London Fashion WeekAutumn/Winter 2019 Highlights
20 March 2019
As YEOJA magazine grows, we are looking to expand not only our digital presence but our physical presence as well - positioning ourselves between London and Berlin.
With this in mind, we decided to extend our Fashion Week coverage to London. YEOJA had the pleasure of viewing select live shows and heading backstage for a peek behind the scenes. Here’s a recap of our favourite London Fashion Week (LFW) shows and presentations.
C’EST D by Doyeon Yoni Yu
South Korean designer Doeyeon Yoni Yu launched womenswear brand C’EST D after graduating from Parsons School of Design. The label’s AW19 presentation, ‘Welcome to Fatopia: The Celebration of Flesh,’ featured a mixture of colours and textures (pastels, feminine chiffons, cut-out shapes, and structured PVC) celebrated by curvy models and varying body types. Most notably, Yu opted for an ethnically diverse cast, with around a third of the models identifying as women of colour.
‘Welcome to Fatopia’ was created not only with body inclusivity in mind but as an exploration of confidence and the female form.
“I recruited people who have felt discriminated by fat stigma,” Yu writes on the brand’s site. “We explored how our bodies move and form around outer space…To be more comfortable with our bodies, we explored how our body moves and forms. We took pictures and videos of our body movements and watched them.
“Since we all exposed our body insecurities at first, we were very awkward. However, during [sic] the research went on, we found ourselves getting comfortable with our bodies…Based on body collages, the concept of “Body on the Body” has been developed through fabric prints… From participants’ body lines and drawn images of bodies, spacings and silhouettes are [sic] created.” Other shapes were created from cut-outs of body shapes. “
It is rare to see runway designs that focus on body inclusivity as a key component of the design. From conception to manufacturing, Yu creates inclusive garments with careful consideration. C’EST D’s resolute commitment to body positivity (and size inclusivity) in tandem with Yu’s skill as a designer result in pieces that are not only girly, playful, and youthful but look tailor-made for every woman.
DB Berdan is a London-based queer streetwear brand created by Deniz Berdan and Begum Berdan. During LFW, the mother-daughter duo showcased their AW19 collection, ‘DBXB Force.’ Founded in Istanbul, this third generational brand focuses on genderless clothing and the eradication of heteronormativity.
The brand’s catwalk presentation focused on double standards within the fashion industry. Namely, LGBTQ+ people being viewed as “trophy caricatures” within the fashion community, while simultaneously being marginalised by mainstream society at large. This strange duality is often seen as a by-product of a systemically racist, ableist, and heteronormative society.
DB Berdan’s collection, which played off of 90s silhouettes and patterns (denim, camo, plaid and tie-dye), was not only explosive in colour but in casting too; placing a spotlight on the POC and queer communities with a cast of 13 POC models and 9 LGBTQ+ models. This display of diversity, coming from a queer brand founded in Istanbul (where Gay Pride has been banned for the past four years), was incredibly poignant. Having a minority-led brand emphasize representation during LFW was powerful.
UNDERAGE, founded by Beijing born Ying Shen, presented their AW19 collection, ‘The Horror Picture Show.’ Inspired by Jim Sharman’s cult film and its impact on the sexual revolution movement in 1970s Britain, UNDERAGE is another label looking to explore the ways in which gender and sexuality intersect among young people. Youth and pop culture has always been the driving force behind the brand, which launched in 2017.
The collection is made up of bold colours and traditional menswear garments that intersect with deconstructed elements: decadent velvet, strong PVC, and wool. This combination creates juxtaposed pieces that are a deliberate nod to The Rocky Horror Picture Show which explored two extremes: what is perceived to be normal and strange.
UNDERAGE did not present a cast as racially diverse (or body inclusive) as other presentations, but the focus placed on blurring the lines between gender – accomplished through casting, styling, and set design – created a forward-thinking space. The presentation was, however, filled with androgynous garments, faces, and bodies which expressed a beauty that transcended gender-specific aesthetics.
Presentation photos provided by UNDERAGE.
Launched by Cicely Travers, Isosceles is a lingerie brand that focuses on creating intimate garments for women’s enjoyment. The AW19 collection featured soft fabrics in overlapping geometric panels, eye-catching colours, and silhouettes made for women by a woman.
Travers, who works in an industry once dominated by Victoria’s Secret, (a company who designed their female undergarments with men’s desires in mind), advocates for intimate apparel to be solely about women and their sexuality; emphasising the importance of how women should feel when wearing the closest thing there is being naked.
“From my perspective, I don’t think wearing nice lingerie has very much to do with the male gaze at all,” Travers told Twin Magazine. “It’s about feeling good in your skin, in your clothes, feeling beautiful and cherishing your body by wearing beautiful fabrics and colours next to your skin. Wearing a bra that fits you and improves your shape, changes your posture, puts a spring in your step: I enjoy the playfulness of it.”
Adding, “I think we need to embrace these pleasures and love our bodies more. I would like to put a little more seduction into the everyday.”
The presentation, which featured women hanging out and eating oysters was a striking display of feminine energy and strength.
Backstage photos by Rae Tilly exclusively for YEOJA Mag. For more fashion fun, check out our interview with model and DJ, Hunter Lee White.