Stories Photo essay

By Tautahi Subritzky

Leave it to London to present a plethora of references that collided together into a fashion week that ultimately made us swoon.

For his AW24 collection, Jonathan Anderson drew inspiration from the most unexpected of muses: the British TV comedy “The Last of the Summer Wine.” In what would seem like an unlikely source of inspiration, the oversized tweeds, cosy layers, and hairy knits worn by the show's characters are transformed into a cutting-edge fashion statement. What was once considered “tired” and “past its prime” is revived and given new life.

Anderson’s exploration of nostalgia and connecting the past with the future was further emphasised by grey curly wigs that were fixed onto models' heads, blurring the line between reality and illusion, all juxtaposed with a red “stamped-on” lip. The past and indeed age itself can be glorified and glamorised particularly as Anderson notes himself with social media apps like TikTok reviving “things from 50 years ago” with a fresh sense of vigour to a new generation. Watch this space because “Grandma-core” might just be one of the next viral trends.

Hair: Anthony Turner
Makeup: Lynsey Alexander

For AW24, Dilara Findikoglu presented a ritualistic collection, one with a resounding message to dismantle and transcend the toxic structures of conventional masculinity. Corporate uniforms, long a symbol of masculine power, were reworked and transformed into armour. Designed not to just adorn but to protect and empower. A new world order where the “feminine” reigns supreme.

Beauty was other-worldly and grotesque. The smudged blush that nodded to historical references met with a chainmail-like headpiece constructed in silver keys, sculpted bows echoed the structure of sleek gelled roots with gritty ends. A masterclass in gothic beauty.

Hair: Eugene Souleiman
Makeup: Daniel Sallstrom

For her AW24 collection, Susan Fang presented a collection that was both ethereal and avant-garde. The series of pieces, titled “Air-Home” looked to the conflicts on earth and the vast unknowns of the universe, and presented an escapist, yet still hopeful narrative, one that looks to the stars or the sea to find an imagined “home base” where there “is no need to fight over lands and territories”.

Extraterrestrial silhouettes blended with ocean-life adorned garments. Tangled veils and Intricate crystal bonnets adorned the crowns of models' heads, with hair that was loosely textured. Beauty featured cheeks that looked naturally flushed with “love-bitten” lips and “barely-there” eye makeup. It was a serene yet powerful presentation.

Hair: Aaron Firmstone
Makeup: Grace Ellington

Rocha’s AW24 collection, titled “The Wake”, drew inspiration from the elegant mourning attire of Queen Victoria, informing a series of garments with a romantic feel and a nod to the Victorian era. Black dresses and coats in tulle, satin and sheer fabrics dominated the collection and sat alongside crystal-embellished nude pieces and faux fur-trimmed voluminous satin styles. Corsetry and boning also played a key role in enhancing the silhouette.

With a collection that was exquisitely considered, beauty enhanced the dark and gothic feel of the presentation with eyebrows that were blocked out and replaced with stems of rosebuds tattooed in place. Hair was flattened and manipulated in a way that took a nuanced approach to interpreting Victorian-era hairstyles and intertwined seamlessly with Rocha’s ornate crystal jewellery. In short, it was everything we expected and more from a Simone Rocha show.

Hair: Eugene Souleiman
Makeup: Thomas de Kluyver

Daniel Lee’s continued exploration of Burberry’s innate connection to English heritage and “the great outdoors” informed a series of garments which aimed to reinterpret the brand's history of classic outerwear. Coats, jackets and suits in hues of petrol grey, mud brown and jade green were juxtaposed with garments fashioned in Burberry’s iconic plaids.

Echoing the outdoors theme, models sported bare and fresh-faced beauty with hair that seemed undone and windswept, naturally tucked into collars as if the garments had been thrown on before the models set out to brave the elements.

Hair: Shiori Takahashi
Makeup: Ammy Drammeh

For AW24, Sinead Gorey presented a collection informed by the British teenage experience, one that referenced Y2K styling with a rebellious teenage edge. The collection featured plaids taken from memories of school uniforms which were deconstructed and reconstructed into rule-breaking skirt lengths. The underwear as outerwear trend, an aesthetic most teenagers attempt at some point, appears in the form of laddered tights worn without a skirt.

Beauty was intended to replicate everyone’s first attempt at trying out makeup, excessive and packed on. Eyelids in bold black and iridescent hues, lipstick in bright purple shades. Hair was adorned with loose hair rollers or iPod shuffles with wired headphones dangling from them.

Hair: Carlo Avena
Makeup: Aiofe Cullen

This season, as has become a signature at Molly Goddard, texture and silhouette were at the forefront. Goddard began her exploration for AW24 with a series of experimental fittings, using vintage pieces, samples and toiles from her archive to pave the way for an entire collection. The result was a series of garments in punchy shades of neon orange, magenta, red and pink. Frothy concoctions of tulle and taffeta were contrasted with Western-detailed garments, shapes and “blobs" were combined to create ensembles that altered the body's proportions.

Beauty was paired back with a classic bold lip in complementing hues, while hair was kept simple and pulled back allowing Goddard’s voluminous creations to take centre stage.

Hair: Franziska Presche
Makeup: Lisa Eldridge

Rather than looking to an imaginary character to inform his collection for AW24, Ives looked to the real women in his life who inspire him. The swans, socialites, friends and muses that keep him “in a state of awe.” What resulted was a collection that featured an ultra-glamorous array of looks that pulled inspiration from high society. Ives’s point of difference, however, is his dedication to sustainability and reducing waste. Garments featured embroidery made using rogue safety pins, collected from his studio floor, jersey pieces upcycled from deadstock military surplus and a white organza gown, hand-embroidered with discarded Apple headphones sourced from an electronics factory.

Hair and beauty took a slightly “mod” spin with wide black headbands framing the face and highlighting taupe shades that were swiped over eyelids and teamed with lip base colours of the same tint, Several models wore a slightly more vibrant hue with a standout eye look consisting of frosted blue eyeshadow with yellow false eyelashes.

Hair: Anthony Turner
Makeup: Lucy Bridge

For AW24, Erdem Moralıoğlu presented an opulent and fanciful collection which paid tribute to the famed soprano Maria Callas. Staged with grandeur inside the British Museum, the collection echoed multiple intimate moments from Callas’ daily life and interpreted them in a luxuriant manner to create a signature wardrobe for the glamorous and complex Erdem woman.

Models walked with hair clips, wig tape and multiple shawls, suggesting a rushed moment to prepare backstage before a performance. Beauty was equally as dramatic in the form of a strong winged liner which was both sophisticated and powerfully elegant.

Hair: Adam Garland
Makeup: Amy Conway

For AW24, Yuhan Wang took to the courtroom for inspiration. In a collection titled “The Trials”, Wang's latest offering pays homage to female legal figures from around the world such as Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Dame Rose Heilbron, Sandra Day O’Connor and Brenda Hale. Signifiers of courtroom attire were melded with Wang’s hyper-feminine aesthetic. A Judge's gown in black, sheer lace, briefcases wrapped in ribbons, skirt suits and cropped blazers, all served to honour the “women who have courageously advanced the world towards a brighter and more equitable tomorrow.”

Barrister’s wigs informed the hair, which was teased and sculpted into beehives and exaggerated bouffants. Beauty came in the form of a smudged black eyeliner look. Yes, the Wang Woman might be ultra-feminine but she also has a bit of edge.

Hair: Adam Garland
Makeup: Amalie

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