by Michaela Piontkova
Sat in a church on what seemed to be the coldest day ever, I waited to watch Chapter One, the first collection of a new fashion brand Anko.
With guests stuck around London due to strikes, it took a while to start - quite understandably, you don’t start your first fashion show when the venue is half empty.
Luckily for Anko, the wait was worth it.
As I already mentioned, the event took place in a church, The HAC Bow to be exact. Choosing a building with this much atmosphere undoubtedly aided in the overall impression of the show.
As soon as you entered, you were struck by the beautiful architecture and when you looked again, you got immersed in the luxurious vibe of a fashion event with a perfectly lit first row.
A strange combination of pompousness and modesty, that’s how I would describe both the venue and the collection.
At half past five, the music starts playing. Immediately, I’m thinking about where I have heard it before. Chanel? Dior? Later I learned that it was an original remix made specifically for the show, so clearly it was perfect.
The first model walks out wearing a white button-up cotton dress with puffy shoulders, accessorised with gold earrings contrasting the silver buttons. A pair of black leather gloves, matching black leather high-knee heels, a sleek bun, and an unbothered look on her face made really elevated a seemingly simple look.
The following model continued with the white theme, wearing a sleeveless leather dress with a cut-out in the chest area. It seems that the more leather the more confident the models were.
This becomes more obvious when the next model came out in a no leather but rather a sheer white short wedding dress styled with white tights, white pumps, and a veil.
Despite her look being bold, with the see-through material revealing her whole upper body, the way she walked was very tender. Yes, one would probably expect someone showing their breast to an entire church-full of people (quite ironic, isn’t it?) would be shy, but the feeling she gave off was rather purposeful - a modestly feminine.
Somehow, it made the dress, which had the potential to be risky, classy.
At this point, it started to be noticeable that the models were unusually comfortable in their outfits. This should be an absolute must for every show but unfortunately it isn’t, meaning Anko’s obvious care to make this a reality really shine.
The models were focused on the fashion, accommodating their movements, final poses, and facial expressions to complement the garments they were wearing.
Later we learned that instead of appointing each model to the outfit, the designer let them choose what they wanted to wear. It was truly heartwarming to see the models enjoying themselves on the runway.
Regarding the models, I also appreciated the racial diversity. It would be nice to see more
sizes as well, but considering the most likely limited sources of a young designer, it is more than a good start and their intentions are clear.
The collection ended up being divided into five sections based on colours. The white at the beginning changed into red, then one outfit in brown, two in denim, and finally the eighteen black looks - totalling to an incredible 28 outfits.
For Chapter One being Anko’s first collection, it was an exceptionally large one.
It might seem unnecessary, maybe even risky to create so many looks for a launch event. After all,
success is not guaranteed and to produce this number of garments must have been very expensive.
However, by creating such a diverse collection Anko was able to present us with exactly what their style is.
Every colour section consisted of a long skirt, a short skirt, a button-up shirt, puff sleeves, a leather dress, and a cotton dress. Naturally, there were other elements but those were the styles that united the collection, and because it was so large these staples repeated often enough for us to conclude that this what we can expect to see more of from Anko in future shows.
This not only makes it clearer for the buyers to decide whether it’s a brand suitable for them, but it also makes it more memorable for the consumers. If you liked Chapter One, you'll probably like the next chapters as well.
I said at the beginning that the show was a strange combination of pompousness and modesty.
Pompousness in the size of the collection and the breathtaking venue. Modesty in the joyful models who, for once, were asked what they wanted to wear, the choreography that ensured that each attendee saw every look in detail, not only the privileged front row (and I’m saying this as one of the privileged people in the frow).
Based on all this, I believe it’s safe to say that we are witnessing the rise of a new promising
brand. Keep an eye on Anko.
Edited by Emily Duff