Fall 2018 Ready-to-Wear
February 18, 2018
Lulu Kennedy’s Fashion East Fall 2018 show started with Central Saint Martins graduate and the The Row alumni A Sai Ta and his label Asai. The London-born designer showcased a collection of recontextualized classics, combining elements of British culture such as tartan and checks with elements of the Vietnamese and the Chinese wardrobes. He imagines the woman he designs for as a traveller of the world—a nomad. As such, he offered trench coats and waxed jackets to get her through the whims of the weather. Hand-embroidered details served as a reminder of fishermen’s nets she’s seen on her journeys while the designer emphasizes the waterproof (he calls it “life-proof”) aspect of this collection.
Next up was Charlotte Knowles, a Central Saint Martins graduate who previously worked for Acne Studios, Gareth Pugh, and Alexander McQueen. Knowles visualized the image of a woman cloaked in mystery—sensual and self-assured, enigmatic yet evolving. She translated these elements into a collection of body-hugging slip dresses with geometric necklines and short hemlines. Panels of sheer fabrics that revealed what is usually hidden and patterns resembled tortoiseshell and semi-precious stones. The designer noted she wanted to take a stance “against the lack of practicality and attention to detail in luxury womenswear in comparison to menswear,” and succeeded in creating collection that was both feminine and feminist.
The third designer to present at Fashion East was Supriya Lele, an Asian-British talent who studied at the Edinburgh School of Art and at the Royal College of Art. Lele’s influences range from traditional Sari draping and sportswear to utility and menswear and this collection clearly highlighted the ease she has when it comes to such combinations. Lightweight nylon in dark green and black was the basis for many of her voluminous pieces, however, instead of reserving it for outerwear, she decided to drape and fold the fabric into a midi skirt, tailor it into a close fitting point-collar shirt, or cut it into an asymmetrical top.
The final brand to show was Symonds Pearmain, a collaboration between designer and artist Anthony Symonds and stylist Max Pearmain. Filled with energy and obscure references, the show opened with striking breton stripes and checks in red, blue, and black and white on polo shirts and crewneck sweaters while another print, inspired by the engraving found on Parisian silverware, lent a touch of rococo-chic to the lineup. The designers effortlessly played with different directions and experimented with sportswear influences (such as striped socks and cuffed pants) and denim. As the show progressed, the silhouettes became more graphic and complex. Finishing on a high note, the show closed with swirls of gold worn by Edie Campbell.