Aaron Esh Fall 2024 Ready-to-Wear Collection

London maintains its reputation as a center for cutting-edge fashion because of talents like Aaron Esh. The designer, who is currently receiving support and mentorship from the Saraband Foundation, presented an evocative sophomore collection in a salon-style presentation at the organization’s East London headquarters. A quick glance at the front row revealed Esh’s industry endorsement.

A hush descended as guests settled into their seats; suddenly, music erupted from the speakers—a discordant fusion of indie rock melodies deftly curated by DJ John Gosling—sending vibrations through the fold-out chairs. The first model, runway star Kiki Willems, emerged wearing a compelling sheer midi dress paired with a gray skinny scarf, followed by models clad in glittering jeans, impeccably tailored coats, and crystal-adorned pumps. It all evoked blurry snapshots of Kate Moss strolling home at 5 AM which isn’t surprising given that the designer arrived at the collection’s slim pants silhouette by sourcing and unraveling vintage Kate Moss x Topshop jeans as part of his research. Esh has a gift for straddling the fine line between ultra-modern sophistication and the raw allure of subcultural icons—“Like a bottle of prosecco, but with a spoon in it,” he quipped ahead of the show.

A standout this season is the cocoon form, which mixes inspiration from the sleek, ’50s designs of Pierre Cardin and noughties club kids, and is achieved by integrating raglan sleeves into tops and outerwear. (That shape is also present in the sensually draped backs on leather trenches and satin wool jackets.) Every button is meticulously covered in fabric, echoing the centuries-old practices of haute couture maisons. “It’s a fusion of Parisian classicism, where construction and form is everything, with this nonchalant wardrobe that embodies the spirit of East London,” Esh added. A midriff-bearing hoodie with a high neck and oversized hood was another manifestation of the high-low mood. Sheer backless evening dresses, flowing maxi skirts (some accompanied by satin cummerbunds), and keyhole jersey tops further showcased the designer’s skill at draping. In the accessory domain, oversized shades evoked the fashion sensibilities of Mary-Kate Olsen from the early ’00s, while a chic top-handle bag was crafted from contrasting black leathers and added a refined touch amid the logo-adorned baseball caps in faded hues. Models wore the brand’s popular smart yet cartoon-like Comma lace-up shoes.

The memorable finale look—a floor-length coat dress with a pouf at the hem, constructed from iridescent faux pony skin made of wool—paid homage to Esh’s unmistakable bubble  silhouette, first unveiled at his Central Saint Martins graduate show in 2022. Being a buzzed-about name in fashion brings its own pressures, but the designer seems prepared to navigate this newfound attention. “It’s hard enough to find the money to make all of this happen; I’m not bothered about being known as a personality, or even to walk out at the end of my own show, for that matter,” he asserted. Two things are clear: With patience and tenacity Esh is bound to soar; and skinny jeans have officially made a comeback.

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