Casting an eye over the initiatives and ideals behind the AW20 Positive Fashion Presentation.
The female subject in space, the intimate space, the personal space, the social space, the public space. Wetness. Our bodily fluids, water filtered through our bodies, bodily water. Holy water, Sea water. If you cry in public you must hide it If you sweat in public you must hide it If you breastfeed in public you must hide it I am analysing this censorship, in regards to social behaviour and proposing that the way we perceive our bodily waters has an immediate connection to how we misuse and relate to the oceans. The aim is to create a sense of performativity, and introduce the wearer as performer the garment as script and our wetness consumes and overwhelms us, turns into rivers and rain, darkened oceans.
Emily Frances Barrett is an Artist and Jeweller based in East London, where she is currently an artist in residence at Sarabande, the Lee Alexander McQueen Foundation. As a self taught jeweller, she works intuitively with her materials from precious metals and stones, to found and organic objects such as flowers, shells, feathers, mud larked clay pipes and river worn glass. With her unbounded approach to materials she creates unique pieces, which are refined yet imperfect and full of intrigue, woven with stories from another place and time.
Over the last year Emily has worked with many designers, creating jewellery to accompany their collections. Most recently she collaborated with David Koma for his SS20 collection, using butterfly wings and porcupine quills inspired by his trip to Kenya. She has also created pieces for Jordan Luca SS20, Danshan AW19, Roberts -Wood AW19 and Olubiyi Thomas AW19.
Irish born, London based Fiona O’neill is the designer behind the self named label launched in 2019. The brand explores themes of surrealism and optical illusions, incorporating different art forms and application processes such as screen and digital printing, painting by hand and ceramic sculpting. Since graduating from Central Saint Martins with a BA in fashion design, Fiona has received accolades in innovative design from the L’Oreal Professional Prize and H&M Design Award, and her signature prints and designs have been featured in exhibitions internationally.
Margin Studio is contemporary ready to wear label based out of New Delhi, India. Headed by Founder Saurabh Maurya and Co- founder Ranjit Yadav, both graduated from National Institute of Fashion Technology, Bengaluru, India. Margin attempts to create transeasonal wardrobe essentials with a mix of indigenous craft rooted in our history and multiplying those ideas with technological innovations, modern tailoring, casual styles and a responsibility towards environment and fair business practices. Focused on creating some really conceptual clothing working with handloom weavers across borders and merging different techniques to bring about clothing line where craft meets technology and innovation. From using engineered fabrics to graded pattern making on clothing itself, from working with farmers in remotest areas for organic cotton to working with Independent women in Kullu for fabrication, from using recycled plastic from Gujarat to Innovative and engineered weave structures made on handloom, we are focused to bring a difference where our clothing really brings out the individuality of the wearer. Our handknits are developed with the help of Independent women hand knitters in Himanchal Pradesh using Kala Cotton, Merino Wool, Mohair wool, Linens which works out for summers as well.
Ringwood is a bespoke footwear designer, obsessed by the history of objects that have lived, firmly believing that an object’s value is persistently enhanced over time. Her shoes explore the sense of touch through a variety of materials and textures, encouraging engagement in order to allow for constant evolution of the relationship between the wearer and what is worn. With an unprecedented look and feel, her tactile shoes are the result of a complex, entirely handcrafted manufacturing process and extensive research. The enigmatic nature of her shoes gives each pair its own user-defined impact – it is the culmination of moral values (using offcuts and reclaimed materials) combined with a vision that has matured over the years.
This brand was not an overnight invention but a lifetime of development and commitment to do good with fashion as the tool. Frankie Phillips is the founder and designer of TOBEFRANK. Frankie has worked on the concept for years building up her sustainable portfolio and developing a framework to make fashion better. In August 2018 Frankie decided to quit her job as a freelance Sustainable consultant and focus on building up TOBEFRANK, Frankie met Mehmet Guner in September 2018 while on a souring trip in Turkey, and an instant bond was formed, Mehmet’s background in fibre development, his unique knowledge and incredible sourcing abilities makes him an expert in sustainable development. Then in February 2019 Frankie met Nic Hau, after knowing Frankie for only one month Nic quit his job and a partnership of dreams started. The three of them have together made TOBEFRANK into the brand Frankie had dreamed of.
We stand for the experimental youth; the few that dare to challenge conventions and break free from the boundaries of conformity. UNDERAGE celebrates the sexually liberated and the empowered, underpinned by a playful spirit. The passion project of designer Ying Shen, UNDERAGE was born less than a year after graduating from Central Saint Martins with an MA in Textile Design. Her background in graphic design equips Ying with a unique take on fashion and a natural flair for visual expression. Defined by bold, striking prints and an unorthodox approach to traditional garment construction, UNDERAGE collections are conceived in-house in Dalston. Always ready to surprise, shock and subvert, collections are inspired by the voracity of youth and the iconic subcultures that challenge societal norms. Think 80s club kids, androgynous heroes and cult movies that celebrate the eclectic and eccentric. Above all, UNDERAGE believe in the power of the people; the misfits, the trailblazers and the rebel spirits of the underground.
Words by Daisy Sells
Images courtesy of London Fashion Week and British Fashion Council.