LFW: Vin + Omi AW18

Vin + Omi kicked off London Fashion Week, showing designers a more sustainable approach to fashion. The British eco-contemporary luxury label’s Autumn/Winter collection: ‘WE ARE NOT SHEEP’ was a critique on the industry’s collective use of unethical materials and encouraged individual thinking.

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Hosted at the Andaz hotel, Liverpool street, Blondie’s Debbie Harry and Matt Katz-Bohen introduced the show via a video message. The audience then heard sheep noises before the main soundtrack and the show started.

The design duo has pioneered new sustainable ways of working with original materials. This includes creating chestnut ‘leather’, Synthetic wool using plastic that has been retrieved from the ocean and rivers. Without affecting the lifespan of any animals, llama and rare sheep fleece were collected from farmers and smallholders who annually clip their pets. The AW18 show also featured its biodegradable eco-latex. Produced by the brand, the latex is sourced from a rubber plantation in Malaysia that Vin + Omi fund.

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Its ongoing innovative choices of fabric have received praise from the British Fashion Council’s new Positive Fashion platform initiative. Launched in 2017, it celebrates industry best practice and encourages future business decisions to create global change.

The garments were a demonstration of how the original materials can be applied. The synesthetic wool was knitted in a variety of different shapes to create a series of conceptual vests and tunics in pastel colours and black.

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Floral embellishment featured heavily throughout, juxtaposing the chaotic neon coloured paint and bleach splattered pieces. This concept of Chemical vs Organic reinforced the brands message from their Spring/Summer 18 collection called ‘STOP FUCKING THE PLANET’.

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Latex appeared in yellow and grey clinging to the models, as well as in relaxed silhouettes like the rest of the collection. I can imagine the cabbage floral and sheep faceprints will be deemed wearable later this year by the high street. However, the statement jackets and the avant-garde woolen pieces would most likely be seen as too extravagant for fast fashion. 

The eye makeup corresponded with DIY Punk aesthetic of the garments. Models strode down the catwalk with bold, black and messy racoon-like eyes. Edges weren’t blended and appeared aggressive. Most of the girls had their hair up pigtails which when paired with the eyes, gave a Harlequin-esque vibe. Could Harlequin be the saviour our world really needs? *Laughs inside*

My favourite accessory was the bag made out of recycled plastic that doubled as a belt. The majority of the models clutched them in their hands, but a few cinched in their waist with them, almost like a fanny pack, but in the form of a structured tote. The show title was printed on the handles and the sheep motif was on the front of the bag.

Woollen tassels were attached to the model’s thumbs. A very small detail that the show could have done without. One of the male models who walked was Made in Chelsea star Julius Chowdrey. His girlfriend and co-star Ella Willis attended to see him walk.

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Pieces from the collection were showcased in the LFW designer showrooms across the weekend.

Photo credit: @zero_etiquette