14th Sep 2019
At London Fashion Week, Sharon Wauchob unveiled her SS20 collection. We report from London …
“Come as you are, and leave uplifted”. That’s the motto of St Cyprian’s Church, where Sharon Wauchob unveiled her SS20 collection today in London. It couldn’t have been more apt.
This collection wasn’t about showing off; less ‘Sunday best’ and more about reimagining luxury in a less formal reality.
As with all of Wauchob’s work, the story lies in the details, a narrative of traditional skills balanced with modern techniques, interpreted by the models and other creatives wearing the collection – in this instance also writers, dancers and artists, epitomising depth of experience.
The collection never seeming more important than the individuals, their identity and their creativity.
The workmanship of the ultra-skilled craftspeople involved proved the star of the show, although there was much competition in that department.
Hand embroidery, ultra-feminine hand-dyed silk couture fringing and unique knotting techniques – all made by small-scale English manufacturers – individualised every garment.
With sustainability at the forefront of every conversation this Fashion Week, the Northern Irish designer and her team are striving do their part.
The tailoring is crafted in England via traditional makers who took up the challenge to update their classic, sharp silhouettes with new techniques, materials and cuts that transcend conventional modes of masculine and feminine.
Highly technical cocooning sits over sharp tailoring, while delicate silk chiffon refines formal shirts and masculine cut pants.
Accenting the draped and feathered silhouettes were an exclusive collection of BVLGARI jewellery from its Heritage Collection – an extensive collection of archival jewellery dating back to the brand’s founding more than 130 years ago.
Pieces in the collection have been worn by style and cultural icons including Andy Warhol, Audrey Hepburn, Anita Ekberg and Elizabeth Taylor.
“Sharon has an incredible way with femininity, tinged with masculinity that brings confidence,” said Caroline Issa, publisher and international fashion consultant backstage after the show.
“I think everything she does is laced with a little bit of delicate, but with such strength at the same time”.
” I love that she can do that with clothes – the feathers and the trousers, everything she does is really exquisite. I’m a huge fan.”
While Issa is a longtime supporter of Wauchob, a new fan in attendance was actor and singer Billy Porter, who knows more than most about the power of clothing.
His 2019 Oscar entrance is now enshrined in fashion history. Backstage, aka the sacristy, Porter glowed about the collection and told the designer he couldn’t wait to wear it. The throngs of supporters who had gathered backstage nodded in agreement.
He was preaching to the converted.
Read more: Best moments from NYFW
Listen up: Taking risks, dressing down and loving what you wear
Read more: In conversation with fashion critic Godfrey Deeny
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