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KGL Gender Blurs at London Fashion Week AW24

by Gina Brennan

KGL defines itself by playing with paradoxes - and its 2024 London Fashion Week preview promised that it will continue to do just that. 

The most notable aspect of the preview was KGL’s commitment to deconstructing gender stereotypes; evident in their use of androgynous models and placements as mirror images of each other, with no discernible boundaries between male and female clothing. 

Using male and female models as reflections of each other accentuated this blurring of the lines, demonstrating the similarities rather than differences between genders. 

The models themselves ensured to mirror each other’s movements, each pair moving almost as one on either side of a clear plastic screen, creating a dynamic exhibit of living fashion. The models looking at one another through the screen mimicked views of paintings in galleries, or even staring at oneself in a full-length mirror. Wandering around the room felt like stepping through the looking glass into a world of mirrors with each image, and so each outfit, very much alive. 

Entering the parallel world of living mirrors was made further paradoxical by the construction of the outfits. Large, warm outer garments were paired with skimpier outfits underneath, dress shoes with more casual socks and shorts, and wet, “just showered” hair with resplendent outfits. The effect was striking, the oxymoronic outfits conjuring settings removed from reality where one may wear a floor length fur coat over nothing but loafers, shorts and a waistcoat. 

Further removing the regulations of fashion were ostentatious accessories, including a clutch bag made from a belt; this use of one accessory as another again creating a paradoxical image. Unusual belt accessories proved to be a theme, with another outfit boasting a large lilac buckle demonstrated to be entirely superfluous, emphasising that fashion does not need to be necessary, it just needs to be interesting. 

The use of accessories in these irrational ways generates a feel of fantasy and decadence, as well as stressing the principle of paradox that is at the heart of KGL’s identity. 

Elements of the preview also drew upon current trends, with patchwork denim heavily featuring as well as layers put together in nearly every outfit showcased. Bold patterns and risqué nakedness also featured, with one model sporting a mesh top reminiscent of the KGL Carly Rae Jepsen wore in Rio de Janeiro in late 2023. This model, with the sultry mesh vest and double patchwork denim on top, may be said to encapsulate two major trends of AW2023. 

The patchwork denim added a recycled, vintage feel to the collection that was perpetuated further by models wearing quirky woollen jumpers and funky patterned shirts, similar to those one may spend an afternoon hunting for in Brick Lane vintage markets. 

These elements, while playing on current trends, stay true to KGL’s ethos of engaging displays of vivid shapes, colours, and textures. Marrying the secondhand craze with KGL’s core values shows an unusual talent for hitting trends while staying true to a brand’s principles. While the prominence of patchwork pieces across fast fashion brands, such as Shein, may cause these KGL garments to look unnecessarily cheap to an untrained eye, their adherence to KGL’s values cements them as quality pieces to those familiar with the brand’s work.

Overall, the preview showed a selection of outfits that embodied KGL’s principles as well as incorporating current styles. The commitment to paradox was evident in both the garments themselves and the outfits sculpted from them, and the play upon gender expression using androgynous outfits on both male and female models as mirror images portrayed a progressive and aesthetically interesting approach. With present trends also encapsulated in outfits, this preview indicates that KGL have come to London Fashion Week to impress; so far, they have.

Edited by Emily Duff

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