The London Fashion Week edition for the Fall / Winter 2020/21 women's collections which ended on February 18 was the first after the official exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union on January 31. It is too early to understand what the real impact will be on the British fashion system, also because the new customs structure will emerge at the end of the year, at the end of the transition period. It is therefore better to limit oneself to more usual style reflections.
London is the fashion capital par excellence where designers are encouraged to experiment, without necessarily having to account for marketing strategies and sales strategies every two by three. Yet on the catwalks of London Fashion week we saw a show like that of Victoria Beckham, unanimously decreed as one of the best, which is a concentrate of looks as cliccose as easily wearable in the here and now. As it happens with the ladylike elegance crossed by subtle rebellious accents by Riccardo Tisci for Burberry. Or with the vaguely 80s ensembles of Roland Mouret.
Of course, the quintessential floral latex couture by Richard Quinn, which corridor rumors would give on arrival in Paris to draw for some great designer label. Molly Goddard's underground tulle, or Simone Rocha's layered silhouettes. But perhaps more than fabrics, volumes and colors, it is worth thinking about a common thread that unites those designers (Erdem, Emilia Wickstead and Preen by Thornton Bregazzi included, albeit in a more diluted form). It is as if in the English capital there was a more or less unconscious drive to look at the past, to propose clothes that transform the wearer into almost magical creatures, which seem to have landed in 2020 thanks to some time machine. The designers have always reworked forms, volumes, fantasies of another era. In this case, however, the many nineteenth-century references strike, mixed with references ranging from the beginning and the fifties of the twentieth century, who knows if to escape from the uncertainties of today. London Fashion Week thus reveals a double soul, on one side usable and contemporary, on the other evanescent, meditative. With the exception of JW Anderson, who with his show to scream manages to put the two instances together, producing something indefinable, because unique. And for this very applauded.