One of the most exciting shows of London Fashion Week – by one of London’s most exciting designers – took place quietly, on Saturday afternoon, in a dark, intimate space deep under the biannual event’s main venue. Having graduated from the Royal College of Art last year with a collection unlike anything you’ve seen before, Sinéad O’Dwyer made her debut on the LFW schedule with her second-ever, fully-realised SS20 offering.
As with her graduate offering, moulded silicone pieces swirled with vibrant shades of fuchsia, aquamarine, and canary yellow were worn by a succession of models unlike the ones more traditionally making their way down the runway during fashion week, their curves and folds highlighted by the spotlights trained on them.
Where last year’s pieces were modelled on O’Dwyer’s friend Jade Bruce Linton, this time around it was the turn of another in her close circle, artist Martina Dolcimascolo, to become the basis of the collection. With each piece a celebration of the unique nuances of Dolcimascolo’s body, the result is a celebratory and poignant collection, which conveys the sense of support and sisterhood that radiates from O’Dwyer’s work.
Also making its debut as part of the presentation was beautiful new film Wear Me Like Water, which premieres exclusively on Dazed today. Shot during the languid, lazy days of high summer at a sun-dappled outdoor pool, the short sees O’Dwyer join forces with Steph Wilson, after the fine artist and photographer approached her to use one of her pieces in a shoot.
“As soon as I saw it, I loved it,” explains the designer. “I knew immediately I wanted to make something with her, and it has been such an intuitive and lovely collaboration.” In fact, the whole project was created by an entirely female crew, with the director of photographer, Josephine Owe, flown in from Sweden, and the likes of artist and friend Agusta Yr Gudmundsdottir among the ‘model’ line-up. “There was such an amazing atmosphere on set,” O’Dwyer confirms.
A new photo zine, which follows on from the designer’s first, also accompanies the film’s launch (get your copy here). Poignantly, lifecast model Martina Dolcimascolo’s words have been interpreted as part of a foreword by Mahoro Seward, as she describes the way she feels when seeing her body collectively worn by the women in Wear Me Like Water: “Seen like this, I appreciate my body as a beautiful object, something worth exhibiting. It’s like when you see someone with oddly-coloured eyes. I see my body like that.”
Watch Wear Me Like Water below.