LFWM SS20: Bethany Williams

AT LFW AW19, Bethany Williams’s unwavering determination to create a fashion brand centred on sustainability became internationally recognized when she was rewarded the Queen Elizabeth II Award. Since graduating from London College of Fashion in 2016 with a MA in Menswear, designer Bethany Williams has shown us that fashion does not have to come at the expense of sustainability and social responsibility – two values that have remained at the heart of her brand and are further present with her SS20 LFWM collection, The Butterfly Café.

The new collection references Williams’s work with Spires, a London-based charity working with homeless and disadvantaged people. The collection’s namesake comes from the Spires’s Butterfly Café, a weekly session run by the charity for vulnerable women as a safe space where they can socialise, eat and participate in arts and crafts. The sessions were named after the transformative effect they had on these women lives as they were welcomed in a space where they weren’t marginalized or isolated. Paralleling Spires’s Butterfly Café, William’s collection meditates on themes of growth, transformation and development through thoughtful collaborations and hand-crafted designs.

The brand showcases their commitment towards sustainable materials and creation through many of the basic fabrics of the pieces. Classic knitted sweaters are made from ocean waste plastic yarn from Wool and the Gang and recycled denim yarn, all knitted by her mother, friend Alice Morell Evans and the designer herself.

Williams also introduces more fitted and tailored styles that feature a colourful edge, contrasting multicolour stripes and dynamic patterns act as a playful touch to some of the more structured pieces.

Working with multiple social organisations and programmes such as Making for Change, The Manx Disability Workshop and San Patrignano, the collection features many pieces woven from recycled textiles from tenting material. In collaboration with illustrator Giorgia Chiarion, the prints for this collection are made to evoke a sense of security and safety, the outcome of which is captivating— subtle tropical yellows and greens create kaleidoscopic patterns that reflect our natural environment.

Williams will donate 20 per cent of this season’s profits to Spires, demonstrating that the brand’s social responsibility and outreach does not stop after the collection finishes.

by Mirabella Shahidullah

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