The fifth and last day of London Fashion Week began in a florally adorned exterior of a dim sum restaurant in Mayfair for the Minki presentation. It takes fashion week attendees out of the fast-paced atmosphere of the catwalk and slips them into the mood of something cosier and more familiar. With interiors of opulent French Chinoiserie restaurant decor and complimentary sugary desserts such as bite-sized versions of lemon meringue pie, granny smith apple cheesecakes and chocolate mousses, the morning was a sweet sensory experience.
Born in Hong Kong, Minki Cheng graduated from Central Saint Martins in 2012 with a focus on designing for the assured contemporary woman. His autumn/winter 18 collection is a journey of the woman traversing the borders between sensibilities with an emphasis on exploring binary compositions.
Using shades of intricate rocks and minerals as a foundation of the designs, Minki uses gemstones as embellishments, combining raw and fragile details such as stone snap buttons from Morocco with materials like shiny velvet trimmings, transparent PVC, asymmetrical sheer collaging stone prints, a clash of teddy fleece and furry mohair.
Transported back into the runway during the Eudon Choi collection, the catwalk show was held in the BFC Showcase at The Strand. The inspiration of the South Korean-based designer’s autumn/winter 18 pieces stemmed from the Cornish way of life, more specifically the lives of modernist artists who settled in St. Ives.
Interpreted through the outlines of the clothing as well as the colour palette, he looks to the Cornish harbour town of Porth La to build the foundation of his autumn/winter 18 collection. With staple items such as dress shirts and loosely fitted blouses, coordinated with pants, below-the-knee length skirts and layered over with thick jumpers and parkas; the collection pays homage to the styles of the fishermen who worked the sea and the tin and copper miners, effortlessly combining masculine tailoring with a feminine sensibility.
Translating the relationships between the artists who found solace in St. Ives despite the rugged environment during the first World War, the collection pays homage to the small town that served as a muse to so many artists and a place of artistic pilgrimage. The colour palette of the collection included beige, creams, reds, blues and beiges with pops of pinks and teal added to the mix.
Jamie Wei Huang
The show that followed was a presentation by Jamie Wei Huang and it was unveiled in the DiscoveryLAB at The Strand. Founded in 2012 after graduating from Central Saint Martins, the eponymous brand is a contemporary womenswear label with a focus on luxury.
Inspired by the golden era of the Hong Kong entertainment industry during the 1990s, the autumn/winter 18 collection is about passion and dreams. Bright and bold colours of blues, reds, greens and yellows were the colour palette of the collection. Staying true to the brand’s signature style of strong elongated silhouettes and the careful construction of juxtaposed fabrics; the cuts of the fabric are unconventional and the fit is loose catering to the shape of the contemporary individual.
With ‘courage’, ‘deep longing’ and the ‘young and foolish fearless hearts’, the collection is a ‘dedication to those who dream and are stubborn enough to still believe in it’, attributes all very reminiscent of the 90s era. Partnering with young and talented creatives such as indie band The Old Mog Detective Agency and jewellery designer Fang, the Jamie Wei Huang presentation was a creative collaboration of all the hearts that dream.
Located in Theatre Royal at Drury Lane, the Tata Naka autumn/winter 18 collection was a presentation straight out of musical theatre. Containing elements of performance fuelled by the venue, theatre-esque costumes and rehearsed poses by the models on the set of the grand staircase, the presentation was a creative espial of Europe’s eastern region.
Blending the past with the present, the eclectic collection is a celebration of various folk traditions and costumes of Eastern Europe. From the famous floral Russian shawls of Pavlovo Pasad to the accordion pleated sleeves of traditional dance costumes of Szek, the references are translated into modern shapes and silhouettes to create a striking collection of the rich and cultured entity of the European East.
Motifs of Georgian kilims of the 1920s and the 1930s are apparent throughout the collection in the form of playful figurative prints as well as outlines inspired by traditional Columbian and Seminole costumes. The collection features polka dot cotton pieces mixed with tulle frills and decorated with multiple trims whilst padded features can be seen on classic double-breasted coats, jackets and bombers providing the collection with a contemporary twist.
One of the last and probably most memorable shows of the day was the Richard Quinn catwalk held at the FBC Showcase. Based in London, the eponymic designer’s highly acclaimed MA 2016 collection debuting at London Fashion Week was definitely one for the history books as Her Majesty the Queen made a surprise appearance and sat front row to watch the show.
Requested by the British Fashion Council to present Quinn with the inaugural Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design, the Queen sat front row next to Anna Wintour, the Editor-in-Chief considered to be a queen of the fashion world herself.
With his collection under the gaze of royalty, the London-based designer pays tribute to the monarch with a collection full of swing coats, silk headscarves and vibrant floral prints. His designs were the most bizarre but with a sense of familiarity as the different silhouettes, embodying of iconic designs in the 50s were emblazoned with bright and colourful prints ranging from botanical to geometric.
To the attendees of the show, it comes as no surprise that Quinn is highlighted as a designer to watch by many publications such as LOVE, The New York Times, DAZED, i-D, Wonderland and many more. Bold and emotive with his designs, his ability to combine unique handcrafted skill with a refined high fashion sensibility is one of the reasons he’s now becoming widely recognised in the fashion world.