Standing against the stigma of mental health, IA London presents another signature and symbolic collection this London Fashion Week. Representing all the misconceptions of mental illnesses through colour contrasts, deconstructed garments and eye-catching digital prints IA London taps into the complexity of the human mind this AW20 season.
British Award-winning Avantgarde fashion brand; IA London was founded in 2017 by designer Ira Iceberg in aims to deliver artists content in the form of distictive-looking garments and accessories.
Bypassing all social norms, IA London takes their latest AW20 collection back to the 13th century. Inspired by mental health and more specifically; the oldest psychiatric hospital in the world - the Bethlem Royal Hospital (also known as Bedlam) the collection flaunts psychological resilience. The hospital later became one of London's most popular landmarks, becoming so infamous that name Bedlam came to mean confusion and chaos, which is what IA London exhibits in their AW20 collection.
Challenging contemporary and old-fashioned, acceptable normalities IA London means to "disrupt the status quo" by telling stories of people who attended the notorious Bedlam, where patients were treated in despicable ways. This included being suspended from the ceiling known as rotational therapy, other patients were spun in chairs in front of paying punters amidst other bizarre and sinister treatments.
Ira was further inspired in IA London's AW20 collection by the novel 'One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest' by Ken Kesey which depicted asylums as a mechanism designated to de-face and break patients. This season IA London continues its eccentric stance on contemporary fashion, Ira's clever combination of darkened colours alongside yellow hues symbolise corruption, anger and heavy emotion insinuated from mental health cases.
The presentation's atmosphere was hugely dramatised by the demonstrative actions of the models; some were pinned and handcuffed to the wall, some were inspected by doctors and the finale included all models huddled in a plastic bag case created by the white-coated doctors. All illustrating the stories Ira was inspired by, the garments combined with the models, solidified the realism of mental health's stigma in today's society.
Ira ensures that her designs are sustainable, by using eco-friendly fabrics, producing items strictly in England and guaranteeing a sustainable manufacturing method.
Photography by Henry Nash