The Top 8 Shows and Runway Trends at London Fashion Week SS22
The U.K.’s most exciting talents put on a spectacle.
If the collections presented during London Fashion Week are any indication, vibrant colors, touchable textures and creative layering will be dominating our wardrobes next spring. Gleefully returning to physical runways, the U.K.’s brightest design talents put on a spectacle for the Spring/Summer 2022 edition of the event. While a number of brands were noticeably absent from the calendar, there’s no shortage of awe-inspiring moments as young designers, from Richard Malone to Harris Reed, delivered some of their best collections.
Here, HYPEBAE takes a look at the top shows and trends at LFW SS22. While you are here, check out the sharpest street style looks from the week.
A recent Central Saint Martins graduate, American designer Chet Lo made his Fashion East debut with a brilliantly eccentric collection inspired by the idea of a tropical paradise. Washed in sunset-like color gradients of pink, yellow and purple, the range is filled with statement resort wear — think halter tops, bikinis, mini skirts, beach dresses and one-piece swimsuits designed with peekaboo cutouts and, of course, Lo’s signature spike knit details. We won’t be surprised if we see these vacation-ready looks on fashion-savvy celebrities and models come spring.
For her first on-schedule outing at LFW, FEBEN, another CSM graduate, unveiled a tightly edited collection that celebrates self-expression. Exploring the concept of utilizing clothes — or rather, unapologetic style — as a coping mechanism during uncertain times, the presentation featured ensembles that incorporate elements of both relaxed quarantine dressing and post-lockdown party wear. From a hot pink, shirred-panelled shirt and skirt set, to wavy pleated pants in primary colors, the pieces looked equal parts comfortable and chic.
Hosted outside of the official LFW schedule, Harris Reed’s SS22 show — the rising designer’s first physical show — was an impressive feat. The presentation, staged at the Serpentine Pavilion in Hyde Park, saw 10 majestic looks repurposed from used bridal wear found at Oxfam charity shops. An advocate for gender fluidity, Reed remixed traditional wedding dresses and tuxedos to create expressive pieces that include a lace shawl, a corset gown and a large, cocooning tulle dress. Making the occasion even more memorable, the show was topped off with a breathtaking performance by musician Kelsey Lu.
For a lesson in layering and mixing and matching contrasting textures, look to Charlotte Knowles and Alexandre Arsenault’s KNWLS. The brand, beloved by trendsetters from Bella Hadid to Dua Lipa to Iris Law, delivered a high-energy collection that’s aptly titled “Adrenaline.” A cowgirl-meets-biker theme ran through the show, as models were styled in halter tops that resemble shrunken breastplates, bike shorts and expertly layered bodysuits, as well as fringed, weaved pants that were cinched with a thick Western belt.
London’s womenswear designer of the moment, Nensi Dojaka had her first solo runway show mere days after winning the 2021 LVMH Prize. Innovating new styles while staying true to her lingerie-inspired aesthetic, the Albanian talent created looks that felt at once familiar and fresh. Besides barely there dresses constructed with sheer bra cups and crisscross straps, the designer also introduced sleek, high waisted cigarette pants, suit jackets and tights featuring considered, floral-shaped cutouts to her repertoire.
Presented at the Raphael Cartoons room in the Victoria and Albert Museum, Richard Malone’s SS22 show was a sight to behold. The Irish designer, who was one of the 2020 Woolmark Prize winners, looked to his upbringing in Wexford to create magnificent, period-inspired pieces. Colorful ruched dresses reminiscent of horse show rosettes, including a trio of stunning finale looks that saw fabrics wrapping around models like exaggerated curtains, were paired with handbags from a sustainably minded collaboration between Mulberry and Malone.
Inviting guests to a medieval church in the City of London, LFW mainstay Simone Rocha unveiled a collection centered around the joy and pain of motherhood. The designer, who recently gave birth to her second child, added to her exquisite, larger-than-life tulle frocks nursing bras that are adorned with jewels. Nightgown-inspired lace dresses, childlike oversized collars, pearl-accented granny underwear and scarlet bags shaped like dripping blood also made appearances on the runway.
Another emerging designer to watch, Yuhan Wang, who’s known for her romantic, elaborate dresses, wanted to empower women with her clothes. Her SS22 collection “Juliette Has a Gun” was, symbolically, a protest against femicide in the country and around the world. To arm her women sartorially, Wang made toughened-up versions of her signature gowns with leather corsets, harnesses and pistol holsters printed with floral graphics.
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- Yuri Hong/Hypebae