Returning to the runway this season was Osman Yousefzada, who treated his guests to an afternoon at Amazonico restaurant in Mayfair. A fitting venue for the designer (who is a passionate sustainability advocate) in that the restaurant supports reforestation schemes such as One Tree Planted. Continuing on that line,
Osman’s most commendable feature about his S/S22 collection was his exploration into biodegradable clothing.
Working in collaboration with Tencel, Osman created fifteen of his looks with a sustainably sourced, renewable wood pulp fabric, a lyocell filament yarn similar to that of silk, but registered with the Vegan Society and certified as fully sustainable and biodegradable.
According to the designers’ show notes, the collection presented “…a story of opposing elements and emotions,” which, in respect, it delivered.
However, you couldn’t help but come away from the show feeling a little overwhelmed by its contrasts and conflictions, which wasn’t helped by its production. Although bathed in beautiful, lavish surroundings (albeit a little too dark to see the clothes), the physical showcase felt fragmented. For example, halfway through the runway, a poet stepped out to read a piece about the planet, highlighting the show’s title “What Happened to Last Season’s clothes?” Although poignant and at times moving, it would have been more effective at the start of the show to set the scene; instead, it served as a strange break between looks, which emphasized a disconnect within the collection overall.
Away from the production, there were elements of the collection that worked and some perhaps – not so much. Osman’s “opposing elements” were at times too contrasting. Couture-esque opera coats met sheer catsuits; tailored dinner jackets were paired with leather bralettes and cycle shorts, see-through dresses met bulky undergarments and odd, cocooning bonnets framed a series of playsuits and mini-dresses. In a collection that objected to creation for the sake of creation, these were the pieces the designer could have done without.
Where Osman saw success was within his tailored looks and his unique play on textiles, which would serve him to build upon in the coming seasons.
A series of hand-loomed tailored coats came covered in decorative counter stitches, presenting an artisanal update on the pin-stripe that worked beautifully. Elsewhere, Osman’s embellishments, adornments and ornate textiles elevated a series of tailored two-piece looks and a dramatic black dress, adding an artisanal spin that felt like a step in the right direction for the brand.