With London Fashion Week at an end, we’re looking at the latest debuts from Simone Rocha, JW Anderson, COS, and Ahluwalia.
Simone Rocha wowed with extravagant, detailed silhouettes calling upon period dress from centuries past for its Spring/Summer 2022 collection. Ruffles, flounces, silk brocades, lace, pearls, and ribbons adorned each of the dress-centric, voluminous silhouettes, reminding us of ornate christening gowns. While the garments were ultimately soft and effeminate—like a white gown and overlay with layers of textural lace and pearled beading—unusual and juxtaposing details updated these styles for the present-day, including a suite of thick-soled Mary Jane shoes, accessories like a red leather jacket with gathered, puffed sleeves, and elements of decomposition that saw bustier tops left open in flaps and dusters and outer garments left unbuttoned, slouching off the shoulder.
JW Anderson presented its Spring/Summer 2022 collection in the form of a calendar captured by the fashion photographer Juergen Teller. Pairing its inventive silhouettes with an industrial background of tires, truck trailers, and equipment, each look signified a new month—interjected with self-portraits of Juergen, posing with the tires himself. Pieces we’re still thinking about included the pale blue knit look for April, which featured a sculpturally ruffled skirt and matching top; May’s shiny, patented pink smock dress with long, sparking straps; and a look featuring wide-legged denim, white mule pumps, and a statement necklace for September.
Sharing its Fall/Winter 2021 collection, COS showed at the iconic London venue Roundhouse. These new designs pushed the boundaries of what is considered classic, refreshing takes on archetypal styles found in a professional’s wardrobe, like matching suits, pants and blouse pairings, knitwear styles, and the classic London trench coat. Primarily working in a palette of navy, black, gray, and brown tones, the designs featured the occasional pop of color, like a Canary yellow teddy bear overcoat or a long, silk button-up dress in periwinkle. Highlight looks included a skirt suit with the jacket worn open over a sheer bandeau; a three-piece suit in ample proportions in a soft stone hue; and a double-breasted coat in plaid mohair, worn over a trousers-and-button-up ensemble.
Ahluwalia captured its Spring/Summer 2022 collection in a short film titled Parts of Me, directed by Akinola Davies Jr. in a collaboration with Mulberry. Set to a score by Kelly Moran, the new designs were captured in a scenario that explores themes surrounding Black and Brown hair, inspired by the designer’s Nigerian-Indian heritage. The pieces themselves—photographed in a saturated look book by Laurence Ellis—drew upon the images of J.D. Okhai Ojeikere, music videos from the 1990s, and vintage hair salon posters, to inform garments that centered patchwork denim, club-inspired styles, and shapes and motifs looking at Black and Brown hairstyles. Highlights of the season made using carefully selected vintage and deadstock materials included a form-fitted knit dress styled with spray-painted knee-high boots, a matching set in an ornate checked fabrication, and the selection of signature reworked denim pieces. The collection also featured a collaboration of graphics with the designer Dennis McInnes and a series of bags and scarves made in partnership with Mulberry.