a vibrant display | london fashion week aw24 roundup part 2

photography. Jason Lloyd-Evans

London Fashion Week (LFW) is one of the most vibrant places that allows fashion to thrive. This autumn/winter season is no different, with Bora Aksu designing hand-knitted mohair angora dresses inspired by the works of Eva Hesse, David Koma reconstructing tutus into tops, and JW Anderson bringing back ‘grandma chic’. With all of this and more, read on to discover this season’s best of LFW. 

The unparalleled streets of New York were transported to London in the form of a printed backdrop framing Paul Costelloe’s newest collection, Once Upon A Time. Reminiscent of his time living in The Big Apple, the Irish-American designer had cold winters in the city in mind, crafting a collection chock full of classic – but never boring – silhouettes. Winter whites, charcoal, and burgundy found themselves on voluminous wool coats, off-the-shoulder knitwear, and bell skirts. Flower appliqués in the same fabric adorned the hems of dresses and skirts while tweed plaids were splashed over tailored trousers. With Costelloe’s designs, bundling up for winter has never looked so sophisticated.

Sculptor Eva Hesse served as the inspiration behind Bora Aksu’s latest collection. Touched by – and connecting to – her ability to turn her negative personal experiences into joyful artwork, Aksu sought to express that same idea through his tailoring. Continuing from last season, Aksu worked with volume, juxtaposing feminine elements like puff sleeves and full skirts with masculine jackets. Lace, hand-knitted mohair angora, and metallic detailing were married with bows and twee collars, expressing the light feminine energy that Aksu is known for. Understanding trauma and growing from it is what Aksu truly wanted to express, manifesting in a colourful display of femininity.

Mark Fast has created his own galaxy, one that revolves around futuristic fashion. Cosy knits, oversized jackets, and weather-resistant outerwear were all present in his autumn/winter 2024 collection, Galaxy Beyond. Silver patent leather boots alongside fringe-covered and barely-there knitted dresses added to the interstellar feel of the collection. Vibrant neon pinks, fuschia, and chartreuse popped from the grey and chrome colour palette, adding another dimension to Fast’s work. The Central Saint Martins graduate has effortlessly fused his unparalleled knitwear designs with the work of Joe Columbo, an architect from the 60s, to create his extra-terrestrial-esque world. 

Deborah Latouche, founder and creative director of SABIRAH, has long been inspired by Dominique Devereux’s – the first Black character on the hit 1980s TV show, Dynasty – power, glamour, and independence. “She came into the show when she was on the same level as everybody else and that was really inspiring for me as a young Black child and for other women in my family,” Latouche told Schön! backstage. For her latest collection, she drew from these ideas, saying, “If you look at her, you look at what she was wearing, you look at how she was wearing it, she’s incredibly elegant, she’s very very sophisticated, very immaculate, and also very coordinated.” This was manifested through elegantly draped monochrome looks, 80s shoulder pads, and glamorous sparkles. 

With each collection that Robyn Lynch creates, she is able to explore personal nostalgia. This season, her main source of inspiration was her younger sister Adrianna, a professional Irish dancer. The combination of glamour and endurance came together through Lynch’s textiles, with patterned devoré and recycled nylons complementing each other. Celtic knots and monogram embroidery were layered with hiking trousers and trainers made in partnership with GEOX. Lynch also collaborated with C.P. Company to rework outerwear pieces from the brand’s past collections, incorporating knitted panels, slimming down the silhouettes, and adding her own embellishments. With all these elements being fused together, the collection is the perfect representation of elegant practicality.

David Koma’s latest collection came alive on the runway. Looking at the study of dance, Koma wanted to explore his own version of on and off-duty dancer’s wardrobes that combined the styles of both the late German neo-expressionist dance pioneer Pina Bausch and contemporary Spanish action artist Candela Capitan. Tutus were reconstructed – wrapping around the bust and floating behind the models – and paired with wide-leg trousers, mini skirts were worn over trousers, and ballet bustiers became evening gowns. Even the plumed satin-slingbacks were a nod to dance shoes. Integrating the art of dance into Koma’s contemporary elegance proved to be an excellent display of reimagined silhouettes.

LABRUM London’s autumn/winter 2024 collection, Designed By An Immigrant: Journey of Colours, celebrated diverse cultures, highlighting immigrant artists’ stories through vibrant colours and textures. Creative director Foday Dumbuya had models bedecked in patchwork blazers, elegant draping, and printed midi dresses. Wrapping and draping of fabrics were constant throughout the show, representing practicality, resilience, and adornment. A vintage suitcase was covered in LABRUM’s monogram, a bowl hat stood tall on the model’s head, and a 1970s Adidas bowling bag had been reworked. The final look, ‘Flags’, consisted of draped flags surrounding the model, highlighting a journey of colours.

JW Anderson’s Jonathan Anderson set out to explore dressing as a psychological act for his newest collection. Stripping back to the basics, housewife flats, twee underwear, and plenty of knitwear graced the runway. This feeling of ‘grandma chic’ – or grandpa, for that matter – swept through the collection, coming to a head (literally) with models put in short, curly grey wigs. Mega-sized coats drowned petite frames, chunky sweaters were knotted and draped, and thick ribbons hung from rosette belts. Semi-sheer maxi dresses were even adorned with tassel details – resembling those from old-school curtains – to cover models’ nipples. What was once seen as old and dated, Anderson has now made effortlessly cool.

An all-black – and leather – look is synonymous with AllSaints, and their latest collection, Blvck Mvgic, is a contemporary continuation of that style. Their autumn/winter runway show, held in the Charterhouse, boasted high-quality patent, studded, and classic leather jackets (another thing the brand is known for), metallic pleated skirts, trousers, and dresses, and voluminous tulle skirts. With the dark backdrop and colour palette, the collection exuded grunge, a feeling that was added to through the use of dirtied denim, heavy black eye makeup, and sheer dresses. What stood out the most, though, were the sequin tassel skirts, sheer mini dresses adorned with embroidery covering just the right places, and (without a doubt) the oversized wool coats.

words. Amber Louise
photography. Courtesy of Ben Broomfield (Paul Costelloe), Jason Lloyd-Evans (Bora Aksu), Iker Aldama (Mark Fast), Olu Ogunshakin (SABIRAH), Chris Yates (ROBYN LYNCH), David Koma, Lee Scullion (LABRUM London), JW Anderson, AllSaints

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