Let there be light, and darkness.
London Fashion Week’s adept colorist Roksanda Ilinčić staged her spring 2023 show at the Serpentine pavilion, which is currently hosting Theaster Gates’ Black Chapel.
This is Ilinčić’s first time showing outside of the official London Fashion Week schedule. Last month, the art-loving designer called off her London Fashion Week show following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, and decided to show during Frieze week instead.
During the pandemic, Ilinčić said the Serpentine “felt like a home away from home. This is my fifth time showing here and subconsciously it probably influences my collections.
“The audience was much more art and creatives-related, which is incredible because it’s a big portion of my customers and usually they’re not able to come to the show, but now they’re all in town (for Frieze), so it’s lovely to be able to see them.”
Gates’ black cylinder shape, which is made from lightweight timber, coupled with Ilinčić’s somber, elegant collection made for an emotionally charged show.
The designer said backstage that the show’s meditation on death had to do with “private reasons.” In her show notes, she said Gates’ pavilion “unleashes the unexpected, yet significant, emotions that come with a reflection on death.”
Ilinčić chose a rose as the season’s inspiration, and a symbol of mourning. The designer also referenced pieces from her early collections and said she’s not afraid of playing with volume again.
Featherweight draped silk dresses in fuchsia and turquoise could have been mistaken for delicately fallen petals, while origami roses in all scales and sizes were scattered across the garments. Relaxed tailoring came in sherbet hues, and models wore scholar-like hats by Noel Stewart.
Ilinčić managed to turn her fragile sadness into something romantically poetic, and punching with drama.