If you don’t follow us on Instagram (rude) then you won’t know that we partnered up with the insanely gorgeous and talented mega babe Rae Tilly. We sat down with Rae to find out all the deets’ from fashion week, from her fave street style trends to her spilling the tea on the fashion industry.
Read on to find out more, and head over to our Insta to see the highlights.
Tell the NGO Zine readers a little bit about yourself
I am a multi-hyphenate doing a ton of creative things between London and Berlin. I am an editorial photographer, art director, and producer and I also run an independent platform called YEOJA Mag, which is all about showcasing boss women from underrepresented communities. I’m also pretty active on social media, where I share my fashion over at @raetilly.
© Hannah Parent/Rae Tilly
What LFW shows inspired you most & why?
So, I am a huuuuuge fan of streetwear. I was dying over Bobby Abley. The designs were incredible, and he is someone who is able to take a source of inspiration and run with it in such a unique but relevant way - this season’s inspiration was pulled from The Wizard of Oz. The casting was also spot on and it was so incredible to see a POC-dominated runway. I was also a huge fan of House of Holland, pushBUTTON, Poster Girl, DB Berdan (more on them in a bit), Jimmy Paul (who collaborated with Hello Kitty), Punk Rave, Jamie Wei Huang, and UNDERAGE.
What were the key trends amongst the different designers?
Neon seems to still be a key colour for SS20, as does the Y2K influence, which I was happily surprised to see. Fashion moves so much quicker these days, so to see these elements of inspiration (which of course have been re-interpreted for a contemporary context) still influencing designs is dope. I picked out some dropped waistlines and baggy fits for trousers (Jamie Wei Huang) and lots of colour and baggy fits at DB Berdan and Bobby Abley. Sheer fabrics, blazers, and a bit of preppy collegiate pieces also popped up during LFW, esp. at House of Holland.
What trend excites you most for SS20?
Loose fits and colour, I am always a fan of both.
Fave LFW show and why?
Show wise I would have to say Bobby Abley. The garments, casting, and production was bang on and the music selection really drove the energy of the show.
What were the key street style trends?
I was actually quite surprised to see a lot more tailored dressy fits and was a bit disappointed at the lack of street wear.
If you could collab with any of the designers for YEOJA Mag, who would it be and why?
Do I have to pick just one? LOL. DB Berdan for their aesthetic and continued support for the LGBTQ+ community, Bobby Abley and Poster Girl because the designs are impeccable.
What would you like to see more of next season from LFW and the designers?
So, I was really proud to see that we have come a long way when it comes to ethnic diversity in casting models, but we still have a very long way to go when it comes to casting different body sizes and shapes as well as people from other marginalised communities. There is this notion that each season focuses on a key element, and last season was diversity. This season it was sustainability (or an attempt at sustainability) and it seems like fashion week misses the mark by only incorporating the current social element of the season and forgetting what last season was meant to highlight, which makes me feel that it’s more for show than an honest attempt at radical long term and lasting change.
Any key stand-out moments for creative direction/styling/models from any shows and why?
DB Berdan. Their FW show in February stood out to me because they take the time to really art direct and think about their set and the story they are trying to tell, and it was no different this season during their presentation. Impeccable casting of diverse faces, well thought out set design, as well as live performances.
Which designers do you feel take fashion further than just being a visual form of expression and creation?
Again, DB Berdan. I am so happy to see two individuals who really champion social causes throughout their collections. Fashion is inherently political - but there are designers who choose not to speak about the impact (either passive or direct) that they themselves as well as the fashion industry as a whole has on the world around them, let alone loudly call for change and inclusivity and this is something DB Berdan has never shied away from. In fact, they lean into this.
Different groups use LFW to push forward their own agendas, how do you feel about this?
Whenever there is a highly visible event that draws crowds, people unrelated will try and capitalize on this and draw attention to their own agendas. We see this a lot during fashion week with environmental and animal rights groups. The issue I have about these tactics are that they tend to lump everyone involved in and related to fashion with a singular negative brush. I run an intersectional feminist magazine which champions for more visibility and attention to marginalised communities, but I also love the artistry and exploration of identity that is intrinsically linked to fashion and personal style.
I am an activist for human causes and also focus on how I can personally lesson my carbon footprint - I eat as plant based as possible (bearing in mind my allergies that prevent me from being 100% plant based for the rest of my life), I do not own a car and I bike or take public transportation. I do more than the average person (who I am also not criticizing) but to groups who choose to protest outside of fashion week, they would lump me in with everyone else. In addition, I am not the only one trying to create change from the inside who also sees value in self-expression.
I met someone during fashion week who has found makeup and fashion instrumental in their exploration of their sexuality and identity- an identity not readily accepted by the mainstream. While I agree in principle with the cause that Extinction Rebellion is fighting for, they protested outside of the show whilst DB Berdan’s presentation - which was all about questioning heteronormative spaces specifically in sports - was taking place. In their fight to bring attention to environmental issues, they forget that there are other people out there fighting for other causes that effect other groups who still need visibility and equality.
I think the intent is good, but the delivery and assumptions made about “fashion people” are misplaced. Are there issues in the fashion industry? 100%. Should they be addressed? Heck yes. But is all fashion inherently wrong or is fashion worse than any other industry? No. And yet, it seems to be fashion events specifically that get hijacked by other activists who seem to focus more on shaming and shock value than anything else. Again, I am 100% down with the cause. We NEED to focus on the environment but there are people working in the inside working towards this and other causes. And as an activist myself, I find creating my own events or participating in positive action with others is the best way to try and bring people to your cause.
Thank you so much! Final question - what was your fave NGO piece you wore at LFW?
My favourite piece was by far the first look I wore which I styled in this slightly neo-cyber, gothic kind of way. I loved the dress so much and it is so versatile as well. It would look great on its own in summer with heels but is also a perfect piece for layering in fall and winter.
© Hannah Parent/Rae Tilly
Coffee or tea? Tea
Heels or flats? Flats
Skirts or pants? Pants
Rings or bracelets? Rings
Shellac or acrylic? Shellac
Bold eye or bold lip? Bold eye
Hair up or hair down? Hair down