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IN THIS ISSUE Letter from the Editor
We're presenting another issue packed with LFW goodness, and it's the last one for this season. We'll be moving on to newer shows soon, so look out for coverage of trade shows, fashion events, and trends across the UK. This week, we've also got coverage from the press preview of the Great Hat Exhibition. The event itself is taking place during London Hat Week later this month, and we're excited to bring you this preview as well as the full story after the main show. Big show season is over, and now we must dolefully wait until September for the main event again. Keep your chin up, fashion fans: there's plenty of great
content for you to read this issue, including the launch of our brand-new team. That's right: we're all together at last, ready to bring you an even more improved London Runway magazine. We've got big aspirations, so we hope you'll join us on our journey through the nation's fashion seasons. You can think of us as fashion's Avengers - or the A-Team or maybe even the Spice Girls (yes, we're an allfemale team!). Put your trust in us, and we'll guide you with a steady hand through trends, shows, highlights, conversations, history lessons, backstage areas, debates, and everything you need to satisfy your hunger
for London's latest fashions. What's up next for London Runway? London Hat Week offers some interesting treats, a little different from the shows you're used to seeing from us. That's not all, with plenty of shows and fashion events lined up ahead of another busy trade season in July. As always, drop us a line via email@example.com if you have a show you think we should see, or a feature you think we should run. Enjoy - and remember to follow @londonrunwaymag on Instagram.
STARSICA Gothic otherness inspired by a tale of a mad king was the theme for Ike Seungik Lee's collection at Fashion Scout. Models tottered down the runway, pointing at audience members with wicked smiles.
OLYA SOOKIE The colourful fabrics of Olya's collection were juxtaposed against gothic swimsuit stylings. Gillian McKeith and her daughter closed out the show at Fashions Finest.
TIJANA T IS A PHD TEXTILE STUDENT & ASSISTANT PROFESSOR, AS WELL AS A DESIGNER. THAT EXPLAINS HER GORGEOUS FABRICS
ARTISTS, ALGORITHMS & AUTHENTICITY THE VERO VS. INSTAGRAM DEBATE Rachel Parker writes about the newest social network to go viral, and whether you should join. This week has seen an explosion of interest surrounding Vero, the app advertised as ‘a Truly Social Network that celebrates people’s passions without algorithms, ads, or bots.’ According to a Vero twitter post on the fourth of March, the app has gained 3.5 million new users and upgraded its servers to cope with the influx. Vero’s tagline of ‘True Social’ encapsulates the vision behind the app: to create an authentic sharing space which more accurately imitates how people interact IRL. The selective sharing feature allows users to categorise their connections as friends, close friends or acquaintances, and choose which groups can see their posts. Meanwhile, Vero
has promised its commitment to an ad-free, chronologically arranged feed. The issue of feed organisation has frustrated Instagram and Facebook users for some time, particularly the artists and businesses who argue that algorithm changes have limited the reach and audience of their content. The Instagram feed is now primarily based on engagement, meaning that posts which quickly receive more likes, comments and shares are classified as higher quality and arranged at the top of your feed. This leads to content from more high-profile accounts being naturally prioritised, while smaller creators and personal connections often disappear into the ether. Instagram has also upped the number of targeted advertising spaces and capacity for brands to promote their posts on user’s feeds. This is all beneficial for the influencers and big brands who have already amassed a large following, but where does it leave smaller businesses and artists who rely on Instagram to promote their work? Many have complained of a loss of engagement on Instagram; despite producing high-quality and carefully considered content, smaller creatives are unable to gain the levels of exposure that Instagram once offered. The oversaturation of user feeds with ads, sponsored posts and
ARTISTS, ALGORITHMS & AUTHENTICITY images from bigger accounts is creating what many see as a more artificial online space, where visibility can be bought and sold - and smaller artists get buried. This is where Vero has entered a gap in the market. Initially popular among online creative communities such as cosplay, the chronological feed and ability to link content to in-app purchases appears to offer a far more supportive and democratic space for artists to promote their work. As well as posting original content, users can also share recommendations for music, TV and film, and books and articles they enjoy, offering further opportunities for creatives to gain exposure. But the huge surge in downloads has quickly led to a backlash against Vero, which crashed multiple times during the influx of new users. Its cofounder and CEO Ayman Hariri has been linked to a Saudi construction company which was sued by 31,000 workers over claims thar they had not been correctly paid, causing many critics to brand the
app and its funding as unethical. Others have condemned the fact that the ad-free site will be funded through user subscription charges, and Vero has been vague about what the cost of these will be. The terms of service have also concerned some creatives considering using the platform. The app requires users to grant
permission for Vero to “publicly perform, publicly display, make derivative works of, or otherwise use your User Content”- terms which are common to other social media platforms, including Facebook and Instagram, but caused some panic. These rapid shifts in Vero’s popularity render its position
ARTISTS, ALGORITHMS & AUTHENTICITY within the social media market uncertain, with many doubting that enough Instagram users will migrate to the new platform to make it a true competitor. But the emergence of the app also raises questions about the position of creatives within the increasingly commercialised online space offered by Instagram. Vero’s sudden popularity suggests an appetite for authenticity among social media users - time will tell if Vero is the app to disrupt the Instagram algorithms.
