Art School Fall 2021 Ready-to-Wear Collection

The march forward for diversity and representation in London continues in unison under the aegis of the Eden Loweth School of Art. This season, despite the pandemic, he has managed to put together an extensive COVID-secured recording of a parade in the cavernous space of the Truman Brewery in London. Out of the Fog came Ascension, a curated collection with an extensive cast of London Trans + Pride members; Loweth’s close group of fashion industry friends; and two non-binary stars of RuPaul’s Drag Race in the UKBimini Bon Boulash and A’Whora.

Loweth is taking her position of trust as an activist figurehead who is elevating the visibility of marginalized communities even more seriously in this time of turmoil. After meeting Lucia Blayke and Emily Crooked of London Trans+ Pride earlier last year, they decided together it was right to go ahead with a show of force. “We need this to be a message of hope,” Loweth said in a previous Zoom call from his studio. “It not only puts money in the pockets of people who model, it shows people in our community that there is light at the end of the tunnel. Trans people and people of color have been hardest hit in the past year.There is a huge problem of violence against trans people, especially trans women in America.

The positive action at the heart of the show is matched only by the clothes of the École des Beaux-Arts. In the short space of the season since Loweth has been solely responsible for the brand, the focus of the collection has focused on a vision of the rugged elegance it has to offer all. There is drama, sure, but if ever there was any concern that performative costumes would get in the way of real clothes, that has now been decisively resolved. “Clothes should be something people can wear and spend their lives in — real, practical things,” Loweth said. On one side, there are coats and leather pieces; on the other, iterations of dresses, voluminous or cut on the bias. Her attention to designing different body shapes now extends to floor-length linen smocked dresses with a grand and haughty simplicity about them. Good all-rounder for day or night, those.

Part of that learning came from listening to customer feedback – Loweth heard from mentors Natalie Kingham of MatchesFashion.com, Cozette McCreery and Mimma Viglezio, all of whom walked the runway. When the going gets tough, the rally tough. Coming out of such an extreme period of vulnerability, it could be that art school and all it says about community and equality will emerge stronger than ever.

Kayleen C. Rice