How Nensi Dojaka, Christopher Kane, Dilara, Annie’s Ibiza & Harris Reed Embraced The Body At LFW

There was a lot of skin on show at London Fashion Week, but the ideas expressed were more than skin deep as designers embraced the body from both the inside and the outside.

LVMH award winner and nude dress poster child Nensi Dojaka offered a more sophisticated take on the Kendall Jenner no-pants trend that’s spreading the runway and sidewalk. Floor-covering fishtails in lightweight lace chiffon and sheer tulle were fine-tuned with sculptural cutout body detailing, while the addition of crystals “creates the illusion of even more lightness,” the designer said backstage.

Bodysuit or catsuit versions also catered to her desire to push the pin to “see how we can do evening dresses in a cooler and younger way that feels fresher”.

“We’re entering a more minimalist phase,” she continued, adding that she’s also expanding her wardrobe while continuing to embrace the body with more knitwear than before, “to make what we do better every day.” “

Christopher Kane is always inspired by our biology and what lies beneath our skin. A more sophisticated take on the visible thong trend, his cocktail dresses ensured that the butt took center stage. But anyone who’s going from a historical perspective should know that Kane is a lot more left-leaning when it comes to his influences.

The shape was actually inspired by dissolving guts, he explained. “It started last season because I was playing with body parts like muscles,” he said. “I didn’t want the rush to be a nod to Victoriana.” Science fiction is another Kane constant — he gave a talk at the Vogue x Snap AR exhibit earlier in the week called “Redefining the Body” — but this time it became a scientific fact when he started experimenting with artificial intelligence. Some of his prints, including those of pigs, were computer generated. Why pigs? “When it comes to our DNA, we’re 98% the same.”

Annie’s Ibiza Annie Doble held her first show of the week. Loved by Kate Moss, her brand, which she has on speed dial, started selling vintage clothing in the grounds of an Ibiza fortress and opened a store on London’s Carnaby Street in 2020 with a combination of up-and-coming vintage labels including Miley Cyrus’ favourite Miss Sohee and now her own designs.

The hedonistic, party-centric collection is sourced entirely in the UK and made from dead stock and sustainable fabrics where possible. However, many of the body baring looks are designed to be worn over a bikini in Ibiza. Just call it Beach to Boite.

Dilara Findikoglu Fall ’23 was about taking back control of the body. The designer was inspired in part by the Iranian protests sparked by the assassination of Mahsa Amini for violating the country’s mysterious dress code.

Never shy from controversy, Findikoglu celebrated women’s bodies of all shapes and sizes with feathered bikinis and often nipple-free corsets in sheer fabrics and veils that were also a nod to the burqa. “Women’s bodies have been exploited too much,” she said after her show at An East London Chapel. “I wanted to do my part and raise my voice as a woman.”

A corset adorned with flowers dipped in resin, a technique she developed in her graduation collection, was titled “Not Your Typical Flower” – a statement about objectification of the body like flowers in a vase. The collection itself was called “Not a Man’s Territory”.

Both Annie’s Ibiza and Dilara also featured shoes from London-based vegan shoe label Piferi. The brand, known for its high-octane designs, has previously collaborated with Ludovic de Saint Sernin.

To Harris Reed, who showed Demi Couture off schedule last week. The designer, who will be presenting his debut collection for Nina Ricci during Paris Fashion Week next month in Paris, teamed fitted second-skin pieces with sculptural elements to create new silhouettes that are super natural and exaggerated.

Theatricality and the performative, transformative nature of clothing are central to Reed’s oeuvre, and the show, entitled All The World’s A Stage, a line from Shakespeare’s As You Like It, was opened by actress Florence Pugh, who a custom piece worn by Reed for Nina Ricci at the BAFTAs a few days later.

The collection, the designer said, started with one fabric, a pair of gold lamé curtains, uploaded from a London theatrical production company, so “he continued to explore performance clothing, costume and the body as a second skin in a theatrical way.”

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