Find Rachel Parker on social media with @rachelfrances_
Image credits: From top of article - FreeStocks, Jeshoots, Vero, Vero, Vero, Vero
5 FASHION ACCOUNTS TO FOLLOW ON VERO 1
Fashion house Temperly London
Jewellery designer Kristine Cabanban
Luxury loungewear brand Sundays
Accessories designer Friday and River
Menswear brand Oliver Spencer
UJJWALA BHADU Bhadu's designs showcased at Fashions Finest play with pastel colours and form, shifting from the traditional to the new.
WEARABLE ART COLLECTIVE LIVED UP TO THEIR NAME WITH FABULOUS FABRICS
THE GREAT HAT EXHIBITION PRESS PREVIEW OFFERED A TASTE OF WHAT'S TO COME
DEBORAH ST LOUIS INTERVIEW
We caught up with the organiser behind Fashions Finest, a successful off-schedule showcase that our readers will recognise.
Hi Deborah! Congratulations on the latest Fashions Finest shows. How much work does it take to organise a show like this? Thank you, I have a process I follow and having done these events for years it works but honestly a lot. People looking may think it’s easy but it’s 6 months of continuous work from prep, i.e. locking down designers, to the event, and then the after-event follow-up. Then it starts all over again, but I love what I do. What do you look for in designers that showcase with you? As Fashions Finest mainly work with emerging designers and international designers wanting to tap into the UK market, I try not to have too many restrictions. So, as long as they have a good collection, they can show with us. We also include one or two very new designers whose work may not be on par with the others, but they are evolving, and we believe seeing the standard of the others will propel them to aim higher and achieve more for their own brand. You see, designers at whatever stage they are at need opportunities and someone to give a professional and affordable platform to showcase their talent. That’s what Fashions Finest is all about.
"DESIGNERS NEED A PROFESSIONAL AND AFFORDABLE PLATFORM"
Do you have any advice for up and coming designers who haven't shown their collections yet? A show is not for everyone. Some may choose one show a year, others go another route. I know many new designers are struggling with getting funding and even though they may have a great collection they cannot afford to finance a show or something else in their life is priority. This is unfortunate but as with any business they need to find a way if they really want to do it and, when they commit to doing it, follow through. Be prepared to invest a huge amount of time and money, and at the early stages see little or no return. It takes time to build a business. To conclude, I really do believe a fashion show, especially one during London Fashion Week, elevates you to another level. people who have not seen or heard about you
before all of a sudden become aware of you and your brand. If designers are unsure we can talk them through the process of showing with us, or they can talk to others who have done a show. What does fashion mean to you? I believe fashion is something that comes from within you. It’s an expression of your uniqueness, individuality and personality. Describe your personal style. I don’t dress to impress anyone but to make myself feel good about me. But my friends would say my regular style is #rockchick as I mostly go for skinny jeans, leggings, jumpsuits, fitted dresses, vest tops, jackets and leather jackets. A style I can dress up with heels or dress down with pumps. In winter I’m totally wrapped up as I hate the cold weather. I like to feel comfortable and be able to forget about what I’m wearing. When I have events to attend I try something new, usually something from one of the new brands I work with to help them promote themselves. It’s not always what I would wear but that’s OK as I am wearing it for a cause.
Do you have a favourite collection that you have seen in recent years? Over the years we have had many wonderful designers grace our platform, from those showing ready wear to evening and haute couture. It’s difficult to say which is my favourite. It's been great chatting with you. Where can we find out more about Fashions Finest online? Tel: +44(0)345 388 0525 www.fashionsfinest.com Twitter - @fashionsfinest Facebook - Fashions Finest UK Instagram - @FashionsFinestUK Linkedin - Deborah St Louis
Image credits from top of interview: Joanna Mitroi, Peter Hogan, DUDU Photography, Peter Hogan
STACEY STRAHAND Showing at ILFWDA, this collection embraced an eclectic range of styles, themes, and fabrics.
MICHAEL LOMBARD Leather jackets in spades at ILFWDA - in every flavour. Photos byÂ pgwimaging
STACEY SYIEM Another ILFWDA showcase comes in the form of a collection aimed at helping the 'Little Hill People'. It featuresÂ handwoven apparel and handbags from tribal artisans in Northeast India.
THE OSCARS' FASHION FOR CHANGE MOMENT RAINBOW FEMINISM
On Sunday, women from across the film industry took a stand for change. And we don't just mean the literal stand that Frances McDormand prompted during her Best Actress speech although that was the biggest moment of the night. No, we're talking about how women used fashion to make a political statement. The talk beforehand was of how everyone might wear black in support of the #TimesUp movement; when this was thrown out, a different stance was taken. While the gowns took on rainbow hues, everyone was still wearing their feminist hearts on their sleeves.
