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Q̾u̾i̾c̾k̾ ̾F̾i̾r̾e̾: London Fashion Week
The MØRNING team give their take on LFW. Scroll for industry failings, internet darlings, faux pas and creative ruts...
MØRNING! How was your London Fashion Week? Were you bothered by Burberry’s Norman’s takeover? Swipe Style Not Com’s show reviews? Navigate the Mowalola and Chopova Lowena show clash? Or did you try and avoid it at all costs?
Today we introduce 🔥 QUICK FIRE🔥 our new regular dispatch of insight and opinion straight from the minds of MØRNING. Read it all, or skip to whatever peaks your interest:
Dilara’s Anti-Industry Statement
Internet Darlings Ruled Reporting
The Clothes Were An Easy A for Apocalypse
Mowalola missed the mark
Dilara’s Anti-Industry Statement (Sui, Creative Strategist)
Cult favourite independent designer Dilara Findikoglu cancelled the highly anticipated show of her eponymous label just days ahead of proceedings, citing make or break concerns around the ‘mental, physical and economic’ capacity of the house to put on a show true to their vision, despite a mega-summer of celeb and magazine features (Kylie Jenner, Emma Corrin, Cardi B, Hari Nef, Olivia Rodrigo, you get the picture…)
The industry acclaimed designer has earned herself a loyal fandom, well loved for her designs which seamlessly blend social commentary with rich, subcultural references but also her fearless, iconoclast moves (see her renowned 2016 #encoreCSM guerrilla show).
Dilara’s decision to cancel and the outpouring of love which followed from her engaged online community is a timely reminder of the need for increased transparency around the harsh realities of the industry for emerging independent designers.
By protecting the values of empowerment and rebellion in the world Dilara has built, she's proven her true commitment to her purpose and community (and set a new anti-industry standard for her peers in the process).
Internet Darlings Ruled Reporting (Emily, Digital Creative Lead)
It’s no news that the freshest fashion reports live on social media. The biggest fashion publications have tried to keep up, with hot off the runway posting and manufactured content exclusivity via owned events (cc: Vogue World). But even with this speedy posting and “no mobile devices” exclusivity, publications are not top of my feed, it’s the internet darlings who are. StyleⁿᵒᵗCom, Kimbino and brands reposting worthy frow-ers have been my POV to LFW. Is everyone else finding this too?
Why? I believe the case is three fold. Firstly, these social-native commentators are FAST. StyleⁿᵒᵗCom in particular is closed-captioning fashion weeks quicker than you can say Bottega Veneta. Secondly, they’re more willing to share tea and critique what they see, this much more so than big publications who rely on keeping brands happy for revenue. And finally, the darlings are just so gassed to be there, and I’m kind of gassed for them too you know! No longer do we relate to the expected invitees, queen-style-claps and “Honoured to have attended” post-show outpouring, Mia Khalifa going “AHHHHHHHHHH!!!!” in a feed post and Kimbino being “Next to Godlyness” is the kind of reaction that your mate would have.
What can we learn from this? Not only is this approach more fun, but it’s critical to the survival of fashion reporting: real reactions and in app editing are the means to having your fashion reporting seen. There’s a reason why Edward Enifeild used this tactic to share who is taking over his position at Vogue…
The Clothes Were An Easy A for Apocalypse (Alisha, Creative Researcher)
When we thought about the stand out moments from the shows this weekend, it wasn’t what felt new, but what didn’t, that stood out. Despite playful and positive shows from the likes of Chet Lo and JW Anderson, we couldn’t help but be struck by the presence of dystopian themes… AGAIN (see survivalist chic at Natasha Zinko, rubble runways at KNWLS, car crashes at Mowalola).
We know trend cycles are repetitive, but is there really no light at the end? It was back in 2018 that the clothes at fashion week first started to fall apart along with the society (e.g. Off-White, Balenciaga), but this nihilistic rut has got deeper. Why? Maybe we can’t criticise the lack of creativity, but more the lack of inspiration. Are we short of new ideas? Surely not. Are we crippled by over-stimulation? Or by loneliness?
We reckon that the best remedy for a creative block is togetherness. True power lies in collaboration, which shows in the strength of independent designer collective Fantastic Toiles, and concept stores such as Retail Pharmacy. Get them all on the runway, then we will get excited. Special mention also to the best collab of the week: the robbers who took the 50 pieces of Balmain. Of course Olivier Rousteing having his designs stolen is terrible, but if the whole thing was a PR stunt? Genius.
Mowalola missed the mark (Yus, Creative Strategist)
One of the main themes of Mowalola's latest collection is pain and how it brings us together (models with C-section scars on their stomachs, EU flags with missing stars). Then there were the two models joined like Siamese twins, both wearing mini skirts featuring the Chinese and Saudi flags imprinted on them - a sign of unity in the face of diversity. But the Saudi Arabian flag contains Quranic verses, including the Shahadah, the Muslim profession of faith, which made the skirt highly offensive.
It's not surprising when you consider the fashion world's history of fetishizing Arabic calligraphy and the Adhan, the Islamic call to prayer. But given the fashion industry’s efforts towards inclusivity and diversity over recent years, it’s shocking that there was no one who could have highlighted the insensitivity of the skirt, or thought to do more research, especially by a young and trendsetting brand like Mowalola. Mowalola's recent actions exclude a group of people who are already heavily marginalised in the fashion industry, leaving many Muslims feeling like they can no longer support the brand.
Dismissing the uproar, Mowalola was quick to respond by tweeting, "Cry me a river”, staying true to her nature of being a radical artist, inciting provocation. However she eventually apologised and removed the skirt from her collection after understanding the gravity of her actions. While we respect an artists right to be radical in their approach, we also value accountability when they take it too far.
In case any of us needed reminding: secondary research is not enough when referencing other cultures. Consult members of the communities you’re tapping into. First-hand learning is the only way to guarantee your work appreciates, rather than appropriates.
🌬️🔥…and the fire is out! What did you think of our takes? Agree? Disagree? What did you see during LFW? Drop your thoughts below or join us on Instagram.
See you next week!
Editor: Letty Cole