Katie Ann McGuigan AW19 London Fashion Week

 

Katie Ann McGuigan’s AW19 collection explored the designer’s fascination with the gender-inclusive Japanese Bösözuku, a biker subculture that gained popularity in the 80s and 90s.

McGuigan’s interpretation built on the concept of a powerful all-girl underground biker gang, with her signature references to vintage imagery. This sat alongside a playful use of pattern and volume, with statement prints and sports luxe silhouettes splashed with the designer’s bold maximalist graphics.

Founded in the 1950s and known for their heavily stylised custom motorcycles, the Bōsōzuku aesthetic is associated with modified utility jumpsuits and military leather jackets emblazoned with slogans, Japanese hachimaki headbands, and surgical masks. For Katie Ann McGuigan AW19 we saw this uniform translated into a collection bursting with print and texture, and layered pieces in a luminous colour palette of elevated pastels in lilac, mint, ochre, and jade.

Heavy motorcycle leathers were styled alongside sheer organzas, whilst sporty technical fabrics were paired with thermochromic textiles, textured chunky knits, and utility boiler suits intricately embellished with bold neon roses.  Ethereal tulle frocks and panelled prints were splashed liberally with custom slogans, in McGuigan’s playful approach to translucence and opacity.

A classic biker jacket in a bold graphic print was styled with a diaphanous skirt. Gently tailored pieces paired with structured leather dresses, and soft puffer gilets were styled with everything, from tulle tutus to 90s-inspired lilac plaid. We saw the designer’s love of colour and texture, with repeating patterns, embossed leathers, neon brocades, roses, and ginghams, as well as slogans shouting “Roadrunner” and “Highway Danger” throughout the collection.

Born and bred in Ireland, McGuigan studied Fashion at the University of Westminster before creating her eponymous brand in 2016. She has become synonymous with high end ready-to-wear, with an interest in print design and intriguing silhouettes. AW19 demonstrated just how fierce and vibrant the brand - and its biker girl gang - has become. Just like the women of the Bosozuku.

By Lucie Dhog. Images Shot for us by Lucy Ranson.