Reading the Runway's
[A runway roundup for my final major project magazine]
Sustainability, up-cycling and re-cycling were our favourite themes adopted by many designers in this season’s fashion weeks, showing that although there is still a long way to go in making the fashion industry more sustainable, designers are embracing and adapting to this popular focus. After all, fashion is and has always been a reflection of our culture. Our culture now is to ask for fashion, among other things, to do better. Some of the collections to grace the 2020 fashion week catwalks were answering that plea.
Repurposing designs from previous shows, up-cycling and re-working vintage clothes were what sisters Emily and Caitlin Price presented in their AW20 capsule collection at London Fashion Week. Their show-case of their new sustainable business model continued their exploration of power dressing juxtaposed with experimental materials. The collection included vibrant-sport tech leggings teamed with pointed stilettos and re-worked ruffled vintage dresses reminiscent of an eighties style. Their collection which is called ‘3am Eternal’ is designed, in their words: “for the environmentally conscious, modern working woman”.
Another designer duo bringing sustainability to the front row is Vin and Omi. The pair have always made eco-conscious collections since they started out together in 2014 and this year’s offering was no exception. Their spring show featured dresses formed from natural materials, including nettles picked by Prince Charles himself from The Royal Gardens. The dresses were so natural in fact, they were beginning to bio-degrade as they made their way down the runway.
Not made to be sold, but to send out a message for a more sustainable future of fashion. The non-conforming aesthetic that Vin and Omi always deliver is a message hard not to receive. Their show is nothing less than a spectacular artistic statement, omitting professional models and ready to wear designs for amateurs and plant-based outfits, they are conveying to the show’s attendees of the show the transformation they deem needs to happen if the industry is to continue, without the detrimental effects it causes in its current model.
Championing the movement of arts and craft styling was Matty Boven, bringing flamboyant utilitarian uniforms bedazzled with gems and jewels. The asymmetric and original pieces are inspiring of a ‘do it yourself’ mentality. This type of personalisation could be very useful in the fashion sustainability movement as it shows you don’t need to necessarily need to buy new to take part in a trend. This collection has us saying ‘pass the glue-gun, I’m diamanteing my own jeans’. Personalisation of things you already have is the new way to update your wardrobe.
In Paris, fashion veterans Dior collaborated with Coloco, an environmental design collective, to adorn their catwalk with trees, that later were planted as part of a sustainability project in places around the city.
Dior’s collection mirrored the on-going theme of longevity and wear-ability noticeable in many collections this fashion week season, married with plant-based design. Beautiful, intricate ankle-grazing dresses featured appliqued floral designs taking root at the ground and growing up the skirts. A metaphor for the sustainable approach of one valuable life-long piece establishing its place in your wardrobe, rather than just visiting briefly until next season.
Undeniably there is still a long way to go, and it’s going to take more than a collection of up-cycled outfits and flowers sewn onto dresses to address the climate issues we face. But forever the optimists, Dopazine admires and praises those pioneers of a better future of fashion. The out with the new, in with the old mentality is encouraging. Whether it is through going back to natural roots, using ingredients and inspiration from mother earth, or through the re-working and up-cycling of the clothes that already exist on the planet.
For designers, a runway and the models who walk it are their blank canvas on which they will create their art, and it is our opinion that you cannot tell an artist to stop making art. What we can do, is champion those who are shaking things up, and on reaching a fork in the road choosing the route that that takes them towards sustainable fashion. Giving kudos to those doing it right, in turn, will encourage others to do the same. What we can hope is that this fashion week season has inspired, and will be the catalyst in shifting the industry into a gear that is full speed ahead towards a sustainable fashion future.