London Fashion Week S/S 2023 is proving to be a season unlike any other. Set against a mournful backdrop after the death of Queen Elizabeth II, designers have had to rally the community’s resolve to push forward.

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It’s Fashion Week time again – and London is up. And as they say, the show must go on – and so it did… Many designers honour this exciting moment in British history as a source of inspiration and celebration.

J.W. Anderson

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London Fashion Week 2023 Summer / Spring collection takes place in a gaming arcade and casino in Soho. Here, Anderson warps our reality. Cue the flashing neon arcade screens, disco lights, and an orb dress to match.

The dress in many ways is the show’s nexus; with its metallic surface reflecting distortions of the set, reality and the audience as they held up their phones. “I don’t think it’s about futurism. It’s more about a reflection of ourselves somehow,” Anderson says.

A Post-Digital Era

Anderson demonstrates his preoccupation with the realities of a post-digital era throughout SS23. And he constantly interrogates the ways in which our world is fusing with the digital realm. He examines the interrelation of these ideas thru his eponymous label and as creative director of Loewe.

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The result of injecting such attentive commentary into his collections has led to a multitude of surreal moments. As Anderson puts it, “high-definition” silhouettes often intersect objects like tech gadgets and accessories fashioned onto garments.

In a similar vein to Loewe’s Spring Summer show, tech gadgets and accessories like old computer keys find themselves a top of a halter neck. The model becomes bionic as Anderson challenges, “are we falling into our screens, becoming our phones?” Further prompting us to recognise the “layers and layers” of technological interactions we commit every day.

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Furthering his collection with “stock digital pictures you can find on the internet for a dollar.” Anderson’s reverence for the surreal truly took place here as palm trees, dolphins, goldfish, sunsets and a map of the planet akin to desktop screensavers were printed across boots, bags, rompers and jumpsuits.

Idyllic Fantasies

Meanwhile, Nemo was found hidden in a plastic trash bag, that was actually a mini dress knotted at the shoulder as realism is confronted. It is these idyllic fantasies of a much needed vacation that punctuate our computer screens, becoming places of longing we often forget what lies beyond the screen.

In a poignant final moment, Anderson reveals a black graphic T-shirt commemorating Her Majesty The Queen.

In this season Anderson gambles in a surreal game of simulation, the show essentially a satirical yet self aware reflection of fashion and reality that is candid and honest.

Simone Rocha

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Offered in the grand surrounds of London’s Old Bailey, the city’s central Criminal Court, Irish designer Simone Rocha’s exploration of “fragility, remorse, anger and nature,” spoke to a unique command of juxtaposition.

The collection was about “harnessing an emotion that felt like this kind of powerful, feminine statement.” Harnessing indeed became literal, manifested in parachute tapes fastened and threaded through dresses and skirts lined with romantic fringing and grand bomber jackets.

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These tapes prioritised functionality, Rocha illustrating how they can shift the shape of the garment, from length and volume.


Inserts of off-white and beige pink tulle layers, pink wallpaper prints of flower-wreath patterns were juxtaposed with a punk infused palate of army greens, aviator pants, deconstructed corsets, and sequin flowers remodelled in a mournful black.

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Flounced tulle veils find themselves under the Rocha spotlight once again in tiered constructions covering heads. Inspired by funeral traditions of the Aran Isles peoples and the notions of ceremony and vulnerability, the current context of the world found relevance. “There’s definitely pieces within the collection that I think people will feel potentially a response to the current situation,” Rocha said regarding the death of Queen Elizabeth II.

Ultimately the presentation was a dance of softened strength, a romantic melancholy which captured a feeling of unrestrained emotion, cue a tearful Rocha taking to the runway for her finale bow.

Nensi Dojaka

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Dreamy silhouettes, masterful lingerie skills and a cultivated seduction sets the tone for Albanian designer, Nensi Dojaka at LFW23. Refusing to conform to thematics and narratives, Dojaka privileges form and textile – for this season, lace, chiffon, shimmery textures and pale pink sparkles were the springboard.

In her latest collection, brand codes were flaunted, everything from sophisticated hosiery, lingerie-inspired features to delicate rouleau strapping.

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The presentation harnesses forward motion and expands in a refreshing direction. The well-loved chiffon fabric we see in the iconic twist-and-cup bra tops have fringing; with dainty ruching and motif heart cutouts, with some intimate bone-lining.

Pushing the Movement

Paper-thin slips were tinged with a ’90s grunge influence, lurex bodysuits, cycling shorts and wide-legged jeans in two denim shades pushed the movement further.

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Then, the show stopper, quite literally. Emily Ratajkowski closed the show, dressed in the dark cranberry iteration of a chiffon cling-wrap corset gown. Detailed with trains, flowing ever so gracefully, the beauty of each piece has was truly perfected with masterful skill.

Chet Lo

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For Asian American designer, Chet Lo, the Spring Summer 2023 season became an opportunity for retrospective exhibition. Its name, baai-san (拜神)” means “to pray” in Cantonese. And the runway turned into memory lane for Lo. Childhood recollections of a Buddhist upbringing permeate every inch of set and design.

The space, scented with incense and punctuated with the sounds of a gong bath are interrupted by white lights and a booming techno score. A chaotic clash of culture ensues that underpins Lo’s ultimate aesthetic.

“This season I wanted the collection to be very focused on where I grew up and my cultural background, which my previous collections always have been, but this time round I really wanted to make a point of it,” says Lo.

The collection informed by Lo’s East Asian heritage remembers weekly trips to the temple and Buddhist tales of Buddha’s enlightenment where flying arrows shot toward the being were transmogrified into lotus flowers.

Manifesting in Fabric

These cultural points of inspiration find themselves manifesting beautifully in the fabrics. Cue the series of skin-tight mesh knits boasting round cutouts channel a laceration effect; mirroring the marks of a shooting arrow.

Lo’s signature spiked knitwear was abundant. This season, the textural durian prints are subject to reimagination. They draw inspiration from the lotus flower. It’s symbol of virtue and purity in Buddhist culture.

The show opens with a “Forest Green” cutout dress. The look comes to fruition with an expansive globular lotus lily-pad shape hat. The lotus motif manifests in 3D plastic renditions, wreathing headwear, hair and strappy sandals. And even more subtly, in a colour palette of blues, pinks and purples.

Further, delicate lotus touches were found in organza dress offerings. The sheer textiles lined with a vining floral arrangement, framing the female silhouette which became a botanical garden.

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The accessories are show-stopping. From spiked full-head covers, sling bags in vibrant ruby reds and paler blues. There are tremendous globes hanging from the hands of models. Meanwhile, mini phone purses are slinging around their wrists; serpentine-like as they suspend in the air.

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The resulting show is a beautiful demonstration of the brand’s capacity and evolution; presenting a robust offering this season and paving the way for its future.

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