KNWLS SS23 Pairs Punk with Playful at London Fashion Week
It’s called range luv xx.
It’s called range luv xx.
Text: Jacob Imber
South London-based label KNWLS throws an edgy spin on “Y2k starlet elegance” at this season’s London Fashion Week.
The brand’s SS23 line, spearheaded by design duo Charlotte Knowles and Alexandre Arsenault, features brand staples like ultra-low-rise jeans, cross-hatched lacework, and sturdy leather outerwear. Meanwhile, the collection pops with ethereal hues and abstract silhouettes, infusing the pieces with forward-thinking elements of avant-garde.
The first several looks of the show thrust hazy patterns into the spotlight, setting the tone for exciting grunge with a touch of nostalgia. A breathable gown lays the canvas for bleached florals that bloom across the high-contrast garment. This sepia-toned design evokes a vintage roll of film with gleaming metal studs adding a taste of grittiness.The collection’s bleached patterns morph seamlessly into acid-washed denim, transporting us into London’s pop-grunge scene of the early 2000s. Industrial meets delicate in a thick-stitched jean miniskirt buttoned over a faded plaid bodysuit that zigzags across the torso. An olive-toned, gauzy sweater elevates the look with delicate accents on the hem and sleeves, creating a layered effect that ties the look together.KNWLS synthesizes the show’s first half in a multi-garment display of artful punk. Acid wash returns on a worn-in Tencel trench coat that cinches at the waist under a chunky, studded belt. This outer layer drapes with easy elegance while leaning into its heavy qualities. Beneath the coat lies another sepia-tinted floral garment, this one bearing smaller flowers that twist across a form-fitting pants-top set. The underpieces are light and graceful, a clever contrast with the assertive denim.
Topping off this outfit is a coiled earring with gold and clear resin bangles, designed in collaboration with Parisian jeweler Marco Panconesi. This statement piece feels unabashed and dynamic, and it underscores the hardware details in the trench coat and belt.A nude-toned corset closes the show on an intimate, slightly understated note. The structured garment acts as a centerpiece for flowing trousers and a translucent top, both printed with KNWLS’s signature plaid. This look encapsulates the collection’s focus on weighted-airy combos, a high-contrast pairing that the label masters.SS23 is a win for Knowles and Arsenault, whose newest collection is a testament to thoughtful risk-taking. The designs are both moody and celebratory, and KNWLS navigates that difficult niche with beautiful confidence.