Thank god for Fashion East, where would we be without it? Every season the show is a bolt of energy to the schedule and a reminder of why London Fashion Week still has international pull - we're the creative hub of fashion. This season was a smash-hit at the box office, Fashion East delivered three truly exciting and innovative creatives that peaked support and interest.
Charlotte Knowles and partner Alexandre Arsenault opened the show with their underwear-heavy collection. This was meatier than previous seasons; bralette was layered over tight check tee, underwear sets and halterneck bikinis had been upgraded with activewear inspired protective layers. Indeed, there was a utilitarian, almost army-like mood throughout. Paired with lingerie-infused garments, this created a tense but exciting environment. Shoes and bags were delightfully youthful and will no doubt appeal to the y2k fanatics. Soft green slips with delicate red florals were divinely feminine amongst the machismo of layer and stomp, as too were the pearl charms on shoes. The final denim number felt a little cumbersome amidst the elegant and stalwart form-fitting printed mesh and signature short shorts, but nevertheless, this was a wonderfully progressive collection from Knowles.
Yuhan Wang, the resident Fashion East newcomer, offered a delicately dishevelled approach with her designs. There's always the potential for the Fashion East newcomer to get lost in amongst the top and tail end resident designers but Hang held her own with a curious and mesmerising collection. Too Drunk To Fuck rang out as Hang's primrose yellow, soft peach, baby blue silks and detailed flower patterns (hand-drawn by Wang) swathed each model. Little peeps of flesh flashed at the midriff and thigh as if to provide alluring new vantage points. Provocative met grandmother met genteel femininity. A brilliant first foray into the world of Fashion East.
Last to show was ASAI. A firm favourite with the fashion pack, partly due to the incredible success of his Hot Wok tops, ASAI's show had everyone gripped on seat edges. What a collection! Last season saw ASAI's travellers pervade watery scapes but here, inspired by a trip to Vietnam and the impact of war on the country, ASAI had conquered the land. An earthy woodland pattern appeared on strong sheeny suit and skirt and dress, bullet holes appeared as giant rivets, his Hot Wok tie-dye signature had been adapted to appear as socks, cut-out dress and all-in-ones. Genius. There was a beautiful aggression within this collection; it was strong and forceful, but there's also a romantic fluidity. Silken dressing gowns, full look blue and white china prints and ASAI's signature tongue-in-cheek additions - double entendre 'Come Again' skirts and nunchuck bags (these were spectacular) - added a lightness to the dark references. Smashed chinoiserie porcelain jewellery by Claire Barrow was the cherry on top of a truly fantastic collection.