Being a seasoned player in the fashion scene comes with its own set of challenges, one of which is the risk of falling into a rut and producing designs that feel stale or uninspired. But perhaps the biggest pitfall is becoming predictable. Fortunately, this season’s London Fashion Week pulled out all the stops, presenting some of the most outstanding collections we’ve seen in a while – and yes, that includes the high-end labels. The Spring/Summer 24 lineup shines a spotlight on nature, particularly through the use of vibrant textiles and floral patterns. The up-and-coming designers and independent creatives made a strong case for sustainability by championing upcycled materials, injecting a much-needed dose of innovation and creativity into the traditionally lacklustre representation of spring. This season’s showcase was a vibrant celebration of the diversity and beauty found in nature, and all that springs forth from it. As fashion continues to shift towards a more gender-neutral and fluid direction, each designer’s stylistic choices offered a glimpse into what lies ahead, free from the confines of traditional labels.
From the return of established stars like Chet Lo and Kay Kwok to the emergence of fresh talents, audiences were treated to a taste of the future of fashion – always open to a touch of original nostalgia. Think of tasteful prints, lively florals, earthy tones, and repurposed denim for days. On the flip side, luxury labels like Paul Costelloe and Burberry stuck to their signature styles, showcasing distinctive motifs and silhouettes that set the tone for many collections, leaving us to wonder about the next big trend for Spring/Summer 24. From the very first day to the grand finale, dive into the highlights from the SS24 London Fashion Week below.
Famed for his expertise in form and textiles, Paul Costelloe kicked off London’s Fashion Week in style, unveiling his latest collection inspired by a tranquil family afternoon in Ferrara, Italy. While the runway was set in the heart of London, the choice of classical Italian music that accompanied the models was a perfect touch, whisking the audience away to the Finzi-Contini’s charming home gardens. Dubbed “Il Giardino,” it embodied the very essence of romance, featuring an array of dresses, unstructured jackets, and vibrant prints. The initial pieces showcased models strolling down the runway in attire reminiscent of a game of tennis, complete with croquet mallets to match. However, the true stars of the collection were the suits — ranging from generously proportioned pinstriped ensembles to easygoing two-piece sets — all elegantly arrayed in shades of ecru, sandy hues, and soft blues. As an elegant counterpoint to the more playful nature of the suits and two-pieces, especially for evening wear, Costelloe presented a selection of graceful, flowing gowns and mini dresses adorned with floral prints and patterns that evoked the delicate shades of Italian skies at dusk.
Set in the serene courtyard of St Cyprian’s Church, MITHRIDATE’s latest collection exuded a delicate yet vivacious celebration of East Asian culture, while establishing a strong foundation for innovation and sustainability in premium craftsmanship. The garments radiated in luminous shades of soft jade, calming cyan, radiant yellow, and earthy pink, showcasing exquisite oriental cutting designs. Lightweight layered dresses and tunics adorned with gold accents were adorned with meticulous floral patterns and embroidery, prominently featuring MITHRIDATE’s dominant moth motif in various dimensions. A striking contrast emerged with see-through white lace coordinates and separates featuring geometric floral cutouts, juxtaposed against earth-toned dresses splattered with paint and hand-dyed bodysuits. The signature maximalist style took center stage with oversized embroidered coats and gowns, boasting voluminous pastel tulle trains and bursts of feathers. The latter half of the collection introduced a contrasting touch with washed and bleached denim ensembles, infusing a more contemporary and streetwear-inspired vibe. This cohesive vision was elevated by beaded pastel handbags and delicate light jade accessories. Throughout the entire collection, the emphasis on sustainability and remedial practices was palpable. All materials and fabrics, including organic silk, cotton, and linen, played a pivotal role in the exploration of the therapeutic techniques derived from Chinese healing herbs. This thoughtful integration of tradition, innovation, and sustainability defined MITHRIDATE’s SS24 collection.
Simone Rocha orchestrated a ceremony at the Mulryan Centre for Dance that felt like an official wedding sans spouses, leaving the audience in awe with her ethereal and romantic SS24 collection. Bearing the title “Dress Rehearsal,” the show’s concept revolved around enacting all the emotions leading up to the sacred union. The models, adorned in gentle pastels and elegant black ensembles, gracefully navigated a white wooden structure that resembled a chapel. Roses, sheer fabrics, and ribbons took centre stage: the inaugural look, a pink nylon two-piece, featured a graceful swirl of roses adorning the front, with coordinating ribbons cascading behind. Following suit, a transparent, sheer rendition unveiled clusters of pink roses delicately sewn underneath. Some designs drew direct inspiration, with long white gowns mirroring the layers of a wedding cake paired with petite cake-shaped handbags. The pinnacle of drama arrived with a striking array of lace-trimmed motorbike jackets and suiting adorned with pearls. Yet, it was the unexpected collaboration between Rocha and Crocs that sent shockwaves across the internet, as she unveiled her pearl-encrusted rendition of the iconic utilitarian shoe, leaving a lasting impression.
