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Creatives reflect on the past and present of fashion in London
To say that fashion creativity and entrepreneurship in the capital is in a state of flux at the moment would be quite the understatement. Rarely has so much about London’s ever-vibrant fashion sector seemed so uncertain – and yet, magical and exciting opportunities still undoubtedly lie ahead.
Such conclusions were being widely reached at a recent intimate dinner in London’s Mayfair, hosted by The Business of Fashion and Mailchimp.
But what did the attendees from across the capital’s fashion design community have to say about how the recent season had gone for them, and what the prospects are for months and years to come?
Challenges overcome amid a more mournful tone at London Fashion Week
On-schedule London designers were already facing tests aplenty in common with the broader global fashion industry – ranging from the pandemic and supply-chain constraints, to continued sustainability issues and concerns about looming recession – when news filtered through of the passing of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
However, today’s emerging designers are skilled in handling moments of acute disruption. Sure enough, Susanna Lau wrote of the season for The Business of Fashion: “There were some dropouts and schedule shifts. But by and large, London Fashion Week forged ahead… and the raw creativity that makes London’s fashion scene unique shone through”.
The exact situation differed, of course, from one designer to the next. For menswear designer and founder of SS Daley, Steven Stokey-Daley, “I was scheduled for Saturday, but the entire theme of our show was like a piss up and a party, so we had to change that whole thing”.
But in the case of Priya Ahluwalia, creative director and founder of Ahluwalia, “I was lucky in the way that we weren’t presenting on schedule in September, so we didn’t have the same level of disruption.”
However, she expressed her admiration of the “very resilient” designers who showed their ability to “react to the zeitgeist and things that are happening in real time. It was amazing to see the way the designers pivoted and in reflection, there’s so much space for creativity in times of turmoil.”
Looking forward, what can we hope for and expect from London fashion?
When this question was put to the event attendees, there was a host of different answers, with Ms Ahluwalia voicing the hope that the city “continues to bring really amazing, raw creative talent. I think London is one of the best [cities] at celebrating emerging talent, but… it would be great for some big houses to come back to London, or to test out showing in London, as it gives everyone else more opportunities.”
Similar sentiments were expressed by Steven Stokey-Daley, who observed that “if some of the British houses came back and showed on schedule for like one mega season, it would be exciting and pull everyone to London.”
Perhaps providing the best summary of a still far-from-stable situation, though, was Alexandre Arsenault, KNWLS co-founder, who commented: “The industry still feels a little chaotic at the moment.”
That much is most certainty true, and here at Skywire London, we look forward to continuing our support of all manner of high-end brands as they seek to realise their growth ambitions on a challenging backdrop.
To learn more about our credentials as a creative and digital marketing agency for fashion, lifestyle, and luxury businesses with an outward-looking, global mindset, please don’t hesitate to enquire to our highly capable team.
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