WORDS Eva Grundon

Foreward Alix Waterhouse

AW17 opened with a show from Oxfam, styled by Bay Garnett. The show made a powerful statement - we can create, striking, unique, runway-ready looks - and fight poverty at the same time. Celebrity models included Stella Tennant, Erin O'Connor and Bella Fraud. The week continued with high calibre presentations from Faustine Steinmetz and Le Kilt. EcoSessions delivered an evening of conversation, moderated by Lucy Siegle and Dame Vivienne Westwood hosted a night at Fabric to encourage us all to switch to green energy. LFW ended with a prolific showcase of conscious fashion at The Future of Fashion Weekend.


Oxfam - Fashion Fighting Poverty

There was no better way to step into this season’s sustainability highlights, than Kicking off London Fashion Week with Oxfam’s Fashion Fighting Poverty show. Some of fashions favourite faces came together in full force to model an array of vintage garments, styled by none other than Vogue contributing editor, Bay Garnett. As each fashion week-worthy garment graced the catwalk; there was a reinforced reminder of the social issues surrounding fashion, and the importance of a conscious purchase. From the androgynous velvet fashioned by Bella Freud, to the playful chiffon number worn by Erin O’Connor, the show was clear proof that you can flight poverty one piece at a time and look flawless doing it.



Faustine Steinmetz

Quick to turn her back on trend-led collections; Faustine Steinmetz taught us the true value of denim, through her reworked collection. Touching on the history of denim, Steinmetz unravelled modern jean styles, both physically and symbolically, to create a strong narrative behind each carefully crafted piece. The unique denim was sourced from 30 different countries of the world, including Columbia, Canada and Tel Aviv. Hand-pleated shibori dyed jackets were shown along with a very sophisticated, yet unusual twist on denim pointy shoes. Unforgettably, a diamante encrusted jean pocket from Bogota back in 2000, was used to create a gem emblazoned two-piece. The exhibit began with the statement, ‘no matter what gender, age or origin, there is one piece of clothing that everybody has in their wardrobe at some point in their life’. A quote that supports the notion that she can create sustainable art work, from a mere wardrobe staple. 



Camilla Elphick

With fashions best foot forward, the spotlight is on Camilla Elphick. Handmade in Italy, Camilla’s designs are ‘defined by a luxurious yet playful aesthetic and focus on premium, ethically sourced materials and bespoke prints’. Camilla Elphick’s AW17 collection was a Surreal ShoeSoiree inspired by Salvador Dali’s Surrealist’s Cookbook. Hosted at L’ Escargot in Soho, Camillla’s signature high heels were displayed amongst a spectacular banquet of food. The AW/17 collection took aim at some of the worlds ever growing health-food trends, featuring avocado motifs and embroidered kale leaves among the playful designs.



Le Kilt

Continuing the exploration of modern day uniforms, Le Kilt AW17 celebrates the small details of classic pieces. All components of the collection are made in the UK, reflecting the brands on-going love of local manufacturing and craftsmanship. The ten-piece collection in collaboration withScottish heritage brand Mackintosh, “a perfect contrast” represents ‘Samantha’s identity – reflected in the decision to collaborate with people and places that resonate with her on a personal level’. Entirely handmade in London with Blackhorse Lane Ateliers; every piece is made up with organic, woven in Europe, complete with a hidden wool detail.




‘Dressing with Values’, brought together leaders in cruelty-free fashion and beauty, to share how to be stylish and ethical, from head to toe. Lucy Siegle headed the discussion as she spoke to Phil Wildbore from Monkee Genes, about how he starts with the designof his garments and goes on to make them as ethical and sustainable aspossible. Both Jamie Debbage from Wilby Clutch, and Natalie Dean from Beyond skin, discussed the importance of cruelty free fashion and sustainability and how to create the perfect balance. Lucy Knight from Guilty Free Beauty spoke of her start-up journey and competition against the nations most famous beautybrands.

Climate Revolution

Dame Viv hosted a political club night at Fabric called SWITCH! Pamela Anderson, Gwendoline Christie, Jo Wood and more came to listen, joined on stage by models wearing 'Ecotricity' paper crowns. Vivienne spoke of the urgency of waking up to climate change.



The Future of Fashion Weekend

From one conscious showcase to the next; The Future of Fashion Weekend with The House of St Barnabus and Fashion Revolution celebrated fashion, ethics and sustainability, all under one Georgian roof. Sole Ferragamo proved that versatility brings longevity, with each shape creating a fresh new piece made from remnants of leather. Another waste-not-want-not approach to fashion was seen in Katie Jones’s knitwear collection, which utilises designer surplus and celebrates artisanal hand craftsmanship. London-based label ELLISS, work hard to create clothing using conscious design methods and minimal waste. Highlighting the hidden hunger in the UK, Bethany Williams latest collection ‘Breadline’,seeks to create positive change through sustainable designs. Ada Zanditon’s layering of processes, shapes and craftsmanship makes each design clearly recognisable. Each piece is hand constructed from the finest quality leather and embellished with crystals in her atelier in East London. The collections showed work that responded to social, ethical and environmental issues by exploring aesthetics of craft, placing emphasis on slow fashion and celebrating unique, bespoke design.


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