Labels like Erdem and Yufezi approached Fall/Winter 2023 in pursuit of innovation, pulling from the past and the future to inform fashion’s present

As London Fashion Week drew to a close, we reckoned with the new beginnings it marked. On Thursday, there was the memorial honoring Vivienne Westwood: a figure representative of the British capital’s creative landscape—equal parts traditional and radical and ever-changing—who would be front-of-mind for designers new and old as they navigated the loss of an icon. From seemingly distant ends of the London design scene, brands relate in their pursuit of innovation—drawing from the past and the future to define the creative present.

Erdem Moralioğlu resolved to become a designer as an intern, as he sat on Westwood’s studio floor. “She was just such an extraordinary, amazing woman,” he told the Guardian. “Naturally, she is very much on my mind.” His namesake label Erdem debuted its Fall/Winter 2023 collection on Sunday, influenced heavily by the Victorian silhouettes the late designer often toyed with—they came to the forefront of Moralioğlu’s mind as he explored his Bloomsbury townhouse, discovering traces of widowed inhabitants from many decades past. Erdem’s presentation was gothic and buttoned-up, showcased against the black walls of the Sadler Wells Theater under starkly hung light bulbs: crinolines, embroidered petticoats, opera gloves, puffed sleeves, sheer shawls, and sculptural floor-length skirts, richly colored across a spectrum of green and yellow and purple and black.

The label Yufezi, on the other hand, gave a distinctly modern presentation, displaying its most recent constructions from a venue overlooking the London skyline. Naza Yousefi set out to experiment, testing the boundaries of newfound materials and silhouettes, for a collection embodying the spontaneity of arts and crafts. The resulting garments are knotted and satin-stitched, asymmetrical and expertly oversized: suits with roomy pockets, denim sets, bowtied heels, and iterations on classic handbags in silver and bubblegum pink.

Fashion photographer Peter Lowe captures each collection in turn, snapshotting a city in flux.