Fyodor Golan + THE FALL – Digital London Fashion Week 2020
THE FALL in association with The British Fashion Council interviews leading British fashion designers Fyodor Golan about their new collection for digital London Fashion Week. By André Howard Gayle
It was only a couple of months ago THE FALL covered the announcement by the British Fashion Council that London Fashion Week this summer would take place in an entirely digital, gender neutral space for the first time. Of course, the continuing Coronavirus crisis has also changed much of the world beyond fashion, and until the industry has enough confidence in the safety of its showpiece events ‘remote’ is the new black everyone is leaning into. Perhaps it even marks a necessary change in how the business does business in the future that will lead to longer-lasting and much needed changes.
LFW this summer will be new for everyone. There’s anticipation and trepidation in equal measure given the various unknowns in doing something so completely new. To help smooth the path, THE FALL has teamed up with the BFC and leading British designers Fyodor Golan to introduce the world’s first digital fashion week to the fashion nation and beyond. All online content created from all media outlets about the showing designers at the new LFW is being centralised at the dedicated London Fashion Week portal for the duration of the event (12th – 14th June). As an entry point for this new experience our focus will be on Fyodor Golan, the British design duo who have steadily been carving out an ever larger corner of luxury fashion for themselves for almost the past decade.
Golan Frydman and Fyodor Podgorny were fated to be brought together by one singular commonality: an almost demented love of fashion. Fyodor, originally from Latvia, studied at the Royal Academy of Arts in Belgium before moving to London in 2007 to work for Issey Miyake. Golan, originally from Israel, studied fashion design at the Instituto Maragoni in London before starting his working life at Alexander McQueen. After they met and married in London in 2010 their first ‘child’, Fydodor Golan, was born in 2011. And here’s the reason why the saying ‘the rest is history’ has become such a cliché. Since the inception of the label it has now been seen on the backs of stars like Jennifer Lopez, Rita Ora, Rihanna, Gwen Stefani, Zendaya and Ariana Grande. Even if you didn’t know the name of the designers behind the outfits you would still have been able to recognise their signature use of colour in each one. For London Fashion Week we wanted to find out what that signature relationship to colour means in terms of the new collection, how the Fyodor Golan brand is approaching this whole new fashion environment and how the FG Woman has (or hasn’t) changed over the past 10 years.
Many congratulations on your continued success! This fashion season so much has changed with the world. How have you approached this particular show season in terms of the LFW digital event? Have you implemented any contingencies in terms of buyers and distribution?
This season it was important to us not to over-produce. We have looked back at past and recent seasons, and designed and curated a selection of pieces that we believe bring positivity to the wearer and the world. We hope that these new times will bring a less seasonal approach to fashion, one that will put the focus back on the product, design and craftsmanship and less on the drop time trends and seasonality.
Tell us about the new collection you’re showing. What were the inspirations behind it and the themes and/or messages underwriting the collection?
It was important to us to tell a story of positivity and strength. It is our personal story and the story of FYODOR GOLAN. Colours play a key part, translating sunsets and sunrises into graphic prints and glimmering fabrics. We wanted the garments to transport the wearer to far off places they cant go visiting otherwise these days, and at the same time be comfortable enough to just lounge around the house in.
What is the Fyodor Golan relationship with colour and why is it so important to your creative outlook?
Colour is the biggest gift of nature and the strongest medium to explore as a creative. Once worn it transforms, transports and transcends you.
Who do you design for? Who is the ‘FG Woman’?
We have dressed our icons such as Madonna, Rihanna and Arianna Grande. We’ve dressed our sisters and best friends. We’ve dressed boys, girls and non-binary and we’ve dressed ourselves. Everyone is welcome to find their own special way of wearing FG.
How has the creative direction of FG changed/evolved since your debut in 2011? Are you designing with the same ‘woman’ in mind now that you were then?
Nooo! It has evolved massively! We’ve learned more about our client but, more importantly, we’ve learned more about ourselves and the world we live in. There are many roles to play as creatives in our society and we’ve chosen the role of positivity, encouragement and colour.
How is the work at Fyodor Golan divided between the two of you?
It’s dynamic. Constantly changing and evolving.
How have you incorporated environmentally sustainable practices in your business and does your current collection reflect any of those initiatives?
We have introduced recycled denim to our collections, reworked our supply chain in favour of organic cottons and introduced a line of up-cycled printed items last SS20 season that is still going strong in our collections.
What has been the reaction of your respective families to your success? Are they creative themselves? Or were you the first ones, respectively, to enter one of the world’s most creative fields? Do they ‘understand’ your business and your world?
Fyodor: My sister and I are very close she loves our work and always encouraged me to pursue my fashion dreams.
Golan: I think they understand our achievements even if they don’t necessarily understand the industry and its process. It is so very far from everything that they know that often they look the other way and don’t ask many questions. My mum is always sitting front row at all our shows though. Our bond is very strong.
Thinking more broadly, what are your expectations/concerns about the business of fashion going forward from this unusual summer season into A/W and 2021?
We would like to see [the fashion industry] shedding seasonality and price reductions. We think product should have movement but that it should be determined by each brand. We would like to see lots of new models popping up – namely, what we would love to do is to work on a more circular business in which we restock a style when it is very successful and remove less well performing styles by redesigning them and up-cycling them to a new product.
Fashion is such a competitive industry. Given the changes that have been forced upon all of us due to the pandemic, what changes do you think should become permanent and what other changes would you like to see to help labels like FG continue to thrive?
We believe the change to organic drops over seasonality is imperative to the success and even survival of young creatives. But for that to work we need department stores and e-coms on our side and reacting lightly to these new changes and be willing to try and accommodate.
There have been lots of calls for the fashion seasons to be streamlined. Designers like Anthony Vacerrello at YSL and Alessandro Michele at Gucci have both indicated it is now time to go ‘seasonless’. The BFC is now looking to hold only two gender neutral fashion weeks, instead of holding four show weeks per year split between men’s and womenswear. There are also talks of Cruise/Resort shows being scaled back. What are your thoughts on these moves related to FG?
We agree. There is no need for cycled seasonal collections or shows. We think the creation process should be constant and that designers should have fashion weeks as a non biased stage to simply climb on whenever they are ready to show the world what they have done.
View more from the collection by visiting our Instagram and social media today.
To see more on Fyodor Golan click here.
Click here to visit the exclusive London Fashion Week 2020 portal.
To see our round-up of London fashion Week A/W2020 click here.
Main image |Hana Knizova