London Fashion Week made a return for one night only on Monday evening as Prof. Jimmy Choo’s JCA London Fashion Academy hosted its debut MA show, featuring 5 new designer entrepreneurs – whilst Designer in Residence, Patrick McDowell also unveiled his newest collection. So, sit tight because we have a lot to fill you in on!
6:30pm, situated in the JCA’s Grade II Period 3 storey Building, British Fashion Designer Patrick McDowell took his creations of ‘Marie Antoinette goes to Liverpool’ to the catwalk. Merging the world of the 1774 Queen of France with his own Liverpudlian background, the 30 looks drew hues from lighter pastel colour palettes, reflecting Antoinette’s youth and femininity – contrasted starkly with shots of yellow and black. The line-up experimented with the varying fashion proportions of the Royal’s time, including waspy waistlines and bouffant skirts, blended with classic silhouettes and modern twists from Liverpool. Crafted from family pictures of Patrick, his Mother and Grandmother in their childhood years, the prints highlighted throughout bring that element of personal storytelling within the design to life.
Working on his sustainable design efforts, McDowell says ‘I’ve doubled down on my sustainable ethos to create a collection that embodies peacock dressing for now. Working with amazing materials like Taroni silk, Manteco Wool, Tencel and Tencel Luxe has really given me room to expand my offering of special emotionally connected pieces. All the pieces are designed and made here in London with a low carbon footprint in mind.’
Marie Antoinette goes to Liverpool’ is a deeply personal expression of who I am and where I come from. This collection is a big step forward for me as I take my brand into this new chapter.
Patrick McDowell, Fashion Designer
The event’s attendance also saw some familiar faces, from Ella Eyre and Layton Williams to Isabella Charlotta, and Chris Grave.
Opening the MA show, Noon Khouri introduced the audience to her nomadic, inclusive and upcycled denim brand, Angels Wear Nada, as described by the designer as ‘The new eco-friendly alternative, battling the issue of landfills, one garment at a time. Manufacturing denim is one of the most unsustainable practices in the fashion industry, but we pride ourselves on challenging societal norms.’ Melissa-Kate took to the runway next, showcasing For the Love of Venus PT.III, the third capsule in a yearlong series delving into the spirituality, symbolism, and conspiracies behind the planet Venus. The demi-couture label mixes Hollywood Glamour and rock ‘n’ roll, ‘A world where the patriarchy doesn’t exist, influenced by the power of the divine feminine energy through witchcraft and pin-up style, hand crafted by a female for the feminine.’
Followed by Annabelle Barton, who presented Size-A, a luxury womenswear brand born from the design for creatively designed, luxury clothes that can fit a range of petite women. Barton described her brands endeavour as offering ‘Innovative, creative sets styled purposefully to enhance the ‘anti-fit’ look. Every garment is exclusively for petite women like myself who have struggled to find a luxury brand that fits our personal requirements.’ Stepping into the finale of the MA show, Sophie Parks first collection of her plant-based gender-neutral footwear walked down the runway, fusing whimsical Wes Anderson-esque symmetry with ambiguous silhouettes making it ‘The perfect collection for fashion-forward individuals who not only reach for their classic go-to staple shoes but also enjoy adding an avant-garde edge to their style by customising their pieces.’
Founder and CEO of the JCA, Stephen Smith says ‘Our London Fashion Week show has been a momentous occasion for us all at the JCA. Since officially opening our doors only one year ago in September 2021 we have nurtured our first graduating MA cohort from our home on Hanover Square.’
Celebrating the future of fashion design and the closing of JCA’s debut at London Fashion Week, post-show saw the Moët & Chandon flowing, and Fortnum & Mason sweets served. Staying true to JCA and Patrick McDowell’s sustainability commitments, Ecologi planted a tree for each guest that was in attendance of the show, working towards a more environmentally friendly fashion industry.