Sexy clothing trends from London Fashion Week Fall 2022

Fashion’s two-night stand with plump fabrics, body-hugging silhouettes and cropped hemlines is heating up to a mini-revolution among a coterie of up-and-coming talent at London Fashion Week, who are trading vulnerability for vulnerability. empowerment and modesty versus sex appeal.

On Sunday night, Rihanna’s favorite Maximilian delivered a sultry collection as part of Fashion East. The ascendant Maximilian Davis reflects on his Trinidadian heritage, particularly the brazenly feminine dress codes of moonlit island nights in the 1960s.

Models for Maximilian’s Autumn 2022 collection backstage at Fashion East’s London Fashion Week show.

For Fall 2022, Maximilian pursues a tougher aesthetic that combines British sartorialism with Caribbean riding – but it’s no less seductive, with tactile suede and lambskin nappa leather, vinyl bomber jackets and pleated leather dresses that shyly evoke school uniforms.

Chet Lo, the Asian-American designer fusing unfettered sexuality with futuristic knitwear, explores a similar train of thought with “spikes, sex, and activewear”: his signature 3D knit spike fabric is thicker and more opaque on narrow skirts with high asymmetrical slits and cropped tops lined with marabous; In an energetic color palette of bright neons, Lo’s sultry take is compelling and modern, with comfortable and figure-hugging silhouettes co-existing.

Currently, Davis and Lo are part of a wider movement in London exposing the virtues of unabashed expressions of female sexuality and sensuality. After almost two years of sheltering in place, London’s youth quake appeals to younger audiences eager to make bold statements with skin-tight silhouettes and proudly displayed slivers of flesh.

“Young London designers are ready to be daring, to take risks in their offering and to keep up with the ever-changing zeitgeist,” says Heather Gramston, head of womenswear buying at Browns, the London-based luxury retailer. London.

Chet Lo also presented his Fall 2022 collection as part of Fashion East.

Chet Lo also presented his Fall 2022 collection as part of Fashion East.

It’s no secret that sexy is well and truly back, following outrageous outbursts by designers in the four fashion capitals, from LaQuan Smith and Kim Shui in New York to Versace in Milan and Rick Owens in Paris, among many others in recent years. years. With the advent of the #MeToo movement, these creatives embraced enhanced corsetry, see-through dresses and bold latex as a way to convey strength and empowerment. In short, women’s fashion rejects the male gaze in favor of a liberated mentality. In recent seasons, however, the trend has broadened its reach to include ’90s-tinged nostalgic influences and sexy apparel as a welcome alternative to tracksuits and any sign of the times spent hunkered down during the pandemic.

“Shoppers are looking for something bolder after months of cozy pandemic dressing, and the trend initially emerged as a tonic to ‘cosy,’ which we previously lovingly embraced,” Gramston said. “It’s something that our customers have outwardly embraced, perhaps to varying degrees of the trend.”

From a small, subtle amount of bare detailing to extreme cut-outs, micro-minis and striking bodysuits, Gramston found customers loved the way this ultra-feminine way of dressing celebrates every body: “There’s definitely has ways we can all incorporate a bit of sexiness into our wardrobes.”

Spearheading the trend is none other than London’s latest darling, winner of the 2021 LVMH Prize, Nensi Dojaka. The Albanian designer thinks of lingerie as outerwear, landing at the intersection of delicacy and strength where revealing strappy dresses and elegant cuts converge.

2021 LVMH Prize winner Nensi Dojaka has become one of LFW's most anticipated runway shows.

2021 LVMH Prize winner Nensi Dojaka has become one of LFW’s most anticipated runway shows.

“Women’s rights are a very big topic now, and it brings that feeling of liberation,” Dojaka said. “On top of that, after the pandemic restrictions, women are more eager to feel sexy and powerful.”

Francesca Capper and Natasha Somerville, purveyors of the ultra-feminine and the duo behind London label Poster Girl, echo Dojaka’s sentiment.

“Being limited to what you can and cannot wear is often based on the judgment and ideals of others, more than your own. Freeing yourself from this has a strong message, embracing your sexiness and your body should be unapologetic” , says Capper, who is making his LFW debut with Somerville this season.

At the Dojaka and Poster Girl’s Fall 2022 fashion shows, designers develop this notion of freedom and empowerment. Dojaka’s take on lingerie-dressing continues with flower petal-like bralette cups and form-fitting silhouettes in stretchy fabrics, mini skirts and bodysuits; for the first time, she includes outerwear, which gives her delicate work a robust backbone. Poster Girl, meanwhile, turns to the runways for inspiration, but turns up the heat with teeny tube dresses, crop tops, neon pink catsuits and crystallized heart-shaped cutouts. Both presentations felt all the more empowering due to their casting of a range of body types.

A look from Poster Girl's early LFW days.

A look from Poster Girl’s early LFW days.

That femininity and liberation are meaningful bedfellows is not lost on Supriya Lele, who over the course of three years has quietly and systematically transformed aspects of her South Indian heritage and upbringing in 1960s Britain. 90 into something sultry, often sexy, but with an edge. There’s an ethereal quality to her shimmering chiffons, draped across the body to evoke the saree, adding that bite through savory, grungy undertones.

On Monday’s show (her finest outing yet), Lele’s twisted shapes, always elaborately constructed, combine the sophistication of a formal dress with casual sportswear and going out wear – think pants. low waist with lace thongs sticking out from underneath – in the service of sensuality with a side of sassiness.

Elsewhere at LFW, David Koma, the progenitor of the seductive aesthetic in London, offers mostly cropped hemlines dotted with shimmering Swarovski embellishments and sporting references, with polo shirts transformed into form-fitting cocktail dresses worthy of the dance floor the closer. Michael Halpern, a practitioner of glamor and sexiness like no other, shows off shimmering sequins and ruffled bangs in flamingo pink, lime and gold, inspired by 1970s big-screen icons. Newcomer Conner Ives riffs on Y2K with bright red sequins and skimpy mini dresses in her runway debut.

Paloma Elsesser has walked in many shows this LFW, including Supriya Lele's Fall 2022 show.

Paloma Elsesser has walked in many shows this LFW, including Supriya Lele’s Fall 2022 show.

Even though New York collections were largely layered with modesty, London proponents of body styles imbue fashion with the kind of zest and sex appeal that makes runways urgent and attire essential. (That’s true off-curriculum, too: Brands like KNWLS, Ashley Williams, and Mimi Wade court the flirtatious and often cheeky flavors of fashion to communicate the freedom to dress, with sexuality in mind.)

Despite the tremulous nature of trends, this LFW proved that designers are committed to freeing fashion from prosaic minimalism and pandemic trends. For them, sexy is less a proverbial relationship than a partner with potential. It’s time to show up and show off. Plus, the body-positive approach — from the ubiquitous Paloma Elsesser to the pregnant Maggie Maurer at Nensi Dojaka — has pushed the boundaries for who the trend can resonate with.

“Customers are thrilled to have some glam back,” Gramston said. “And we all gravitated forcefully in that direction, with no sign of stopping anytime soon.”

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