Designers can find sources of inspiration in unexpected places -- as evidenced by the runways of London Fashion Week on Sunday.
Ukrainian designer Masha Popova turned to monster truck shows while China's Susan Fang showcased a collection of ethereal dresses.
Best known for her work with denim, Ukrainian-born designer Popova continued what she called her "obsession with denim manipulation" in her new collection. Models walked the runway in denim mini-skirts and hip-hugging low-rise jeans.
Popova, based in London, treated her signature fabric in a variety of ways -- including over-dyeing, flocking, scratching and patchwork -- to produce a "rugged effect".
The collection was inspired by monster truck shows and featured an "electrifying" colour palette for the outfits. The models walked to the beat of techno music, with the sound of engines roaring in the background.
Popova counted social media influencers among her guests, including the sisters Abby and Charlotte Roberts, both with millions of followers on TikTok.
Fashion content creator and model Emma Winder told AFP after the show that she liked the "earthy tones" of the collection, even if she was "not really a double denim fan".
Floating with Fang
Susan Fang, originally from China, launched her brand in 2017 after graduating from the Central Saint Martins arts university in London. Since then she has created futuristic designs with a weightless, floating appearance.
For her spring and summer 2024 collection, models walked beneath large wings made of white kites said to represent "human civilisation and emotions", hanging next to the figure of a "cold robot" also made of white kites.
Below-the-knee skirts, from black to pale pink, were paired with crop tops in the collection, which also featured dresses with tulle ruffles and sandals worn with socks.
Fang also showcased a dress made from protruding wire trees adorned with beads, handcrafted primarily by women from Chinese minority groups, a centrepiece of the collection.
Fang said that with the design she wanted to create an "ensemble resembling the Tree of Life, radiating the pure energy of human life".
Union Jack and English palace
Montreal-born designer Erdem Moralioglu staged his show under the colonnade of the British Museum, creating a majestic atmosphere from the outset.
For his spring-summer 2024 collection, he delved into the archives of Chatsworth Palace, the home of the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire in the north of England.
Erdem created a poetic collection, with prints based on engravings and Chatsworth tapestries. The organza and satin skirts and dresses were long , the shoulders bare, like those of a fairytale princess.
However some of the looks were much more modern, with large biker jackets, one of them petrol blue, partly covering a long pink transparent skirt.
Sinead Gorey, one of the last to showcase her works on the London runways, paid homage to the "British summer of love" with a collection that put the Union Jack front and centre.
The flag was featured on the designs that included thigh-high, high-heeled boots harking to the 1990s Spice Girls, with inscriptions like "London Swings Again!" and "God Save the Sexy and the Glamourous"!.
London Fashion Week continues before winding up on Tuesday.