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Navigating fashion with Rue Agthonis AW24: “A Charm of Heartstrings”

Located at the Rosenfeld Gallery, Rue Agthonis showcased, with creative and musical flair, their AW24 collection “The Charm of Heartstrings” during London Fashion Week on the 17th of February 2024.

Greatly inspired by the designer’s love for the arts, their styles exude creative and dramatic taste. From flamboyant silhouettes, such as extra wide shoulders, to dazzling textures, such as the use of ostrich hair, Rue Agthonis does not hold back from all things glamour. I saw the inspiration from stage shows and theatre peeking through during the showcase this February. The presentation was nothing short of a grandiose performance.

On the night, guests were welcomed by a trio of glamorous female violinists upon entry whose melody soon filled the small space and served as the instrumental performance that structured the entire evening. The core element of “The Charm of Heartstrings” is the celebration and triumph of female string players. This was seen to be heavily influential in many of the silhouettes and textures of the pieces on display that night.

The collection aims to honour a transition from a masculine to female association to violin playing. I recognised a marriage between typically masculine designs such as broad shoulders, tailored fittings and collared necklines with more ‘feminine’ elements such as the colour light pink, sequin coverings and fur trims. How these two seemingly opposite energies were combined in “The Charm of Heartstrings” offers a commentary on the fluidity and harmony that can exist between rigid social stereotypes.

The outfit pictured right is one of my favourite examples of this seamless blend between masculine and feminine. The tailored blazer offers a symbol of strength, power and business which is challenged by the baby pink sequin coating. The dark trousers also play with a sophisticated silhouette and juxtapose it with the cascading feathers.

Female empowerment as the collection’s focal motivation was no subtlety during this showcase. The pink and purple hues alongside the dazzling sequins and opulent feathers were visually mesmerising and captivating. The live melodic tunes complemented the fluid and whimsical designs serving as an ever-present reminder of the historical influence of female violinists that this collection is so passionately built on.

Having the opulently dressed mannequins dotted and tucked in every corner of the Rosenfeld Gallery allowed the spectacle of the evening to feel like a journey through the designs as guests weaved in and out of the pieces allowing them each to speak for themselves. As opposed to a catwalk, this gallery viewing felt all the more intimate and served as a wonderful networking event where many conversations were probed by the silhouettes placed around us rather than being too distracted by movement, loud music and live models.

The instrumental backdrop and rigid mannequins allowed us as guests to deeply feel what these pieces speak out. I appreciated the ability to get so close to the designs, feeling every texture from rough tweed to soft satin. The low lighting aided this warm and intimate environment and regularly caught the sequins to create a wonderful array of glimmering light around.

When looking back at AW23, the playful nature of this year's collection is highlighted. The AW23 Collection, “Harmonious Beauty”, felt earthy and muted with relaxed fits and classic silhouettes and browns and greens dominating the scene. The same use of sequin and feathered flair remained textures that seem distinctly popular for all designs by Rue Agthonis. I did enjoy the almost spring and summer feel to “Charm of Heartstrings” regardless of the season. I do think this can be particularly demonstrated through the great variety in the colour palette, from gold to black to pink. A spectrum of colour that the AW23 was missing.

Navigating fashion with Rue Agthonis this February was an honour. The showcasing and performing of “The Charm of Heartstrings” allowed a great space for personal engagement with the pieces as well as social networking with others. Their gallery viewing offers a new spin on catwalks that I believe brands should look to exhibit going forward.


Edited by Fashion Editor, Megan Shears