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Marques’Almeida’s East London Renaissance: A Homecoming to Remember at LFW

Amidst the bustling fashion cosmos that is London Fashion Week, there emerged a distinct microcosm of creativity at an abandoned brewery, where Marques’Almeida made a triumphant return to the LFW stage with their Fall/Winter 2024 showcase.

Led by the Portuguese design duo Marta Marques and Paulo Almeida, the brand’s sartorial procession felt like a nostalgic homecoming blended with a rebellious renaissance. Having temporarily relocated to their hometown of Porto during the COVID-19 pandemic, Marques’Almeida reasserted their dynamic presence in the city where it all began: East London. This geographical return not only paid homage to their formative years but also celebrated their stint at the pioneering emerging designer incubator, Fashion East—a pivotal decision that led to their prestigious LVMH Prize win in 2015.

In a striking collision of past, present, and future, Marques’Almeida orchestrated a runway spectacle that defied convention. Opting for a circular mode of presentation, the brand enlisted long-time friends and supporters—affectionately dubbed “M’A girls,” including i-D’s international editor Frankie Dunn—to model the collection. This unconventional approach mirrored the brand’s ethos of upcycling and reworking the past, albeit with a fresh perspective. The collection showcased traffic-stopping ombre denim skirts with raw hems, asymmetrical edges, and metallics—a hallmark of the brand—manifested in liquid olive sets and sumptuous shearling-lined aviator jackets.

Furthering their signature style, Marques’Almeida infused floral jacquard fabrics with a liquid gloss, transforming potentially matronly designs into contemporary statements. The runway also featured peplum-style vinyl outerwear and satin gowns, exuding an unpolished maximalism synonymous with Portuguese fashion, celebrated and emulated across social media platforms.

However, amidst the bold aesthetics, there was a subtle nod to familial joy, as children walked hand-in-hand with models—a testament to the brand’s intergenerational appeal. This tangible exuberance stemmed from the knowledge that these designs would likely be cherished heirlooms, bridging the gap between the old and the new.

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In essence, Marques’Almeida’s return to East London unveiled a cosmos of imagination, unfettered by transient trends or digital algorithms. As the fashion world eagerly anticipates their next endeavor, one thing remains certain: Marques’Almeida has once again cemented their status as pioneers of unapologetic, boundary-pushing fashion.

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As the curtain falls on another exhilarating London Fashion Week, Marques’Almeida’s East London renaissance lingers—a testament to the enduring power of creativity and the indelible influence of home.

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