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ERDEM FW23

LFW FW23: Simone Rocha, ERDEM, Molly Goddard, and More

As London Fashion Week nears its end, we’re looking at the Fall/Winter 2023 collections debuted by Simone Rocha, ERDEM, Molly Goddard, Harris Reed, David Koma, and Bora Aksu.

Simone Rocha FW23 Courtesy of Simone Rocha.

The Gaelic harvest festival of Lughnasadh and its rituals for love and luck were the inspiration behind Simone Rocha’s newest collection. Womenswear and menswear designs featured roses, ribbons, and lace applied on voluminous silhouettes, dresses with nods to historic fashion, and an otherwise soft and girlish appeal. There were puffed sleeves roomy styles in textured fabrics, large sailor’s collars seen with dresses and on suits with trousers, leather skirt sets with lacelike embroidery, and slip silhouettes juxtaposed with large handbags and black rain boots. Each piece featured delicate details like lace trims, pearl beading, and red ribbons hanging from clothing, hair, earlobes, and even trailing down off of the models’ faces.

ERDEM FW23 Photo by Jason Lloyd Evans, courtesy of Erdem.

Erdem’s Fall/Winter 2023 collection of ceremonious gowns with exquisite details was illuminated by an installation of lightbulbs hung from above. The Bloomsbury townhouse belonging to the brand’s founder and designer Erdem Moralıoğlu was the season’s inspiration. Named “A Home of Hope for the Restoration of Fallen Women,” it had a former life as a  Victorian-era haven for women at risk for falling out of society’s good graces. Images of the house and the imprint of the more than 3,000 women who lived there came through in the garments’ opulent crinkled silks, period-reminiscent silhouettes, and rich hues of mustard, green, wine, and purple. Looks we’re still thinking of include a high-necked gown with a ruffled skirt and embroidered top worn underneath a black blazer with above-the-elbow gloves that ended in a large flounced embellishment, a printed jacquard dress with buttons down the skirt and a white blouse pulling details from a structured bodice and a tuxedo shirt, and a dress in golden brown silk with an abstracted floral pattern that featured a sheer bustier overlay and a black sequined choker neckpiece.

Molly Goddard FW23 Courtesy of Molly Goddard.

Molly Goddard celebrated the joy of getting dressed in a collection that stepped away from the drama and ceremony of the fashion world, opting instead to highlight wearable items that will be truly loved. Favorites from the brand’s own archives were refined, reshaped, and restyled for this purpose, presenting a suite of designs that were utilitarian in the most splendid way possible—like signature tulle pieces and knitwear. Most of the looks we saw could be worn every day, but also suggested options for dressing up—like high-low combinations of sheer skirts with printed sweaters and mini dresses worn with tights and playful chunky platforms. Also of note were wool jackets with stripes, miniature silhouettes with tulle peeking out from underneath, crisp cardigans with intentional wrinkled details, and several pieces in colorful cheetah print like a fluffy skirt and a pair of straight-legged jeans.

Harris Reed FW23 Courtesy of Harris Reed.

Entitled “All the World’s a Stage,” Harris Reed wowed with a dramatic suite of sculptural garments in a definitive palette of black and gold. Plays on theatrics, performance, and pageantry were all-encompassing, including elements like material made from upcycled theater drapes, the Pageant Queen’s winning sash reimagined as draped detailing, and the omnipresent use of rich black velvet and gold lamé. The looks were crafted in a manner that almost gave an entirely new form to the wearer’s body, layering structured elements over second-skin fitted pieces—like a looked photographed in a manner alluding to an iconic photograph of Marilyn Monroe, a harlequin-patterned body suit with a bubbled gold skirt and an abstracted bodice and sleeve, and a look worn by Florence Pugh that featured an enormous halo-like headpiece paired with a silhouette reminding us of a modernized Renaissance style.

David Koma FW23 Courtesy of David Koma.

An examination of the epitome of 20th-century glamor brought the designer David Koma to focus on the fashion vocabularies of the 1930s and 1960s in his newest collection. Finding the actress Marlene Dietrich to be the muse that embodied the essence for which Koma was searching, the collection offered the perfect balance of masculine and feminine, presenting a new exploration of glamor built on a foundation of tried-and-true icons. Though the designs encompassed myriad shapes and silhouettes, several motifs and recurring styles were explored: the tuxedo and the classic men’s shirt, along with elements like fluffy mohair, glossy patent leather, a particular red flower, and a carefully-layered tulle reminiscent of boas. Standout ensembles included a monochrome red look featuring a giant crinkly mohair jacket and a sequined dress with a matching fur trim; a tuxedo with boxy shoulders that saw the pants replaced with fitted briefs, a long tulle train, and thigh-high leather boots; and a crystal-laden knit skirt suit in lavender with a shirt and tie, a fuzzy purple bag, and tall boots with metal flower medallion embellishments.

Bora Aksu FW23 Courtesy of Bora Aksu.

Bora Aksu offered a celebration of outcasts in its Fall/Winter 2023 collection, looking to the eerie works of Edvard Munch and the iconoclast that is Wednesday Addams for inspiration. Moving away from the maison’s favored airy whimsical palette, we saw the inclusion of more black and white, along with pops of scarlet red, rose pink, and blue. Ultra-feminine details and silhouettes taken from styles with a storybook feel—lacy frocks, crocheted bonnets that tied under the chin, suiting with lace collars—were presented with an air of irony and “otherness” by which a certain young girl with black pigtails would approve. Romantic styles like long A-line dresses with buttons, empire or trapeze-style gowns, and double-breasted sartorial sets were updated with ruffles lining their outer seams, extra bows and layers of dotted lace, and styling choices like black lipstick, bunny-ear hats, bug-eyed sunglasses, and Victorian lace-up boots.

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