by Geena Ling
On the opening night of London Fashion Week 2023, Vivz World played host to a spellbinding catwalk show featuring the most dynamic looks from a variety of womens, mens, and childrenswear designers.
Vivz Fashion School is a global arts institution based in India, which offers mentoring courses in fashion design, modelling, styling and events management. With such widespread expertise, it’s no surprise that their work translated effortlessly to the catwalk. The fashion show, which took part at Hackney Town Hall on Friday evening, brought a vibrant melting pot of cultural influences from the world to East London.
First up was a womenswear collection by Riya Firodiya: The Couture House. Firodiya specialises in bespoke occasion wear with a romantic vibe. She draws inspiration from nature, using flowers to influence her silhouettes and colour palettes. The collection featured flowing, paisley-patterned fabrics in striking magenta, black and white. The looks were made formal with floor-length hemlines, puffball sleeves, collars and headscarves. Each outfit complemented the next, with corresponding prints and statement colours throughout the whole collection.
It was then time for childrenswear by Young Gods, which describes itself as a “children’s brand made for future icons.” Their collection most certainly fulfilled the remit, with looks that were unapologetically over the top. Garments included sparkling sequin dresses with floaty white veils; towering pink silk headdresses; lace knee-high socks paired with stilettos; and dramatic black gowns with gothic trains. The young models exuded impressive levels of confidence, professionalism and pizazz; they more than did the outfits the justice they deserved.
Next up was Roshmode and Her Rise Heritage, with a collection of women’s accessories. The designers experimented with summery styles, providing unique takes on the classic straw hat in a variety of different shapes and sizes. Also on display were oversized fringed beach bags and totes, all in understated sandy neutral shades. Some pieces were teamed with outfits previously shown in Riya Firodiya’s collection, which made for playful interaction between the different segments of the show and illustrated how they may be worn together away from the catwalk.
The audience of 150 were then treated to another childrenswear collection, this time from Kitty Bear Hugs. The clothing line offers cutesy designs in 100% recycled cotton for all ages from toddlers up to teens. Featured looks included everything from casual matching sets to polka-dot party dresses and ornate fan headpieces. Luckily, the clothes were fabulous enough not to let the audience be completely distracted by the adorable child models - although it must be said they did somewhat steal the show!
Up next was Lamya Hegazy, a jewellery and accessory designer based in Dubai and Cairo. The stunning gold handmade pieces were set against a backdrop of all-black outfits, allowing them to take centre stage. The collection comprised statement chandelier earrings, chunky necklaces, clutch bags, arm cuffs and hair pieces. The designer’s attention to detail was jaw-dropping, with each piece intricately decorated in traditional Middle Eastern style. Menswear designer Kevin Evans was next to take to the catwalk with his KE Collection. Featuring flat caps, loafers, and suit jackets in block colours, the looks were timelessly chic. The background music sampled the tannoy voice of the London Underground, establishing that the looks were aimed at the modern city boy. A particularly eye-catching piece was a twist on the classic black jacket, embroidered with a gold floral pattern that brought in an element of feminine elegance.
Jordan Kendrick’s womenswear collection brought the show to a close. The designer says she “loves working with [her] hands and sculpting with fabric,” and her passion for artistry was apparent. The glamorous party looks included a black-and-gold two-piece, red wet-look slip dress, metallic pink silk robe, and sea-blue gowns with dramatic thigh slits. Chic trouser suits were also featured, which subtly challenged gender norms while still feeling uber-feminine. The use of metallic fabrics throughout was dazzling and gave everything a rich, extravagant feel that oozed class.
At the end of each segment, the designers stepped into the spotlight to walk down the runway surrounded by the models. Being able to see the faces behind the garments brought a moving sense of pride and achievement, giving the designers the respect, attention and credit they deserve. Equally as important, the backstage crew including stylists, directors and organisers must also be commended for playing their part to put on what was a resoundingly successful evening. The show was a privilege to attend and will surely be remembered by all who saw it as one of the highlights of London Fashion Week 2023.