In his SS24 collection presented at London’s Fashion Week, Asian-American designer Chet Lo unveiled a bold, sensuous ensemble that delves into the underrepresented sexual identities in Asian cultures. Following the success of his prior collections, Lo, celebrated for his vibrant spiked knits now embraced by Gen Z, illuminated the Old Selfridges Hotel in a captivating display of garments. This seductive collection pays homage to Lo’s Chinese heritage through the incorporation of satin separates, leather co-ords, and knits adorned with ancient Chinese erotic art and Japanese shunga, a traditional form depicting same-sex couples. While his signature colorful knits took a subtler tone, they still made a prominent appearance, adorning slim-fit tops, sheer long-sleeves, cut-out skirts, and halter neck dresses. The finale introduced tridimensional silhouettes, showcasing an array of crewnecks and hoodies. The erotic essence of the collection was heightened by the presence of knotted Japanese Shibari ropes, typically associated with intimate rope play, artfully encircling necks and arms, provocatively paired with snake-like hair ornamentation. Vibrant accents of electric blues, striking reds, tranquil light greens, and crisp whites complemented each piece, enhancing the recurring graphic motifs and resulting in a collection that boldly explores themes of sensuality and identity.
There was much pressure on Daniel Lee’s third showcase for the esteemed British house, but he managed to exceed expectations. Staged within the Highbury Fields, Burberry’s SS24 collection had been eagerly anticipated, not only through social media but also unexpectedly making appearances on the Tube. Indeed, Burberry read all over Bond Street — which was playfully rebranded as Burberry Street — replacing the customary red and purple hues with the house’s iconic knight blue. Lee’s vision embodied a modern interpretation of British country culture — a metropolitan stroll through a park, one might say. Drawing from the quintessential image of the petite English country garden, Lee’s vision translated into a lineup of pragmatic silhouettes adorned with jewellery prints, embellished with floral and fruity motifs. The timeless trench coat, a Burberry staple, made its expected appearance in a variety of forms: turned inside-out, draped as a cape, worn upside-down, and transformed into a chic overcoat or a sweeping, elegantly draped train. Sharp, tailored suits in shades of beige, forest green, and deep blue were balanced by the weightless grace of column dresses bearing the signature print, as well as halter-neck tops adorned with delicate black and blue strawberries. Lee’s attention to detail was evident, particularly in the accessories: from generously proportioned shoulder bags to sumptuous slippers, all the way to the signature knight blue accents gracing outsoles and belts, every element was meticulously crafted.
Kay Kwok, a returning favourite, consistently delivers captivating shows that leave a lasting impression. His latest collection, a genderless and thought-provoking ensemble, placed a strong emphasis on pleasure and enlightenment while championing freedom of expression in every piece. The collection was characterised by dystopian metal armour and innovative athleisure, appropriate for a sci-fi rave. Kwok aptly described the showcase as a transformative odyssey, guiding the audience “from the darkness into the abundance and joy of the light.” This transition was artfully represented in the initial looks, which featured darker tones and sculptural elements enveloping the models. By harmoniously merging elements of spirituality and digital aesthetics, Kwok brought forth a mesmerising fusion of Buddhist iconography portraying the splendour of nature, interwoven with graphics inspired by the cosmos. The result was a captivating array of vibrant colours and prints that left onlookers craving more. The iconic metal arms, last seen adorning Beyoncé during her Renaissance Tour, made a triumphant return, this time manifesting as various Buddhist mudras (religious hand gestures) elegantly embellishing pastel sheer garments. To complement this ethereal vision, accessories like tote bags, thigh-high boots, and strategically exposed underwear introduced a grounded, streetwear-inspired perspective.
As is customary for a Jonathan Anderson show, ingenuity and craftsmanship come together to birth thrilling, groundbreaking pieces that the fashion world craves. His SS24 collection lived up to the reputation. Channeling his inner child, Anderson unveiled sculptural silhouettes — a signature move of his, this time brought to life with an unexpected material for clothing: plasticine. The inaugural ensemble, a grey hoodie, and matching shorts, seemed to be sculpted onto the model, mirroring the dynamic interplay of light and shadow as if it were a living garment. Two more looks followed suit, sporting a playful combination of tangerine and silver, as well as midnight blue. The initial rigidity gave way to subsequent pieces that felt like the embodiment of DIY projects elevated to their zenith. Cargo pants billowed at the ankles, bomber jackets were inflated to colossal proportions and sprouted feathers, as if poised to burst forth in a vibrant explosion of style. Padded vinyl two-pieces floated gracefully in the breeze, akin to balloons dancing through the air, donning shades of cheerful yellow, fiery orange, and serene cerulean. Even opulent dresses made an entrance, artfully knotted asymmetrically across the body. Lastly, the iconic Bumper Bag made a triumphant return, reimagined in a spectrum of hues, alongside the eagerly anticipated knitted moccasin — a harbinger of the upcoming season’s trend.
Article by Gennaro Costanzo for The Untitled Magazine