What does “Positive Fashion” mean to you? 

At a glance, it could very well be one of those pleasantries that fin de siècle landed gentry would have used in anticipation of a taxing afternoon tea: Let us, dearest Agatha, endeavour to go about proceedings in a positive fashion.” 

For London Fashion Week, it means a concerted effort from the epicentre of British style to do things differently; it means a focus on sustainable fashion and ethical production. It means banning the use of animal fur from the official schedule’s runways and presentations – a first for any major fashion week. 

Richard Malone SS19.

For Richard Malone – who set the tone on Friday morning with a joyous and punchy riot of ruching, neon notes and fabrics that clung and hung exactly where they should – it meant a partnership with Freitag, a sustainable innovator that utilises the tarpaulin from lorry sides and recycles it into bags. It meant rich double-faced satin (care of a collaboration with Italian fabric house, Taroni) juxtaposed against the regenerative nylon composition, Econyl. 

J.JS Lee SS19.

Fabrics, as per, were of similar note at J.JS Lee. Fine wool via Huddersfield-based Dugdale Bros & Co softened the strictures of tailoring across womenswear and menswear, and film-dipped edging brought a clever contrast to elevate the simplicity of shifts and denim. Elsewhere, Matty Bovan explored questions of existentialism – taking inspiration from a quote by filmmaker and fellow artist, Derek Jarman, “I’ve never believed in reality, because if reality was the way it was served up to us, who would want it?” – on a show, punctuated with material processes and technique, from hand crocheting to recycled plastic weaving by casc8.  

Matty Bovan SS19.

Matty Bovan SS19.

Sisters Laura and Deanna Fanning evidenced their own stirring technical prowess at Kiko Kostadinov; in an intimate horseshoe runway, the brand’s debut womenswear collection and first that the siblings have shown since graduating from their Central Saint Martins MA, knitted-in-one on-the-body garments were designed to reveal minimal seaming, intarsia pleats were spliced with a sports-like bi-stretch nylon, and surreal silhouettes took cues from the outfits of the Rachael role in the original 1982 Blade Runner.

Kiko Kostadinov SS19.

Kiko Kostadinov SS19.

The role of women, or indeed their myriad roles in life were explored in celebratory and, dare we say it, positive fashion by Marta Jakubowski, whose carnival of colourful ‘90s nostalgia packed a powerful message of independence and shackle-shattering confidence. Was that a sliver of bum cheek you just saw? You’re damn right it was, because Marta’s multi-faceted femme can be anything she wants, be it wayward rave-bound teen or a businesswoman and mother who’s breastfeeding on the go (the show featured the Elvie Pump, the world’s first silent and wearable breast pump). It’s just as the words of Rozalla reverberated around the room, Everybody’s freeeeeeeee to feel good!” 

Marta Jakubowski SS19.

So, with the first day of London Fashion Week down and a Saturday of shows before us, it’s needless to say that we’re feeling positive.