Simon Mo SS19 at London Fashion Week

You know when show season rolls around and there’s a handful of designers that you always look forward to seeing?  Well Simon Mo is one of those for me and it’s because he’s a safe bet in many ways.  Mo is a designer who has his feet firmly in the sustainable fashion camp, an eco warrior with style, but there’s always a quirk within each collection, and that’s the thing that draws me in.  I’m all for sustainability and producing more ethical collections, however with so many designers more conscious of where their cotton is sourced now, and where their pieces are made, sometimes the fashion suffers at the hands of the message.

Simon Mo however, does both, really well.  This SS19 collection focusses on the nature and beauty of our world, with significant inspiration taken from the ocean.  It’s a fun, contemporary collection that despite its serious underlying message, manages to remain upbeat.  The nautical inspired collection focuses significantly on the ocean, and the impact of pollution as a direct result of human behaviour.  After seeing viral image “The sewage surfer” of a seahorse clingong tightly onto a q-tip taken by Justin Hofman in 2017, Mo used this as inspiration for his collection and to shine a light on the long term ecological damage caused by using plastics.  It’s a message we’re seeing more and more of in the fashion industry and this season we were all involved in the filming of a BBC documentary as part of the Stacey Dooley Investigates series which seeks to explore the effects of fast fashion.

Growing up on an island country, surrounded by sea, Mo felt a strong sense of personal responsibility and urgency to draw plastic pollution to people’s attention.  In that same vein, using the ocean as a frame of reference Mo initiated research with one of his favourite stories – Sinbad the Sailor. Full of adventure, myth and fantasy, the story tells of a time where gods and human alike revered the power of the ocean.  The collection itself was presented in runway format and maintained that playful edge we’ve come to know and expect from Mo, there’s a definite synonymous style there and it’s an aesthetic I’m a fan of.
Clean lines, obvious shades of blue throughout, references to vintage scuba diving suits in the elongated shoulders and the hats with dipped brims that now seem to be statement pieces throughout Mo’s collections.  SS19 Seas The Day is a collection with more of a purpose than just selling clothes.  In 2018 more designers than ever are recognising a need for change and responsibility.  The fashion industry is responsible for more than we are currently aware of as consumers and for designers to begin to move towards responsibility and sustainability is one big step.  Communicating a message through an ethically sourced and produced collection is another thing entirely.

Mo is a designer with a conscience, and one that I enjoy watching at work.


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