Lulu Kennedy’s creative incubator Fashion East is known to produce some of Britain’s most innovative fashion talent. Past FE alumni include Kim Jones, Martine Rose, Simone Rocha, and many more who have gone on to become some of the country’s greatest success stories.
As a new London Fashion Week season emerges, so do a slew of fresh designers to keep an eye on. For Spring/Summer 2023, Fashion East welcomes a duo of new faces. Newcomers Karoline Vitto and Standing Ground make their debut, alongside Jawara Alleyne who returns to the runway for his final season with the agency.
The Fashion East day began with a 30-minute presentation crafted by Michael Stewart’s Standing Ground. Attendees filled a room with a distressed setting, paint peeled, brick exposed and insense-filled air. The energy was sky-high, packed with guests awaiting Lulu Kennedy’s latest selection of future icons. Standing Ground’s SS23 collection titled “Úr” communicated the purity of the body through draped eveningwear doused in ancestral connotations. A selection of bespoke jersey dresses echoed 18th-century notes, cascading down models’ bodies like waterfalls, those who stood like stone statues. A selection of 10 garments was set on display and donned padded bands that slithered around the female figure like snakes in awe.
Karoline Vitto set into motion Fashion East’s SS23 runway antics. Dubbed “Summer in January,” she tapped into her childhood memories growing up in Brazil, wishing to highlight the narrowed beauty mindset that flooded her early years. Models of all shapes and sizes stormed the catwalk with a fearless vision, wearing an array of skintight jersey dresses that clung to their bodies like gloves. Thin metal frames peeked through every garment, accentuating the areas that society has been conditioned to disfavor. These clutched armpits, breasts, hips and more.
Triangle bikini tops were paired with loose-fitting trousers and floor-length maxi skirts, delivered in a palette of elegant blacks and whites. Excluding one outstanding look, a vibrant red gown that donned cutouts at the neck, hips and belly adorned with a headscarf that cascaded gracefully down to the model’s wrist enriched by mesh gloves. The hue makes a critical impact, representing the Brazilian worker’s party fighting against her country’s current political agenda.
Presenting his final collection under Lulu Kennedy’s Fashion East umbrella, Jawara Alleyne takes us to his hometowns of Jamaica and the Cayman Islands, where the year-round scorching heat is unbearable to most. His collection, named “The New World,” explores his very idea of such, scouting through his childhood teachings of Caribbean history and the representation of pirates within it.
The collection oozed warm-weather overtones, defining the everyday style that is seen on Caribbean streets. Open, airy and sexy, upcycled fabrics were utilized at every point, as halter bras donned armstraps, paired with skimpy skirts brought together by clips, giving off an unfinished feel. Two-toned mesh tops were gashed, revealing distressed bodysuits and brawny male figures. Hidden cutout skeletons loomed throughout, bringing to light the history of Jamaican pirates. Bags and skirts flung back and forth in a fringed manner, constructed from recycled waste fabric brought into motion. The collection’s color palette came divided, half symbolizing the marine life of the Cayman Islands, and the other ushering in balance through rich tones represented in Jamaican culture.
Fashion East’s SS23 showcase can be seen in the gallery above. Stay tuned to Hypebeast for more London Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2023 content as the week goes on, and be sure to catch live content on @HypebeastUK.