Fashion watch: When London Fashion Week makes for good television

  • Style
  • Friday, 25 Sep 2020

From a documentary to a visual album and a reality show – at least, sort of, designers take the creative route to really amp up the entertainment value of their London Fashion Week digital presentations. Photo: Gareth Pugh

The recent Spring/Summer 2021 London Fashion Week was seen straddling the realms of both physical runways and digital presentations.

While it started out strong last season with digital-only, it made a transition back to in-person shows – albeit in a careful and restrained manner. Only a handful of designers decided to go ahead with welcoming guests back into their events.

Read more: London Fashion Week returning to physical shows in face of 'difficult times'

For those who went the digital route, creativity was seen as key. They continued to push the boundaries in a strong bid to really capture the attention of viewers.

After all, one does need to be a little different to stand out on screen. There is probably nothing more boring than watching models walk in a video.

From Gareth Pugh to Erdem and JW Anderson, here are a few of the digital highlights you should be paying attention to.

Creative storytelling

For Gareth Pugh, a regular digital presentation was not enough. The designer released an hour long documentary as part of his London Fashion Week participation.

The "visual concept album" is titled Reconstruction. With it, viewers are taken behind-the-scenes into the making – with interviews and other messages included into the narration.

Thirteen looks inspired by 13 iconic songs are featured. These include the likes of The Power Of Love by Frankie Goes To Hollywood and Bedtime Story by Madonna.

"Right now, there are no rules. There are no limits. We are being offered an opportunity to invent the future," Pugh said in a released statement.

The most interesting part of it? None of the outfits are for sale. So his London Fashion Week endeavour proved to be little more than entertainment value.

Fashion fantasy

Erdem’s fantasy film was inspired by the designer's lockdown reading, Susan Sontag’s The Volcano Lover.

The audience-less runway imagery was shot in London's Epping Forest and presented to guests screened on an iPad handheld by Erdem Moralioglu himself.

Read more: Milan Fashion Week announces inclusion of a 'Black Lives Matter' event

“There was something about this odd time that we’re living in, and the idea that there is something so much bigger than all of us that controls everything, ” Vogue reported Moralioglu as saying.

“It’s beauty in a time that’s very ugly, and the idea of creating something decadent with an underbelly of something poor.”

Although on the short side – just a little over 3 minutes long – it had somewhat of a cinematic aspect to it that draws in viewers. The inclusion of the backstory and inspiration into the video itself would have helped a lot.

JW Anderson

JW Anderson's clip took viewers on a shopping trip. It follows two friends (The Crown’s” Emma Corrin, aka Princess Diana, and her stylist, Henry Lambert) trying on stuff in his store.

The designer, Jonathan Anderson, made an appearance himself. They then discuss some of Jonathan's work – drawing attention to his love for knitwear.

"We’re sharing the video at #LFW because London, whether in Soho or Bond St or East, is always in fashion," the brand's statement read.

Read more: A cancelled runway to first Twitch show, London Fashion Week's digital drama

All in all, it views as a reality show. Shot in a very casual way, as though embodying what a regular outing would feel like.

You could say it gave everyone a taste of "normalcy" that is so hard to come by these days.

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