Written by Jake Wright
Images by Zbigniew Kotkiewicz courtesy of Ilaria Lepore
Showcasing her SS20 collection at a club called E1, Ilaria Lepore brought dark and twisted theatre to the runway.
When I got the invite for Ilaria’s show, I knew this would be a show that I wouldn’t want to miss. The moment I saw the ‘I’ in her name replaced with an upside down cross, I instantly thought this would be something dark and different. The venue only further reinforced that, E1 has hosted some of the best techno events London has had to offer since it opened last year.
What followed was a theatrical performance in almost complete darkness. Industrial dance music played in the background whilst two performers came out at a time. Through dance and silent acting they told a story whilst deconstructing the designer’s garments. It was intelligently done, it was clear the performance was based around the versatility of the clothing. The designs looked like they could be worn in maybe three different ways and for personal styling would likely be a dream.
The designs themselves were typical of Ilaria’s aesthetic, the garments were black and based around elongated shapes. Each item played with gender, no item was obvious and Ilaria asked us questions on how we perceived gender through her designs. The designer stated in the press release that her show was a reaction to “consumption, confusion and a loss of identity” in our society that comes from a “fashion paradox.”
For an emerging designer, I like the way Ilaria thinks outside of the box, constantly pushing for change whether it’s for gender neutrality or driving for a more “progressive sexual attitude” in the industry. Ilaria has found her voice early on and it will be exciting to see how she further develops over time.