Changes to the fashion industry are increasingly making an impact each day. Our awareness of social, ethical and environmental issues as consumers is growing. However, during London Fashion Week, Ahluwalia took the lead in advocating for change. The show is headed by creator and founder Priya Ahluwalia as she debuts her first physical show at February’s LFW. Her collection celebrates inclusivity and diversity in her F/W collection at Soho House. As a result, she combines the themes of Bollywood and Nollywood together, inspired by the films she grew up with.
Firstly, the show opens with a fusion of Bollywood music and Nigerian rap to introduce us to the collection. The catwalk included a mixture of women’s and men’s clothing, with only black and brown models parading the runway.
Familiar faces walked the runway such as Neelam Gill and Angair Biong. The show was an ode to people of colour and the representation that the fashion industry is dying for. Above it all, the collection used up-cycled materials and yarns to create some of the pieces. She also used supply chains that are both ethical and environmentally friendly, making it another win in my books!
Secondly, what stood out to me the most throughout this collection was the bold prints and graphic imagery. These pay homage to the traditional films made popular in the 1990s and early 2000s. As I too have a personal connection with watching Bollywood films, the vibrant colours and subtle trim detailing evoked a nostalgic feeling from South Asian cinema.
Combined with the historical heritage of African culture; geometric prints, colourful striping and blended tie-dye patterns fused the entire collection together. The oversized hats and headpieces definitely made a statement inspired by traditional Nigerian headwraps. These contrasted with the electric high heels and trainers that some of the models were wearing.
With a focus on contemporary trends and a modern spin, the collection incorporated asymmetric cuts and style lines influenced by traditional sari draping. Moreover, she took inspiration from Nigerian youth culture by using baggy shirts and loose-fitting jeans.
The colour scheme begins with dark browns and earthy tones, gradually progressing to deep blues and ocean tones. Furthermore, the collection includes pops of colour, such as oranges and pinks. This reminds me of the countries themselves in South Asia and West Africa. From the dirt roads to the blue seas, with the native’s vibrant attire.
Final Thoughts on Ahluwalia
The F/W 22 show is one to remember as it raises the bar for what fashion houses should achieve. Today’s designers should be thinking about inclusivity, and the collection’s chosen concept speaks to people of colour who are often overlooked. The pieces are wearable, and the collection as a whole is clean and effortless. The designs and silhouettes are reflective of current fashion trends, indicating that she will be a name to watch in the future.
Use Of Colour, Fabric & Prints
Hint Of 90s Fashion Nostalgia
Representation Of Models On The Runway
Simplicity Of The Designs
Lack Of Intricate Detailing e.g. Embellishments
Nazifa is a fashion and style contributor for SSEDITORIAL Magazine, although she occasionally contributes to sseditorial runway and education. She regularly talks about all facets of the fashion industry, including sustainability, social issues, style, and fashion. She also enjoys going to art galleries and exhibitions when she has free time.