London Fashion Week SS16 is fast approaching and Madame Soho is truly excited – particularly as it’s set to take place in our beloved Soho for the first time. And to demonstrate our appreciation of British style ahead of the prestigious event which gets underway this Friday, we decided to shoot a scene in the Brewer Street Car Park – the space where all of the action will occur.
The Brewer Street Car Park is located in the centre of Soho – London’s cultural heartbeat – and provides not only an epicenter for London Fashion Week with its close proximity to major retail spaces, but it also points towards a homecoming of British fashion to the area that played a significant role in the birth of modern British style.
Since the postwar period, Soho has been a magnetic lure for youth subcultures. During the 50’s her boisterous coffee shops and nocturnal, smoky basements were overflowing with sharply dressed jazz-cats, dandies and hipsters. And in the 60s, Soho was a stylish ( and gritty ) continuation of the jazz scene which eventually evolved into the mod subculture. During the 70’s, the punk movement – perhaps the most important counterculture in British history – snarled in the faces of the establishment and the monarchy. All of these youth cultures were a part of the fabric of Soho and have continued to inspire British fashion.
One of the most recent homegrown talents to arrive on the scene and push the boundaries in British fashion, for instance, is designer Sadie Clayton. Clayton’s work embodies an industrial meets chic aesthetic. Her rebellious designs and avant-garde shapes – which marries materials such as copper with opulent fabrics – look to be made for a space like Soho which has historically been an area that encompasses diversity and edginess.
Clayton kindly borrowed Madame Soho some of her intricate pieces so we could embark on our shoot. Our event at The Brewer Street Car Park was a nod towards London Fashion Week, a celebration of British style, and a rejection of historic, cultural landmarks being shut down – we shot our model wearing Clayton’s innovative clothing coupled with a fetish mask in protest against the closure of Madame Jojo’s.
London Fashion Week SS16 has much to be excited about. Its arrival in Soho sees the UK’s top designers returning to the birthplace of British style – and that is truly enthralling.
Words by Ray Kinsella Photos by Ki Price
Model wears Sadie Clayton
Exclusive interview with Sadie Clayton coming soon