AKT X LONDON FASHION WEEK with SUSTAINABLE FASHION DESIGNER PATRICK MCDOWELL
This week AKT was invited to sponsor and feature in LONDON FASHION WEEK. Can you believe it!?
AKT was supporting the incredible, sustainable fashion designer, Patrick McDowell who unveiled his latest collection on his first independent show, hosted at The Mills Fabrica, retelling the fantastical story of Cinderella in ‘Cinderella shall go to the football’. His work combined the opulence and magic of Cinderella with culturally iconic sportswear.
Patrick explained that as a Queer, working class northerner, the masculinity in football forced an interesting relationship when trying to navigate his own gender expression.
“This collection is my chance to take something that traditionally excludes Queer people and reclaim that space”
McDowell’s aim was to redefine the beautiful game and further Queer culture in football; a historically exclusionary space to so many. Patrick reflects this by designing free of gender norms, blurring lines between princess and punter.
“What someone chooses to wear can allow people from all walks of life to feel something new, to lift their heads higher and feel empowered.”
McDowells philosophy remains true to his sustainable ethos and practice, working with solely recycled and sustainably sourced materials. Each piece from the edit was designed and made in London with a low carbon footprint and will be available on a made-to-order basis.
To further his commitment to sustainability, Patrick McDowell collaborated with many sustainable brands such as Ecologi, Olivanna and you guessed it… AKT London. We were honoured to offer The Deodorant Balm to every model walking the runway, keeping their clothes stain free, body odour to a minimum and their confidence at an all time high. As well as this, AKT deodorant was provided to every guest attending the show.
Before the show, our founder, Andy, met with Patrick McDowell behind the scenes to talk about the inspiration behind his edit and how he incorporated elements of AKT into the show. We’ve added the video below if you prefer to watch, however, we’ve also transcribed the best bits for those who love a little read.
ANDY: What is the theme behind your show?
PATRICK: So the theme is ‘Cinderella shall go to the football’ and like all my collections, I try to have a personal message between me and my childhood.
For me, this is so different for me as growing up in Northern England I was surrounded by a huge football atmosphere and the rivalry between Liverpool and Everton. I had no interest, in fact I felt very excluded from football as a Queer person and would much rather watch Cinderella everyday as I felt so connected to the transformative aspect of Cinderella as a character.
So this show is a way to reclaim the space of football for Queer people and showing what it could look like if it was a safe space for us.
ANDY: Now as you know AKT is about performing. What is it like putting on a show in the fashion industry?
PATRICK: I think in many ways it is similar to doing a show in the theatre or on any stage. It may feel intense as it's happening in such a short space of time. The show itself is only a few minutes long however, it's the culmination of many people's efforts and time over a period of six months. So although the actual show is short, what it represents is really incredible.
ANDY: When we created AKT, we wanted to create a deodorant that would protect your clothes and avoid creating a product that would only add to fast fashion. Why is sustainability so important to you as a designer?
PATRICK: After working in the fashion industry for many years it was clear we had a huge waste problem, which is something that never made sense to me. So working sustainably as a designer myself is something that felt completely natural and felt like the modern way to run a successful business.
The fashion industry is known for making a huge amount of clothing and it should be our responsibility to produce and manage this in a sustainable way. At Patrick McDowell we have created a business that incorporates sustainability into every level and has approached sustainability holistically.
We always look at how we can make things better, it’s always an evolving journey and we hope future shows of ours can be even more sustainable than this one. I hope this can be a great message for anyone to take away when viewing a show.
ANDY: Why have you chosen to partner with AKT?
PATRICK: I myself wear AKT everyday and as someone who wore crystal deodorant for eight years, I found it incredible that AKT didn’t mark my clothes… as you know clothes are very important to me!
The difference is that AKT works so much better. It means I can work these incredibly long days that are physical and draining, yet I still feel fresh at the end of the day, which is an incredible gift to anyone who leads a busy life.
So when I find a product I believe in that's plastic free and natural, it’s amazing for me to champion that in my shows. All of our brand partners do their bit to help try and make the planet a better place but also to show that you can make amazing products that are still good for the environment. That’s what I’ve done for my clothes and that’s what you’ve done with your deodorant.
ANDY: Lastly… have you made all the models wear it?
PATRICK: Of course, they all have it downstairs!
Once again we want to thank Patrick McDowell for letting us feature AKT in ‘Cinderella shall go to the Football’ alongside a HUGE congratulations for putting on such an amazing and successful show. We can’t wait to see what else is in store for you.
Watch the interview for youself here: