This week’s Fashion Scout events for London Fashion week were a combination of cultural, artistic, forward-thinking innovation. Fashion Scout’s events have offered a place of reflection, inspiration, and motivation for its audiences, so we’ve compiled a rundown of our personal highlights from the week.
Kristína Šipulová, From the Yarns
Kristína Šipulová launched in 2018. The basis of Kristina Sipulová is to focus on artistically exploring craft techniques, specifically those of local craftswomen. For London Fashion Week 2021, Kristina Šipulová’s collection; ‘From the Yarns’ is centred around the origins of the yarn itself. The collection is comprised of pieces that have been created with silk yarns from Japan, preserved cotton and linen yarns from Slovakia. As the designer describes, from their hometown (a small village in central Slovakia) they sourced linens that were worn hundreds of years ago for certain pieces in the collection. Even without this knowledge, however, it is easy to see the influence on the collection of the natural landscape of Kristína’s hometown. Though the garments carry an air of simplistic beauty, they do so deceptively. Kristína’s digital showcase of her collection allows the audience to gain an insight into not only the complex craftsmanship that each individual piece requires but the tales that are married with the vintage yarns used for the pieces. Kristína Šipulová effortless and airy collection features homely chunky knit sweater vests and boxy blazers.
Epica Jewellery was founded by Sharon Wendo. Interning with the Kenya Youth Empowerment Project, Wendo learned and found a passion for beading skills and from this, Epica Jewellery was born. In a film shot by Asande Maoga and directed by Michael Mwangi, Wendo debuted her first collection which was inspired by the many women in Wendo’s life. The collection seems to celebrate the female form, as the models powerfully stand tall, decorated in beautiful coloured jewellery. The intricate beadwork of each piece is captivating, and any one of these items has the power to elevate any ensemble. The collection is named ‘Jasiri’, a Swahili word which means brave. The collection certainly embodies this concept, as the jewellery in Wendo’s collection is striking. Wendo’s ‘Jasiri’ is permeated with a celebration of African culture and female power.
Tighe-Mearns-Smith, The Twelve Heads of Cerberus
Kane Arthur Mearns-Smith and Jessica Tighe, the brains behind Tighe-Mearns-Smith, launched their ‘The Twelve Heads of Cerberus’ collection for London Fashion Week on Sunday. The reflective collection allowed Tighe-Mearns-Smith to pose questions about today’s idols and influencers, even putting forward their own collective twelve ideal leaders who best resonate as with the philosophers of Plato Kallipolis. The ideas these leaders hold (from Noam Chomsky to Mary Wollstonecraft) Tighe-Mearns-Smith believes will help guide us towards social progression. ‘The Twelve Heads of Cerberus’ marks the dawning of the Age of Aquarius from the Age of Pisces and draws on the ideas of these leaders. Shown through digital art in a mind-bending, cutting-edge style of graphics, the collection highlights include a painted corset and embroidered skirt, depicting a different tale in each panel. The collection is composed of upcycled, recycled and what has been deemed as ‘unsellable’ materials in order to ensure their collection is sustainable and thus, leads by example in terms of the environmental change within the arts and fashion industry that Tighe-Mearns-Smith would like to see.
McQueen: The Long Lost Tapes
One of Fashion Scout’s most surprising and moving events of the week includes the ‘Long Lost Tapes’ of Alexander McQueen. Black and white Super 8 footage taken by Gary Wallis (McQueen’s backstage photographer from 1992-6) shows footage commissioned by McQueen for a film he wished to display at an event in New York. The clip only aired once, exclusively with Fashion Scout on Sunday afternoon. Ian Bonhote and Peter Ettedgui, the directors of the McQueen documentary that was released in 2018 pressed for this footage to be located so it could appear in the documentary. As Fashion Scout states, the footage was unfortunately only recovered the day following the UK premiere of the documentary. ‘McQueen: The Long Lost Tapes’ was a beautiful surprise addition to London Fashion Week. The film depicts Alexander McQueen roaming around the landscape of Hilles House alongside Isabella Blow (his muse). The footage shows Isabella clothed in McQueen as Alexander cartwheels around. In another clip, Wallis documents the locations in London which were meaningful to McQueen, including his chosen fabric store; Greenscourt. Finally, we see McQueen backstage of his 1994 show in Paris. The film shows McQueen still experimenting with the clothing right up until the moment the models walk the designs in front of the cameras. This clip reminds us of McQueen’s innovative and controlled chaotic approach to art and design.
Eleven years after McQueen’s passing, the clip displayed for London Fashion Week was a beautiful commemoration of McQueen. A designer whose work continues to resonate with and inspire audiences even today, who is heavily missed and admired.
Fashion Scout’s events evoked a sense of positivity from audiences in regard to where the fashion industry is headed. The week was filled with educational, mindful, and exciting events, from the insightful Fashioning in West Africa series to Petra Kovac’s Lobster Party collection that looked at the environmental issues attached to coral bleaching. Fashion Scout’s talent has shown the environmentally and socially conscious direction that the industry is now encompassing, and we can’t wait to see what comes next.
Words by Megan Selway