Conner Ives returns to London Fashion Week with Noughties fashion nostalgia
“Fashion mania” were the two words on Conner Ives’ lips this season.
Whether your eyes were on the FROW which was punctuated with the likes of Jordan Barrett, Bimini Bon Boulash and Camille Charriere, or the runway where models strutted to a mash up of R&B and pop classics, his second public outing certainly caused a stir amongst the fashion crowd.
Inspired by, in his own words, the “visceral, full body reaction” he experienced to Nicholas Ghequiere’s Balenciaga AW06 collection, the American-born designer wanted his sophomore show to awaken the same feelings towards fashion that he experienced as a 10-year-old.
This mood, peppered with fun references to aspirational, iconic women, made for a collection that was euphoric and effervescent.
From a floor length hooded lilac gown that’s a reference to Mia Thermopolis’ rain-soaked purple hoodie in The Princess Diaries, to a nod to Kate Moss’ iconic Glasto look, as well as a finale that was a recreation of The Parent Trap’s top-hat bride, it was a greatest hits of fashion moments through pop culture history.
“It was about women that bought their own couture, understood the textile compositions and the savoir faire that goes into the meticulous art form of dressmaking”, Ives explained.
As Tish Weinstock, Vogue beauty editor, told the Evening Standard: “ââConner has an ability to create these worlds with their different characters or archetypes that people want to be a part of.” And it seems his world has evolved since his debut runway show last February. This woman felt elevated in comparison to autumn/ winter 2022’s muse, whilst not forgetting his trademark sense of light-heartedness.
“I always try to ensure that the clothes are approached with a lightness - a joy. At the end of the day, we work in fashion - it’s not that deep”, Ives told the Evening Standard, exclusively.
Staying true to his eco-friendly roots, you could see the label’s signature reimagination of vintage pieces alongside new designs which were made using sustainable fabrics.
Preloved silk scarves were reworked and transformed into fringed bohemian camis and skirts whilst jersey was upcycled to create his signature patchwork dresses. Recycled denim was crafted into straight leg jeans and vintage-inspired skirts and oversized coats were crafted using a wool and recycled polyamide blend faux fur.
So, what’s next for the brand? With a steadily building cult following, sustainable credentials and a contagious sense of fun, the Central Saint Martins graduate is sure to go from strength to strength. Or even, as Weinstock continues “I wouldn’t be surprised if Conner gets tapped for a house.”
After the show, the celebrations continued at Nolita Social with a guestlist that included Paul Hameline, Dakota Schiffer and Elza Wandler.