Seven unconventional and noteworthy shows from London Fashion Week

Garments that resemble supermarket carrier bags at JW Anderson and a dress embellished with knives at Dilara Findikoglu were amongst the highlights at this season's London Fashion Week.

From 16 to 21 February designers presented their womenswear collections across the city for the Autumn Winter 2023 season, which was dedicated to British fashion designer and activist Dame Vivienne Westwood, who passed away in December of 2022.

The Autumn Winter 2023 season at London Fashion Week played host to highly anticipated collections such as Daniel Lee's debut collection at Burberry and large-scale presentations and collaborations like Moncler Genius, which saw Mercedes unveil a puffer jacket-informed G-Class car.

Read on for seven unconventional and noteworthy shows from London Fashion Week:


JW Anderson show with Tesco bag dress

JW Anderson

A collaboration with Scottish dancer and choreographer Michael Clark saw JW Anderson stage its show at the performing arts and concert venue The Roundhouse in Camden.

While odes to Clark appeared throughout the show, by means of name-branded tank tops, sweaters and reinterpretations of his costumes, Anderson also resurfaced looks from his brand's 15-year-old archive that had been slightly updated.

As well as the referential pieces, models wore footwear shaped like animal paws. A dress that resembled Tesco carrier bags also appeared on the runway.


Mowalola show at London Fashion Week

Mowalola

Mowalola presented its latest Autumn Winter 2023 collection, titled Dark Web, at a cavernous, subterranean art space in Marylebone.

The collection featured dropped-waist trousers with groin-cut outs that were fastened by belts across the thighs of models and jackets covered in graffiti. Leather was sprayed with trompe l'oeil-graphics, while hoodies were decorated with a "MoWA" logo that parodied the Museum of Modern Art's gift shop merchandise.

"A clique of hackers – underground vigilantes fighting to undermine corporation-imposed law and order – sport looks that embody a spirit of dissidence," the brand said of the collection in its shownotes.


Burberry show at London Fashion Week

Burberry

Marking Daniel Lee's debut collection for British fashion house Burberry, the designer staged the show at Kennington Park within a tent that was inspired by the Thomas Burberry-designed tents of the 19th and 20th century.

Signature Burberry checks were presented in deep hues of purple, reds and blue across tailoring, knitwear and coats, and models wore novelty knitted hats including one constructed into the head of a Silver Appleyard duck.

Burberry's Equestrian Knight Design, which was recently unveiled as the brand's new logo as part of Lee's rebrand, adorned garments.


Knife dress at London Fashion Week by Dilara Findikoglu
Photo is by Rory James

Dilara Findikoglu

Turkish-British fashion designer Dilara Findikoglu's show took place at east London's The Heritage & Arts Centre, a former 19th-century church turned community centre titled Holy Trinity Church Bow.

Findikoglu began working on the collection last year following the arrest and death of Mahsa Amini in Iran, which sparked global protest. Shown in the collection were gothic silhouettes covered with upcycled knives and hair clips – a nod to the fact that the Iran protest saw women cut their hair in a challenge to the country's morality laws.

"Why is a woman's body a question of everything?" said Findikoglu after the show. "Why is it exploited so much? It's always a topic: what should she wear? What shouldn’t she wear? This is my little dance of revolution towards actually possessing your body back."


Talia Byre show at London Fashion Week

Talia Byre

Design and wine store Lant Street Wines in Southwark served as the setting for Talia Byre's Autumn Winter 2023 show. Throughout the collection, Byre applied screen-printing methods to wool, and garments were constructed in weatherproof technical fabrics in hues that reference the work of American painter Helen Frankenthaler.

"The show takes place at Lant Street Wines in Southwark, where Jermaine Gallacher's intimate interiors provide the ideal setting to observe the anti-hero in action," the show notes read.

"Who said that life's all about conformity and wedding bells? This season, Talia Byre delivers a proverbial middle finger to the expectations that come with tradition."


Conner Ives

Marking the first day of London Fashion Week, American fashion designer Conner Ives presented his once-a-year collection at The Old Selfridges Hotel, a white box event space in central London. The collection, titled Magnolia, was a reflection of his youth in which he reimagined disparate archetypes and characters from pop culture and fashion references.

It saw vintage t-shirts reconstructed into bias-cut dresses, two-piece Swarovski-covered sets, vintage hoodies adorned in fringe, and flowing fringed skirts constructed from upcycled piano scarves. Hats throughout the collection were created by British milliner Stephen Jones.


16Arlington at London Fashion Week

16Arlington 

Recycled coffee grounds covered the floor of British-Italian brand 16Arlington's show space in Bloomsbury. Titled Wake, the collection centred on the idea of "emerging from the depths, coming to the surface," and "waking to a new world."

As models emerged from behind the dark walls of the show space, embellished in sequins, feathers and takes on Italian schoolgirl uniforms, footprints were tracked in the aromatic coffee-covered floor.