Fashion Week Spring Summer 2021 was arguably the most innovative yet. We saw designers making a collective effort to inject joy, colour and optimism back into this otherwise seemingly bleak world.
We also saw an emphasis on sustainability and sourcing local fabrics in order to minimise travel and support local workers. Molly Goddard was one designer who promoted the urgency to use local resources and to be more conscious about how far the fabrics are being shipped, in an effort to be more economical, explaining that 90% of her clothes are manufactured in London and the UK.
So, here are all the LFW highlights from the designers who are doing more than merely providing us with beautiful clothing, and here are the ways that we can also get involved.
Designers to support:
Molly Goddard: In true Molly Goddard style, she used colour and texture to bring joy to every beholder of her SS21 collection. Grassy green tulle and buttercup yellows encouraged a playful and cheerful feel. With the knowledge that she also sources local fabric and uses local manufacturers with an environmental conscience, this is certainly a designer to shout about. Goddard’s clothing is available to buy at Net-A-Porter and Matches Fashion.
Michael Halpern: Halpern used his platform to make a fashion film casting eight frontline workers to celebrate the true heroes of society and address current issues of the world. Some of the women featured in the film and who were wearing Halpern’s eccentric and playful creations included a senior ICU nurse at Homerton Hospital, a domestic services staffer, and a TFL tube driver. Halpern explained that he aimed to provide respite for those who have worked exceptionally hard during Covid. What a truly heart-warming and creative way to utilise a platform in order to inspire and uplift! Halpern’s pieces can be found at My Theresa and Matches Fashion.
Bethany Williams: Leading advocate for sustainability and all-round do-gooder, Bethany Williams, hosted an appointment-only exhibition at Somerset House. William has previously worked with Tesco and Vauxhall Foodbank, – to whom she donates a generous amount of the proceeds from her collections each season. Not only does she support charities, but she also employs people via charity services to assist with her collections. Previously, she has employed members of the Isle of Man’s Manx Workshop for the Disabled. Williams (and Phoebe English) also founded the Emergency Designer Network, a community that worked to provide PPE stock for the frontline workers.
This year, Williams has collaborated with the Magpie Project, a charity that helps refugee mothers and young children. True to form, the collection was made entirely from deadstock and recycled materials, including fruit packaging and unwanted children’s books. The colourful and bold designs were covered in illustrations drawn by the refugee children, which were then transferred into prints. Williams truly manages to tick all the boxes – circular fashion, ethical practice, charity, and sustainability. What a woman! You can support Williams by buying her clothes at www.bethany-williams.com.
Emerging Talent: Bianca Saunders, an emerging London-based designer, showcased her SS21 collection and launched a collaboration with denim label, Wrangler. Saunders has subtly reworked classic pieces such as jeans and jackets from the brand, slightly altering the silhouettes and adding extra seams for a more boxy and over-exaggerated look. Saunders has also used eco-conscious dye and laser to add a stone-wash effect to the denim. Hopefully we will see future designers following suit and making collections out of up-cycled garments and fabrics.
Other ways we can support the charity initiatives:
So, they paved the way, we follow. Here are the charities mentioned in this article for you to get involved and show support.