Jiri Kalfar SS19 London Fashion Week

The Jiri Kalfar SS19 collection was dripping with opulence; decadent jewels, beading and sequins adorned seventies inspired silhouettes. Drawing inspiration from Studio 54, David Bowie and Diana Ross, the retro designs included floaty flared jumpsuits, extreme high-waisted trousers and pussy-bow blouses, creating a boogie wonderland. There was also a strong folksy, almost Arabic influence in many of the designs, with drop arm sleeves, cropped waistcoats, delicate embroidery and mesmerising paisley patterns.

The colour scheme was somewhat subtle and muted in parts, with soft pinks and khaki greens, but sandwiched between bold, intense, maximalist colour, from cobalt blue to postbox red. Key looks included a head-to-toe metallic blue beaded two-piece on a flip-flop wearing male model, and a matching outfit ‘for her’; the same beautiful embellished fabric in a one shoulder flared skater dress and co-ordinating over the knee platform boots. Sustainability stood at the heart of this new season offering; emphasising the future of fashion despite the nostalgic aesthetic. Through the use of zero waste pattern cutting, recycled materials, 3D printing, as well as avoiding all use of leather and fur and even utilising high tech mushroom leather, Jiri Kalfar is embracing ethics with a passion.

“The fashion industry is a dirty industry and I think it’s important to start getting the word across because then people get it. I’ve seen actually a lot of big brands changing their policy on sustainability and I think it’s because the fashion world is changing and if the small designers don’t speak out, then the big ones won’t follow. It’s important. At least lead by example.”- Jiri Kalfar, Fashion Scout

The designer himself ended the show in a t-shirt emblazoned with ‘No excuse for animal abuse’. This is luxury, re-imagined, with the planet put on a pedestal for once.

By Ruth MacGilp. Images Simon Armstrong.