This year, London Fashion Week saw an exciting collaboration between Runway Gallery and Fashion Scout for the Spring/Summer 2020 collections. In July 2019 Fashion Scout, the international showcase for emerging designers, which has become a fixture of the London Fashion Week schedule, famously announced that they were moving from Freemasons Hall – its home for the past eight years – to Victoria House, Bloomsbury Square, as part of a relaunch for its off-schedule platform. This new space opened up a wealth new possibilities and Fashion Scout collaborated with Runway Gallery to take charge of curating the space with our internationally acclaimed artists, known as the Beautalists.
The 22,000 square foot space in Victoria House is a Grade II-listed neo-classical building with high ceilings and an unusual blend of traditional architectural features and industrial elements. Runway Gallery curator Danial Syrett had a fantastic space to play with and the perfect environment for the fashion focused artists of Runway Gallery.
The day before the shows began at Fashion Scout, the Runway Gallery artwork went up, with the main hall and vast walkways becoming adorned with the works of the Beautalists, including Pandemonia, French Cowboy, Belinda Frikh, Bruce Atherton, Grazie and Syrett. The avant-garde and often provocative art of the Beautalists provided the perfect backdrop for the throngs of fashionable attendees, eager to take their photo in front of the stylish and seductive silhouettes found in the work of Beautalists Duma Arantes or Bethany Perry. With its vibrant colours and soft light, Syrett’s circular neon work made using nail varnish proved to be a popular place for portraits and selfie moments of Fashion Week guests.
Beautalist artist Pandemonia stands in front of the Beatualism logo at Fashion Scout. Beautalism is about the visual allure of beauty as well as its potency. To put it bluntly (or brutally), the Beautalists are brutal about beauty.
Fashion Scout’s three-day Fashion Week showcase launched with their much anticipated ‘Ones to Watch’ show. Given to up to four designers, the ‘Ones to Watch’ award is instrumental in raising the profile of emerging design talent and provides a platform for designers to express their artistic vision. With previous winners going on to achieve global success, this show attracts a wide array of fashion industry experts in media and buying who are hungry for new talent. This year IA London, Gala Borovic, AV & Studio Adaptive Skins brought the drama to the catwalk. The mix of exquisite fabrics and skilled tailoring, unpredictable forms and 3D printed designs brought a high energy and dynamism to the opening of Fashion Scout. Our favourite this year was IA London whose punk-esque style had a hint of the posthuman, with eyes and faces being recurring motifs in the designs.
The Swedish School of Textiles also exploded onto the catwalk on the first day of Fashion Scout, with these designers using garments to provoke new perspectives on what it means to give form to the body, both functionally and expressively.
Designs by Swedish School of Textiles.
Along with the new came the established – internationally acclaimed designer and long time friend of Fashion Scout, Pam Hogg created a storm at Victoria House, with hundreds of people queuing and squeezing themselves in anywhere they could along the catwalk. Proving that her extravagant perspective on the world is still alive and making waves, this season she introduced us to the ironic world of beauty pageants for dogs. Titled ‘Best in Show’, models stomped down the runway with rosettes, headpieces and bows. Some were on dog leads. All displayed appropriate #poodlepower.