Following a year of lockdowns and the absence of physical runway shows, London Fashion Week is set to return stronger than ever. With a mix of digital and in-person events taking place from tomorrow, London will again become the nucleus of the fashion world, welcoming international trend-setters and looking forward to the inbound styles of the coming season.
In honour of London Fashion Week and its exciting return to the capital, we look at seven works of art inspired by the fashionable, the fierce and all things fabulous.
One of the five original supermodels, Naomi Campbell, has come to define the British fashion scene. Normally photographed by a large team comprising of hair and make-up stylists, as well as tens of assistants, the photograph of the iconic model taken by Andy Gotts could not be more different. Showing the model without airbrushing, Gotts captures Campbell at her most vulnerable. Using only a camera and simple lighting, Gotts’ image embodies the raw beauty that Campbell radiates, proving that forty years on she is as striking as when her modelling career first began.
Depicting the great designer Yves Saint Laurent, Yves by Coco Dávez embodies the simplicity and timeless elegance of Laurent’s eponymous fashion brand. Founding Yves Saint Laurent in 1961, Laurent is regarded as one of the most influential fashion designers of the twentieth century, spurring the rise of couture and transforming women’s fashion into something that was as comfortable as it was elegant. Dávez’s depiction plays upon his recognisable appearance, highlighting his flowing hair and iconic thick-framed glasses.
Featuring the celebrated British model Cara Delevingne, David Yarrow’s photograph The Girl On The Train merges fashion with narrative to create an image that is as visually arresting as it is intriguing. Taken in an abandoned railway carriage in Montana, the image sees the internationally renowned model cloak herself against the cold, as full flakes of snow slowly coat the carriage around her. With the striking appearance of a fashion photograph but the cinematic intrigue of narrative fine art, The Girl On The Train presents Delevingne as we have never seen her before.
Portraying the mother of modern fashion herself, Theodore’s Coco In Flowers depicts French fashion designer Coco Chanel, in his signature Día de los Muertos style. Signified by her iconic pearls and hat, Theodore’s portrait in profile is highly stylised and features an almost baroque wallpaper background. Rendered in a pastel palette, the canvas is executed with painterly brushstrokes and uniform swathes of colour that flatten the canvas.
Citing fashion as a key inspiration to her work, Dawn Okoro spent her childhood obsessing over fashion magazines. Growing up in a small town that was native to predominately white people, Okoro found herself drawn to fashion and was captivated by both its creativity and the boundless possibilities that it presented for self-expression. Fashion swiftly became a core part of both her life and her artistic practice, with Okoro cutting out figures from magazines for her artistic compositions. Although now taking her own reference photographs, the dynamic poses and vibrant colours of her work still closely echo that of fashion photography.
The face of the 1960s, Twiggy, otherwise known as Leslie Dawson, defined an era of fashion. Whether it was her iconic graphic eyeliner or short-cropped hair, Twiggy was and remains a style icon for tens of thousands of people. Captured by the photographer of the swinging sixties himself, Terry O’Neill, this image immediately transports you to a forgotten period comprised of mod dresses and go-go boots.
Haris Nukem’s images embody both the dynamism and vivid colour palette of fashion photography, and often depicts models in theatrical make-up and costumes. At the core of Nukem’s work, however, and much like the world of fashion itself is the interrogation of identity and the human spirit. Ethereal, emotive and above all engaging, Nukem unites the very best of fashion photography and fine art to create meaningful images that prompt important conversations surrounding civilisation and belonging.