AHLUWALIA’s FW23 collection began as the models stepped out to the sounds of a live pianist and saxophonist’s versions of 90s and 00s R’n’B, which proved the foundation stones of her collection. Her now trademark wave prints and graphics from album covers were worked into the designs, as she hailed the likes of Lauryn Hill, Sade, Prince, and Luther Vandross as her creative incentive.
Embroidery was seen in the shapes of 200-year-old Indian guitars, as the whole collection felt as though she was levelling up with her eponymous brand into something new and exciting. Footwear was introduced this year, with womenswear heels featuring an ‘A’ on boots and mules, while menswear displayed a range of dapper loafers and lace-ups. Inspired by her Indian-Nigerian heritage, geometric prints with pops of orange, yellow, red, and pink were interjected throughout.
Bold touches of colour splayed across tailored jackets and skin-tight party dresses. The AHLUWALIA monogram was written on track tops and workwear-inspired pieces, pairing formal tailoring with streetwear. With a relaxed nod to her musical inspirations, the new era of AHLUWALIA has proved her, yet again, as one of London’s best.
The name on everyone’s lips for SS Daley’s FW23 collection was surprisingly, Ian McKellen. And whilst Gandalf was the last face audiences at London Fashion Week expected to see, it was in the triple sensory experience of a digital, auditory, and sensory world that SS Daley took his winnings. The audience was immersed in various presentations of art in the Outernet London.
McKellen was the first to take to the runway and recited one of Alfred, Lord Tynneson’s Arthurian poems. The walls were covered with blue-hued graphics of a man at sea, with the collection titling ‘The Ninth Wave’ hailing from Kate Bush’s B-side album. SS Daley explored his grandfather’s life at sea and introduced this narration through a Queer lens. Sailor stories lined the visuals of the show, exemplary in the nude male embroidered onto the navy pea coat of McKellen.
The show saw a newer and more confident side to Daley’s designs, which did not shy away from the details of this storytelling approach. Vintage graphics and crochet with fishing knots applied a nautical yet technical take on the looks. Anoraks with stripes and monogram motifs were paired with cargos, sequined shorts, and even suits. Hand-stitched ‘SSD’ logos were dotted throughout the layered designs, as thoughtful cutouts and immense graphic images were some of Daley’s best work to date.