The stand-out was Maximilian. He’d done fashion films in the past but this was his catwalk debut.Spliced, cut away, revealing, bold: the Maximilian look is an antidote to lockdown social isolation. Inspired by childhood memories of Trinidad, and Nadia Huggins’ pictures of teenagers swimming in the Caribbean, he created pieces that demand good times, freewheeling nights out and uninhibited adventure. His clothes are built for dancing and flirting. They are ready for a carnival of good times that have been denied for so long. There’s a precision to the cutting, that, whilst never monastic, has a purity of intention. Maximilian is a designer who doesn’t waffle. His shapes are clean, direct, minimal and impactful. They will show you at your best so you best be ready.
Next up was Chet Lo, whose Insta-fabulous designs demand attention. His puckered 3D textures bring a new dimension to bodycon. He gift-wraps the body in a candied rainbow of sexuality. Sweet but with intent. They collide in a place where club-meets-beach, with shapes that borrow from swimwear and snake around the body in a constant game, or reveal and conceal. He amped up the tease with playful accessories, supersized bags, and spiral strap sandals.This is how to make a splash.
Off the catwalk, St Martens graduate Jawara Alleyne, arranged his models like still lives, wearing his distinctive designs made by draping, knotting pinning and sculpting the cloth into complex compositions. Goom Heo presented a layered-up look featuring digital prints, peepholes and plenty of body-con slink. Meanwhile, HRH designer Hannah is intent on taking swimwear into new territory. In her hands, a bikini is an excuse for dressed up, sexually charged, event dressing, which comes in inclusive sizes and with an accessorised-to-the-hilt “JLo 2001” glamour. The message from this diverse bunch of Fashion East designers was, ‘Flaunt it.’