Emma Stone chose to call out the inequality of the directing industry by introducing "four men and Greta Gerwig" - and she did it wearing a burgundy Louis Vuitton tuxedo instead of a gown. Tiffany Haddish took to the red carpet in a gown inspired by her Eritrean heritage before changing into an Alexander McQueen gown that she has worn on multiple past occasions. Not only that, but she presented an award in soft Ugg boots, holding her heels aloft and complaining about her sore feet. It may have been a gag, but it made a feminist statement that can't be ignored. Margot Robbie wore a stunning white Chanel gown, and while it may not have been a political statement, it was a personal one. She was announced as the new face of the brand on the day of the Oscars ceremony.
THE OSCARS' FASHION FOR CHANGE MOMENT Jennifer Lawrence wore a beautiful gunmetal Christian Dior gown, and many will already have seen the photographs of the moment when she showed her growth over recent years. Ignoring the infamous trip on the way to collect her Best Actress award (an incident she referenced on stage), she climbed gamely and deftly over chairs in order to grab a word with Meryl Streep - drink in hand. Meryl herself was called out by McDormand to lead the way, with “Meryl, if you do it, everyone else will.” This has been something of a rallying point since the ceremony, with many pointing out that the older generations - established now in strong positions - are the ones who must lead the younger in fighting for change. Meanwhile, one of the strongest looks of the night belonged to Lupita Nyong'o. Designed by Versace, her gold chainmail dress stood as a beacon of strength amongst softer looks. Her hair was inspired by the Amasunzu hairstyles of Rwanda, and much of the talk of the red carpet centred on her and her castmates' references to Wakanda - and the step forward that the Black Panther movie represents for minorities in film.
All images via Instagram
PROPHETIKÂ This dramatic collection by Jeff Garner swept down the runway at ILFWDA. Photos by pgwimaging
NANALOLA COUTURE This collection by Monica Jones doesn't just look pretty. The designer aims to raise awareness of Myasthenia Gravis, of which she herself is a sufferer.
Parisian designer Aurelia Belleti decided to launch her collection in London because the noble elegance of the city - and the women within it matches with the aesthetics of her designs. Photographs by pgwimaging
MEET THE TEAM
CANDICE Editorial Assistant Intern
Hello! My name is Candice Wu, a San Franciscan studying Music at the University of East London. I have a plethora of interests and hobbies, including sports, music, food, and dance. I don't have a lot of experience in copywriting and magazine editing in general, but learning is my passion. I'd like to think of myself as a
Our team has expanded with the addition of some lovely new ladies. Our interns are ready to introduce
motivated and adaptive individual who's a nerd for grammar and proofreading, so I will do my best to assist and contribute to the team to the best of my abilities.
themselves, and you can see their mark already in this issue. From Sophie's impact on the new cover to Rachel's editorial, you will see their handiwork throughout. There's lots going on behind the scenes, too, and plenty of fantastic content to come from this new team in the next issue and beyond.
RACHEL Writing Intern
Hi, I’m Rachel, an English Literature student living in London with a passion for writing about arts and culture. I am really excited to join the London Runway Magazine team and hope to contribute to some great content and features in the upcoming issues!
JOANNA Photography Intern
Hi, I’m Joanna. I’m a Fashion Promotion student studying at the University for the Creative Arts. Fashion plays a big part of my life, and I spend most of my time online shopping! What I’m most looking forward to about becoming a member of the London Runway Magazine team is the chance to experience the fashion industry first hand, and be able to capture it all with my camera along the way!
SOPHIE Graphic Design Intern
Hi! Sophie here, a Graphic Design graduate from the North. I am a sucker for good typography and have a great eye for detail. You'll probably find me either in the gym, reading, eating, drinking or cheering on my beloved football team Tottenham!
MONICA Styling Intern
Hi! My name is Monica, I'm a second year Styling student at Istituto Marangoni. I am extremely excited for this position at London Runway Magazine because I want to explore Journalism for the time being and this gives me a great opportunity to do that!
LONDON RUNWAY Editor: Rhiannon D'Averc Editorial Assistant: Candice Wu Lead Photographer: Rhiannon D'Averc Photographic assistance: Jared Rehal & Vikki Dee Photography team: Joanna Foster & Estelle Hristova Lead writer: Rachel Parker Lead graphic designer: Sophie Brown Lead stylist: Monica Pereira Feature Writers: Rachel Parker, Lorna Tyler, and Katie Ferrero Additional images by pgwimaging Instagram: @pgwimaging Website: www.pgwimaging.com
Show credits Fashions Finest: Organiser - Deborah St Louis Styling - Cindy Hudson Fashion Scout: Make-up - Paul Merchant using Kryolan Hair - Toni&Guy Great Hat Exhibition Press Preview: Venue - PINKO flagship Organiser - Monique Lee at X Terrace ILFWDA: Organiser - Stacey Strahand
Special thanks to Deborah St Louis & Sharon Brooks Find London Runway: https://issuu.com/londonrunway instagram.com/londonrunwaymag twitter.com/londonrunwaymag firstname.lastname@example.org
Front cover: Starsica Back cover: Prophetik