London Fashion Week SS20: designers from Rixo to Henry Holland bring a breath of psychedelic air to the second day of shows

Displays including dream-like gardens and iridescent mirrors, an ingenious way to showcase designers' work

Sarah Young,Harriet Hall
Sunday 16 February 2020 10:59 GMT
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The Ports 1961 Spring/Summer 2020 was held at the Tate Modern
The Ports 1961 Spring/Summer 2020 was held at the Tate Modern (PA)

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Louise Thomas

Louise Thomas

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There was a playful spirit running through London Fashion Week today, from a show staged on real grass that transported attendees back to the free-spirited era of the 1970s to troll-inspired hair perched atop model’s heads and a disco-ready collection designed for a night on the town.

These are the standout shows to know from day two.

Fyodor Golan

Big, structural hair was featured at the Fyodor Golan catwalk show
Big, structural hair was featured at the Fyodor Golan catwalk show (AFP/Getty Images)

Designer duo Fyodor Podgorny and Golan Frydman are best known for the sense of playfulness they bring to their often bright and blithe collections.

And this season was no different as their trademark positivism shone through with an iconic pop culture mash-up.

Fyodor Golan delivered yet another unique collaboration this London Fashion Week – they have previously joined forces with My Little Pony, the Power Puff Girls and Chupa Chups – this time combining the furry up-combed hair of Troll Dolls with their own signature style of vivid hues and elevated sportswear.

The references to the iconic figure brought a fantasy approach and touches of nostalgia to the line-up which included everything from negligee slip dresses that turned into pleated evening gowns to double denim.

“Trolls representation of bold positive individuality is just what we need right now,” the designers said of the collaboration.

With backgrounds in fine art the designers’ creative flair was also evident throughout with pastel psychedelic cloud prints, tie-dye tights and ruched dresses that gradated in colour.

Meanwhile, a move towards zero-waste saw the duo present a range of up-cycled shoes that were created in collaboration with Kat Maconie.

Reusing the construction of the brand’s spring/summer 2015 collaboration, the duo repurposed offcuts and production waste into the random buckled, multi-coloured strap design of a hardcore sandal.

“Every element of the season had to go through both our hands,” Fyodor Golan said.

“This gave the collection a focus on craft with multiple connection points and an overload of references, we aimed to put across as empowering, individualistic and optimistic. Like a visual treasure for the mind.”

Ports 1961

The Ports 1961 collection featured vibrant, jewel-toned dresses
The Ports 1961 collection featured vibrant, jewel-toned dresses (PA)

Following the departure of creative director Natasa Cagalj in April this year, Ports 1961 pledged to take its offerings in a new direction.

With a fresh creative team – stylist Karl Templer and art director Fabien Baron took the helm in August – this season did just that, with the brand seemingly breaking free from the restraints of traditional design.

The luxe laid-back tailoring Ports has become known for was present but this time it came in painterly colours and prints that spanned everything from artistic scenery and graphic broken checks to hibiscus florals.

As well as finessed workwear staples – think jumpsuits that resemble tailored two-piece suits and satin button downs – there was renewed focus on accessories with double-sided bags, mixed-material jewellery and sandals that, while inherently stylish, were made to be worn every day.

Templer undoubtedly assembled a collection signalling the brand’s new beginnings but, as always, the clothes were ready for the real world.

House of Holland

One of the creations from the House of Holland catwalk show (Reuters)
One of the creations from the House of Holland catwalk show (Reuters) (REUTERS)

We can always rely on Henry Holland to put a smile on our faces in times of uncertainty.

As the possibility of a no-deal Brexit looms closer, today House of Holland brought party vibes to London Fashion Week with a collection inspired by 1970s disco and the rave culture of the 1990s.

Delivering an archetypal nighttime wardrobe, models, including Holland’s longtime friend Pixie Geldof, sauntered down the runway in “look-at-me” dresses and “don’t-touch-me” tailoring.

The party vibes didn’t stop there with the FROW reading like a who’s who of the current celebrity sphere, including A-list attendees like RuPaul’s Drag Race winner Aquaria, Billie Porter and Sex Education’s Ncuti Gatwa.

While dark denim remained a key element in the collection, bright neons and pastel shades of pink dominated alongside textured snake skin and animal print jacquard. Pieces that will undoubtedly appeal to the House of Holland girl.

There was however, one minor let-down. Like last season, which saw Holland launch his own vape pen with Vype, today saw the designer's name-making slogan T-shirt become an advert for pay-later shopping app Klarna while a second range of athletic garb designed in collaboration with sportswear brand Xtep (China) crept in midway through the spectacle and made the show feel less like one from the creative hub of fashion week and more like a sponsorship opportunity.

Rixo

Models posed on a grass stage at the presentation of Rixo spring/summer 2020
Models posed on a grass stage at the presentation of Rixo spring/summer 2020 (PA)

Created by long-time friends, Henrietta Rix and Orlagh McCloskey, Rixo was spawned out of a desire to bring the shapes, patterns and styles to a wider audience. And it was an immediate hit when it launched in 2015. You can almost guarantee that you’ll spot one of their Seventies-cut tea dresses at every wedding you go to, or at least see them taking over your Instagram feed.

This season, the pair showed a collection inspired by the hazy days of Woodstock, featuring psychedelic prints, pieced together bits of clashing fabrics and flowing, bias-cut dresses, alongside a heady dose of flower power.

Models at the Chelsea presentation danced and jived and blew bubbles on a grass platform (“The grass is from this amazing place called Wow Grass – it’s all made from recycled British fabrics and it grows from there. We’ll donate it all tomorrow”) to the dulcet tones of Nancy Sinatra and The Zombies.

“We’re obsessed with Woodstock and Joni Mitchell,” Rix tells The Independent. “She’s the inspiration for the collection. She couldn’t make it to Woodstock but her song ‘Back to The Garden’ inspired this collection.”

Presented on a diverse range of models including influencers and an eight-month pregnant woman, the spring/summer 2020 collection, Rix says, “its all about being happy and fun”. And that feeling is felt through every item they design.

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