Some emerging designers might have struggled to rally a crowd at 9am on a grey and drizzly Monday morning of London Fashion Week, but rising star Supriya Lele’s show at the Old Selfridges Hotel was packed to the rafters.
The London-based designer, who recently starred in ES Magazine’s fashion issue, delighted the crowds of editors, influencers and Insta-cool kids who had assembled with a spring/summer 22 collection brimming with her signature Y2K sass and sexiness.
Alongside her ruched sheer separates, mannish tailoring and underwear-inspired slips, Lele — who has dressed everyone from Bella Hadid to Rihanna — delivered a grown-up, glamorous take on the signature minimalism with which she’s found a cool-girl Insta-following.
Diamante net shirts, skirts and dresses were destined for next summer’s dancefloors, while a cropped black bomber jacket came in luxe taffeta with voluminous sleeves. Leather also featured heavily, via seductive cut-out halter necks and V-waistline trousers — a deconstructed tangerine leather biker jacket and matching midriff-flossing flares felt particularly Rihanna-ready.
Like so many, Lele went through change and upheaval in her personal life over lockdown, and thus centred SS22 on themes of transformation, rebirth and finding love again. Romance percolated via beading, embroidery and even a few feathers. A sheer jersey mini-skirt swished with feather trim, while stretch bodysuits came accessorised with spangly silver belly chains.
“It feels more traditionally pretty and fun, and that’s a bit how I want to feel now,” says the 2020 LVMH prize-winner, who prioritises stretch and comfort when designing. “You want to feel like your clothes work with you, not against you,” she says.
For the die-hard Y2K fans, Lele offered several iterations of the ultimate Noughties leg-wear: the capri pant, which came Lele’d in hues of cerulean, black and apple green mesh. Are we about to see a return of pedal pushers? If anyone can make them cool again, Supriya Lele can.
Click through the gallery above for looks.