The idea of inclusivity in fashion has become a buzzword in recent years, but for NewGen recipient Sinéad O’Dwyer it is engrained into the fabrication of her label.
For her debut London Fashion Week catwalk show at the Old Selfridges Hotel, O’Dwyer amassed a body-diverse cast from curve models to wheelchair users to showcase her body-inclusive approach to fashion, which channels her own experiences with body dysmorphia.
At the heart of the collection, was the designer’s innovative web-like knit, a technique where shirred satin bands are combined with fully fashioned knit to lattice the body with ultra-stretchy cut-out detailing. This technique was used to create body-moulding dresses, shibari-inspired playsuits, as well as panelled shorts with knit garters, stirrup leggings, crop tops, and harnesses with knitted bust panels.
These were more than just clothes with enough stretch to fit all women, these pieces were innovative, sexy and above all else, flattering and fun.
The emerging London-based Irish designer also introduced tailoring this season to cater for bustier women, which didn’t make shirts and tuxedo jackets look frumpy, but rather svelte and elegantly crafted using her darted bust technique that echo her earlier cast silicon pieces.
Amongst the formal sleek, sheer gowns and tailored pieces were fun and casual looks inspired by the designer’s adolescence goth-rock era style. There were ultra-wide trousers styled with Swarovski-adorned T-shirts printed with illustrations of weeping musicians by Oswald Landmark and recycled nylon swimsuits bearing motifs lifted from hand-printed photographs by image-maker Ottilie Landmark.
The collection also saw O’Dwyer continue her use of organic natural fibres for shirting and tailoring, as well as introduce two natural-dyed fabrics, a heather poplin and lilac-grey linen, developed in collaboration with Cavan Macpherson.
Rounding off the striking collection was footwear created in collaboration with Tabitha Ringwood, including a dainty kitten heel in shirred calfskin and a square-toed ballet flat in satin and leather, alongside signature embroidered Mary Janes.