Ahluwalia AW23 – London Fashion Week
Meg Parrott looks back on the collection from the London designer
For London Fashion Week, Priya Ahluwalia replaced the famous orchestras of St. John’s Smith Square concert hall. Instead, the setting for her Ahluwalia AW23 collection, Symphony, became a soulful journey through the soundtracks of her youth combined with her Indian-Nigerian heritage. Saxophonist Solaaris, jazz pianist Insxght and sound and design team Woodgrain filled the Baroque venue with familiar melodies and new twists.
Motivated by an affinity for sustainable production, Ahluwalia is already no stranger to the wonders of fusion. Be that in her interdisciplinary design ethos, or in the influences of the cultural melting pot that was her London upbringing. Drawing on her earliest musical memories merely added another string to her bow. In the house style, the 36-look collection melded masterful tailoring with innovative textiles: a contemporary uniform for a confident, considered dresser.
Angular, assured outwear came with technical flair and in a palette of warm jewel tones that felt perfect for winter. Striking bubble-gum and plush magenta collars, and bolts of scarlet and bronze satin confirmed the designer’s strength as a colourist.
The show included nods to Indian songstress Lata Mangeshkar and Nigerian musician Fela Kuti, as signature lineal patterns arrived in new guises. Ripples of sonic notes or instrument curvatures adorned belted outerwear and track shirts. Swirling monogrammed denim was crafted with razor sharp edge and taken to thigh-skimming or floor-sweeping lengths. The story was for those of us who revel in play and reject the binary of ‘day’ and ‘night’ attire.
Footwear and eyewear also graced the stage for the first time. Collaborating with Ace & Tate, the designer elevated sunglasses with demanding silhouettes. There were also the equally bold additions of crafted leather mules and laced stilettos to signify that AW23’s muse shows no fear of statement accessories.
“What would the soundtrack to my life look like?” Ahluwalia asks herself in the show notes. Floating between genres, Symphony proves it would be one of playful, multidisciplinary inspiration.
To read our review of the Simone Rocha show from LFW, click here
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