To say this London Fashion Week shook things up is an understatement — from Christopher Bailey’s rainbow-hued farewell to a surprise appearance by Queen Elizabeth II, these were my favorite fashion week moments.
The standout shows: COOLS reviewed relative newcomer Ryan Lo’s anime-tinged, Victorian romantic fantasy, which also replaced many of the models with mannequins. Other newcomer favorites were Richard Malone and Matty Bovan. Bovan’s collection was a My Little Pony explosion of color and pattern, complete with balloon headdresses, and Malone created an environmentally friendly collection in ageless, Philo-esque designs. It was also Richard Quinn’s second-ever show — and he had the Queen as a front row guest, nonetheless. The designer was presented with the Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design.
Christopher Bailey’s rainbow farewell: Burberry’s Christopher Bailey wrapped up his time at the label in truly optimistic fashion, with the LGBTQ+ rainbow replacing Burberry’s signature check. All the cool kids are into it, from Skepta sporting a rainbow puffer to Adwoa wearing the rainbow tartan from NYFW to London. “My final collection here at Burberry is dedicated to – and in support of – some of the best and brightest organizations supporting LGBTQ+ youth around the world,” said Bailey. “There has never been a more important time to say that in our diversity lies our strength and our creativity.”
The designer who showed inflatable pools: Almost every fashion week has one item that makes the general public think, “I would NEVER.” From thong jeans to Rick Owens’ human backpacks, there always has to be something. This time, it was Edwin Mohney’s inflatable swimming pools. Even though the pool (which, um, can be purchased on Amazon) is a gimmick, it’s kind of punk rock. And it also reminds fashion folks that sometimes it’s OK to not take things too seriously.
Mohney, in an interview with Garage, said, he “loves this mix of ‘really high and really low,’ adding that he wants to crash the system, in a way.” Call it what you want, but to be honest, I’m kinda down to wear a pool.
The freakin’ queen showed up: Something that London Fashion Week has on every other fashion week is that the Queen might show up. Though she’s not a fashion week regular, she appeared front row at Richard Quinn’s second-ever show and was even (apparently) trading jokes with Anna Wintour. The audience stood up to greet her and was, clearly, very hyped to see Her Majesty. Wearing her signature icy-blue skirt suit, the Queen was also joined by her dressmaker Angela Kelly, who’s dressed Queen Elizabeth II since 1993.
*Honorary best moment: Quinn’s response to being questioned about showing a collection with bondage themes in front of the queen. “She’s known for her sense of humour, and she’s seen a lot in her life. I don’t think a gimp mask will shock the Queen.” l, for one, would love to know the Queen’s thoughts on BDSM.