Dispatches from London: Fyodor Golan & Christopher Raeburn

Futurism vs realism

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GIF: Fyodor Golan and Christopher Raeburn - GETTY

With the first day of the London Fashion Week s/s 2015 shows came a punchy set of stats on the digital retail prowess of the UK from the British Fashion Council. Did you know, for example, that since 2013, UK sales of online fashion have increased by 14.5% to reach £10.7 billion in 2014? Moreover, they’re expected to reach £19 billion in the UK by 2019. As many as 70% of internet users in the UK buy clothing and footwear online, making them the most purchased item online. And so it went on.

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Fyodor Golan, smartly, is one up-and-coming design label looking for a piece of the pixel-fronted pie. Building on last season’s link up with Nokia (which saw design duo Fyodor Podgorny and Golan Frydman send a skirt made entirely of Nokia Lumia 1520 smartphones down the catwalk), today’s show boasted an inverted pyramid in the middle of the catwalk that played the show as it happened via a projection of Lumia 830 smartphones.

The idea of technology pervaded the collection: an ‘expression of modernity and youthful romance in the digital age’, as the designers put it. Youthful is right: those hyper-short geometric dresses  some boasting baby pink feathered backs, others stuck with strips of neon tape or entirely holographic, looked unforgiving. (No question about the epically high platform shoes.)

There were neon flares and fun-fur bombers for the FG devotee, while a note of nostalgia crept in in a full-skirted dress in egg-yolk yellow embroidered with 'smile, it’s good for your health’ in scrolling font. A slinky tube dress of neon pink corsages hinted at a bygone elegance.

From futurism to realism, and a fantastic collection from Christopher Raeburn. Collectively named ‘Ascent’, these pieces were the result of the designer’s musings on the lightness and freedom of flight. To the untrained eye, Raeburn’s aesthetic could be dubbed sports-luxe, but that would be to do it a disservice: this is not urban street wear, but something more practical; something closer to the natural world.

Highlights this season included original MIG fighter pilot suits spliced with sheer silk organza panels, light-as-a-feather parkas that billowed out behind the models like parachutes and a new floral print that blurred the boundary between tropical and camouflage (and often came punctuated with hot pink accents).

It’s not style without substance – Raeburn continues to work with sustainable new fabric technologies. If practical were ever to be truly pretty, this is what it would look like.

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