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Love is complex – LFWM AW20 1X1 Studio

Photo: Celine Antal

I could faintly hear music booming as I stepped inside the unusual venue of 1X1 Studio’s London Fashion Week Men’s AW20 presentation, the night club Fabric London. It was strange seeing the place during the day – there were no bubbly university students lined up for a fun night out, nor were there drunk clubbers sprawled out on the sidewalk and asphalt road. Although the location may seem out of the blue and a tad bit far from the LFWM base in Bricklane, the venue makes complete sense considering the collection title ‘The Art of Love’. Clubs are where young people come together to feel loved or, in some cases, to recover from love. It’s a space that witnesses the making and breaking of love, making Fabric the perfect space for the occasion.

As I made my way down the staircase, the lights became dimmer and dimmer and my ears started to pulse to the music. The hallway leading to the main presentation room was draped with chains. On either side of me were black leather sofas with chained red velvet backdrops. The sofa backs were ornamented with various silver ornaments resembling a pierced human body.

Photos: Celine Antal

The main display area was a sight to behold. No space was wasted, with all four sides of the room occupied with sets that alluded to the presentation’s theme. One area was tied about with a red rope – the walls, the chairs, the benches, everything was tightly knotted and connected together. The space reminded me of ropes used for restraining and bondage play but also of the old East Asian legend – the red threat of fate. The myth outlines that all destined pairs have a red thread linking them by their finger. One interpretation representing sexual desires and the other platonic, the set truly encompasses all aspects of love. The other side of the room was a stage piled with chains and roses. Some models would dance, and then proceed to give out the flowers which made the presentation much more interactive.

Through the collection itself, 1X1 Studio’s creative director Yi Ling Kuo, successfully interprets the varying features of love. Bright reds and oranges, reminds us of a more passionate, flaming love while the toned-down greys and blues take us back to times of heartbreak. Many looks combine contrasting colours suggesting, that love is not singular but plural.

Photos: Celine Antal

The knitwear in this collection shines through with intricate techniques and patterning. The attention to touch is evident with some pieces being soft and some being textured. With the usage of corn, recycled and sparkling gold yarns, Kuo creates a unique, abstract collection. One fascinating look was a vibrant red, orange and blue sweater with a full faced ski mask attached. The chain on the back secured the mask to the sweater which resulted in an uncomfortable combination between a colourful, childlike sweater and an almost sexual restrictive tool.

Contrasting to the knitwear was the reoccurring use of vegan leather. Leather was incorporated into most looks whether it be in the form of a jacket, pants or even underwear. Point dark, leather garments reminds us of the ups and downs of humanly emotions. Comparisons between the different fabrics highlight what 1X1 Studio does best – exploring ‘3D textures’.

The collection was inspired by the turbulent elements of love and this can be seen through the usage of various hues, textures and garments. Love is not as simple as some may think.

Photos: Celine Antal

Edited by Alexia McDonald, Head Digital Editor

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