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Backstage at Mowalola SS20Photography Charlotte O’Shea

Go backstage at the London menswear shows you might have missed

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Fashion month is upon us yet again – yes, already – and the past week has seen a wide range of creativity debut at the SS20 London Fashion Week Men’s shows

Kiko Kostadinov kickstarted the week with his equestrian-themed show, ahead of his abandoned warehouse afterparty with Dazed and Asics. On Saturday morning, Priya Ahluwalia presented a collection dedicated to her family and heritage, while Bianca Saunders’ show explored masculine identity. The presentations were later followed by Charles Jeffrey, who staged a poetic show – featuring live readings on the catwalk – at the British Library.

Elsewhere, Stefan Cooke and Jake Burt presented their first standalone collection post-Fashion East, which delved into ideas of Americana, costume, and characterisation. Finally, on the last day of LFWM, Samuel Ross opened the A-COLD-WALL* show to the public for the first time, bridging the gap between himself and the fans of his label.

To give you a glimpse backstage at some of our fave picks, we send a group of photographers to capture the ongoings at Art School, Mowalola, Martine Rose, and more. Read all about them below. 


For SS20, design duo Eden Loweth and Tom Barratt presented a collection inspired by the journal of filmmaker and gay rights activist Derek Jarman. Starring models like former Playboy Bunny and frequent collaborator Pippa Brooks, the show featured looks that were slightly more subdued and grown-up than previous seasons, with beautifully crafted tailoring seen via the structured hi-shine blazer dresses. As British singer Anna Calvi serenaded guests – including model and activist Munroe Bergdorf – otherworldly models with white contacts walked out onto the runway in glittering mini-dresses, dishevelled white shirts, and structured leather gowns. Elsewhere, the duo collaborated with artist Richard Porter, who created ceramic shell and stone jewellery for the show, as well as unique sculptures which appeared along the runway.


For her second show backed by London-based initiative Fashion EastCentral Saint Martins graduate Mowalola Ogunlesi looked to iconic couples of the 00s for inspiration. Focusing on the “horrific feeling of love” and the moment “your emotions are turned to 100”, the Nigerian-born designer turned the pain that comes with love into a 24-piece collection. Developing her work with leather, the collection featured calfskin thongs and two-piece suits, as models – including fellow Nigerian Adesuwa – walked onto the runway with bloodied hands courtesy of Dazed 100 make-up artist Daniel Sällström. The standout garments, though, featured the motif of a gunshot wound, close to the placement of the heart. Bang bang! 


Returning to the London Fashion Week Men’s schedule after taking a season out, the London-based designer held her SS20 show on a rooftop in East London – drawing inspiration from British subcultures of the 1980s. Playing with British archetypes through the garments, Rose reinterpreted the skinhead, raver, and football hooligan – creating looks which featured leather biker jackets with exaggerated shoulders, retro tracksuits, and some pretty creative wigs. Elsewhere, a reversible fleece with the words ‘Promising Britain’ was printed with stars very similar to those on the European Union flag, as Rose made her thoughts on the current social-political climate known. As the show notes explained, the collection was a ‘critique of contemporary British politics’.


Showing his collection at Billingsgate Market in East London, this season British designer Craig Green used his love for mystery YouTube videos to further his  exploration of fragility, masculinity, and strength. Known for taking a functional approach to his designs, Green created a series of oversized ‘lantern men’, who wore trainers from his anticipated collaboration with adidas. Elsewhere, the final looks featured prints depicting the human body and motifs inspired by Mexican paper cutting and Egyptian death rituals. The finale was soundtracked by “Goodbye Horses” by Q Lazzarus, an idea sparked by Green’s interest in the enigmatic artist’s disappearance.


Closing off London’s menswear shows, Feng Chen Wang looked to Chinese womanhood and the celebration of women in her family as a starting point for her latest collection. Having visited her hometown of Fuijan and the five neighbouring villages, the London-based designer decided to pay tribute to her grandmother and fabrics she recalls seeing her wear, such as the traditional Chinese material named ‘Lanyinhuabu’. When it came to creating her collection, Wang used similar hand-printed techniques to make the fabrics for her garments − as a means of attempting to make sure the dying craft remained alive. Wang continued to honour her heritage through the use of bamboo throughout the collection. To pull all the looks together, models wore Feng Chen Wang x Converse sneakers, the latest from her ongoing collab.

Stay tuned for more fashion week coverage from Pitti Uomo, Milan, and Paris.