IA Londonis an independent avantgarde brand known for its imaginative aesthetics, sculpture-like constructions, often featuring distortedly edited, in-house made, photography. Striking to provide a timeless and authentic experience in the era of fast-food fashion, they often score high. The AW22 collection was somewhere in between two realms.
Set in an extravagant Mandrake Hotel, IA aimed to create a full-bloomed fantasy, sewing a vision of scarred beauty. Operating mostly in black with an occasional colour splash, they shifted focus onto forms. Exaggerated hourglass-shaped pieces and oversize jackets were highlights of the catwalk as well as the standout dim-yellow/gold dress with petal sleeves. We’d pick them every day. The most exciting point of the show was when the Norwegian singer Aurora made a surprise appearance on a catwalk in an oversized, deconstructed coat with floral imprints.
IA is on their best when designing the complex, figurative garments like a puffer vest featuring a giant flower, finished off with a sheer, veil-like material. While they have an abundance of creative potential when it comes to more of an haute couture end of a spectrum, there were a few shortcomings in ready-to-wear silhouettes. Propositions of long buttoned-up shirts/dresses have been a fitting addition to the spectrum of looks but didn’t feel as innovative. The imprinted skulls and skeletons on them were an interesting choice, feeling 2000s old-fashioned throwback. The Marie Antoinette style hair matched the aesthetics of the space. Over the top was a recurring theme of the evening.
What put our minds at ease is the fact that IA London is eco-conscious and strives for sustainable practice. Their one on-demand manufacturing can result in minimal waste and no unwanted stock. As a Britain-based brand, IA sources their materials locally which contributes to reducing their carbon footprint.
‘Beautifully Broken’ tries hard to find the balance contrasting themes. It’s a difficult art of master that can take years of concept exploring to perfect. IA London is halfway there.