IN A digital presentation shown on Friday, New York-born designer Michael Halpern paid tribute to the “heroines of the frontline.” Unveiled as part of London Fashion Week, Halpern cast eight essential workers to star in a film and series of portraits for the brand’s SS21 collection.

Inspired by the “individuality, courage and joie de vivre” of the UK’s public service workers, the presentation saw each muse modelling two looks from the collection – the designs drawing on the spirit of haute couture while exuding the disco-inspired glamour synonymous with the label.

“To me, times of re-emergence call for pure creation: the most uplifting feeling I can think of,” said the London-based designer in a press statement, who moved to the British capital almost a decade ago to obtain a masters at Central Saint Martins. “I didn’t design this collection with cocktail parties or ballrooms in mind, but purely from the desire to capture in dressmaking the individuality embodied by savoir-faire, and the joy it brings to those who wear it.”

And, joyful it was – with feathered ombré puffball dresses featuring alongside glossy emerald polka dots, leopard jacquards and plenty of sequins (would it be a Halpern collection without them?).

As is to be expected, the designer himself summed up the collection perfectly, as a cheerful “celebration of the women on the frontline for anyone it may inspire and uplift.”

by Joshua Hendren

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