accents were deliberate. The Karoline Vitto woman is powerful. And she wants you to know when she’s approaching.
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