LONDON — This London Fashion Week marked a new era for Istituto Marangoni with its debut show and a patronage with the British Fashion Council.
The private school’s new director, Valerie Berdah-Levy, said patronage with the BCF provides students with visibility in order for them to become professionals in the fashion industry.
“Sense Datum,” a Latin synonym for enriching and expanding the senses, was the theme for each of the 10 students showing this season, each with six designs.
Russian Arina Vartanova, winner of the Best Designer 2022 title, aimed to illustrate the theme by making commentary on what her “actual position as a Russian living-abroad is” toward the Russia-Ukraine war.
Her collection, which was originally inspired by Soviet cooking books, hence the signature fruit-patterned chef hats and oven mitts, later turned into her way of “speaking up.”
A standout from her collection was the blue jacket cascading down the runway that had “No War” scribbled in Russian.
The lineup also included Italian designer Guia Dell’osso, whose colorful designs told the story of a futuristic fairy tale about a prince ingesting a mushroom, and then having visions of himself looking for his princess.
Ho Hong Chang’s designs stole the show, referencing “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory” and the story’s messaging around happiness. The extravagantly oversize puffer jackets in metallic leather and velvet fabrics acted as a metaphor for how humans often seek to present the most exaggerated version of themselves to impress others, while many things are still missing from their lives.