• Brooke Roberts-Islam

Fashion as a tool for expressing identity and sexuality - art school gets personal at LFW

Fashion as a tool for identity and freedom of expression – Art School presented a mesmerising performance-based presentation in collaboration with director Theo Adams and choreographer Masumi Saito that evolved across several scenes with intertwined couples colliding, canoodling and clashing. Art imitating life. It felt like a series of tender and queer moments where not just the clothing, but the personal design philosophy of Eden Loweth, a BA Fashion graduate of Ravensbourne and Tom Barratt, an Art Criticism, Communication and Curation graduate of Central Saint Martins who together form Art School, was on show. Every vantage point showed different unfolding storylines and it was constantly engaging with only a subtle beginning and faint hint of an ending to this rolling presentation. This was their first presentation under their label Art School, setting the scene for sexual fluidity in their clothing and an art-driven point of view.

The show notes cited the modernist Bauhaus collective and Diaghalev’s Ballet Russes alongside Derek Jarman’s Chroma as sources of inspiration for form, colour and pattern. The notes were accompanied by the Art School Manifesto:

Teaming up with Converse and Swarovski and championed by Vogue and Love Magazine the duo look like they are tender heavyweights already. I can’t wait for the next chapter, but for now, I have edited down to the shots below from hundreds I took as the gorgeous presentation unfolded.

**Thoughts about how this presentation may look in the future woke me up this morning – way too early – after writing this article last night. It occurs to me that there will be another relationship to consider if art imitates life. The relationship between humans, bionic humans and humanoid robots. Casting my mind to advances in artificial intelligence and the film Ex Machina, and even current robot InMoov created by french sculptor Gael Langevin, it is not difficult to imagine that we will develop emotional bonds with robots in the not too distant future. What will the dynamic of those relationships be? How will our behaviours change once robots share our work and interact with us socially? Forward to a brave new world.

Top, Ex Machina, Dir: Alex Garland. Below, Gael Langevin and InMoov, photo: Gael Langevin


Designers: Eden Loweth and Tom Barratt

Art Director: Siobhan Cait Farrar

Stylist: Ai Kamoshita

Makeup: Rebecca Wordingham and the M.A.C PRO team

Hair: Jonathan De Francesco for Babyliss

Set Design: Alice Kirkpatrick

Nails: Kimberley Nkosi using Elegant Touch and Nails Inc.

Muse and Collaborator: Hannah Hetherington

Couture Underwear and Personal Mentor: Lyall Hakaraia

Theo Adams company:

Director: Theo Adams

Musical Director: Jordan Hunt

Choreographer: Masumi Saito

and Mariya Mizuno, Anna Lewenhaupht, Sophia Brown

All photos by Techstyler except where othewise noted

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