A knack for taking myriad ideas and fusing them with irreverent flair united this season’s crop of Fashion East designers.
Matty Bovan, now in his third season of showing as part of the Topshop-sponsored platform for emerging talent, made the biggest statement when he closed the show. With Katie Grand acting as creative consultant, a host of major models walked — among them Edie Campbell, Jean Campbell, Georgia May Jagger and Winnie Harlow — wearing a mash-up of colorful crocheted knits and street-inspired pieces splashed with skateboarding and motocross motifs. Bovan combined hand-crafted details with tough, technical elements: a top fashioned from a patchwork of knitted panels was worn with yellow nylon cargo pants patched with pockets. Shorts emblazoned with racing logos were overlaid with a cobweb-like, metallic knit draped top. Among Bovan’s inspirations? A “Mad Max universe” and a “world of post-apocalyptic utopianism,” he stated in his show notes.
London designer A Sai Ta’s Asai collection looked at quintessentially Western design staples through the lens of his Chinese and Vietnamese heritage. Cue pieces such as a sharp blue shirt reworked as a minidress, replete with buttons, belt loops and epaulettes, and worn with thigh-high white boots painted with a blue pattern that echoed Chinese vases. There was also a trenchcoat with a Burberry-esque check lining, which looked as if it had been cut up and stitched back together, worn over a corset cinched with a cummerbund. Elaborate gold jewelry, such as huge hoop earrings and chokers, added a tough statement while nodding to Eastern adornment.
Supriya Lele also took a cross-cultural approach, marrying her British upbringing with her Indian heritage. This was a comparatively serene outing in the context of the Fashion East lineup, standing out for Lele’s skillful draping and interpretation of diaphanous fabrics. A filmy trenchcoat was fashioned from plasticized, hand-printed organza in shades of navy and red, while the designer layered a coating of shiny, transparent blue fabric over a pink, Madras check column dress. Lele embellished her languid silhouettes with touches of diamanté jewelry, with chandelier earrings, chain belts and bracelets that shimmered as the models walked.