After showing in Paris last season, Mowalola is back in London for FW23, but she still has some pieces from New York City. Mowalola's "Dark Web" collection looked at the end of the physical world as we know it just before it was bought out by the tech elites.
This collection was a perfect example of what designer Mowalola does best: bold, bright, and playful designs, like the mini-dresses, a subversive take on leather, through its mini skirts and crop tops, or even the "Passport" t-shirt, all while making a purposeful social statement with her use of appropriated big brand logos, like the McDonald's "M" turned "Mowalola" on a cap.
Famous people like Rico Nasty and Slawn (as well as his baby) walked the runway for Mowalola, which was also interesting. Overall, the collection was bold, subversive, and politically charged.
Mowalola's scattered use of the New York Yankees' logo brought the East Coast to London. The logo was first seen as a round buckle on a belt. Since then, it has been seen on a bomber-style jacket, a yellow leather jacket with zips going through the arms, and a pair of black boots that come up to the calf. Not only did the Yankees deal with bootlegging, but so did the MoMA, whose font was used to write "MoWA" on hoodies.
A week before the show, the designer teased her upcoming collection on Instagram by posting a picture of a pair of low-rise leather pants with a trick-of-the-eye effect that gave BDE. The risqué pants were shown on the runway with a few other similar pieces, like a black miniskirt with white details and a long black skirt with purple details. Trompe l'oeil was also used in less shocking ways, like on two long white skirts with black and red details that made them look like pants.
This season, the classic Bundle bags from Mowalola came in XXL sizes. Both a simple burgundy and a black one with the Mowalola logo on the shoulder straps were seen. There was also a neon green and brown cow print version and a yellow one with face-shaped graffiti on the front. There was also a smaller version of the yellow one. We saw a round, flat "NYC Sewer" bag with a new shape that looked just like the street entrance to the sewers.
Mowalola has always used cutouts as a part of her subversive style, but this season there were more of them, and they were in even stranger places. The show began with skirts that hung from the middle of the thighs and were held up by side straps that went to the waist of the skirts, leaving the upper thighs bare. Some of the cutouts were funny, like taking out the front pockets of jeans and leather pants. This technique was probably most fun on a fitted black dress with a square cutout at the waist and the words "Insert Disc Here" and an arrow pointing to it.
The CSM designer has worked with ASICS before, so she is no stranger to shoe collaborations. This time, Timberland and Mowalola are working together. The upper of the shoes had a perforated Yankees logo, which kept with the New York theme. The collaboration also took the form of a shoulder back, with a model carrying a black Timberland boot over her shoulder.