Hector McLean’s SS24 collection inspired by Virginia Woolf’s ‘Orlando’ presented at the London Fashion Week focuses on sustainability and re-purposing rugged yet beautifully unique fabrics.
Orlando in Opulence’, the new Spring/Summer ‘24 collection by designer and former model and actor, Hector Maclean, is based on the book, Orlando, by Virginia Woolf. Much like the book’s protagonist, who experiences a seemingly limitless life of renewal, the entirety of the collection has been created from byproduct and recycled fabrics, reinforcing this idea of rejuvenation, which is very close to Hector’s personal experience.
The collection is a palimpsest of strong historical silhouettes mirroring Orlando’s travels through time. Each garment has been explicitly designed to feel precious, beautiful, and timeless, with strong hyper-feminine silhouettes complementing strong masculine tailored forms to create an inclusive essence of human expression. Beauty takes many shapes throughout Wolfe’s book, and so the collection seeks to explore this concept through the use of repurposed fabrics and empowered forms.
“With this collection, I really wanted to play with this notion of metamorphosis, which we witness in Wolfe’s protagonist Orlando, who experiences a gender transformation. I’ve tried to transplant this idea of shifting ideals of beauty into the collection, showing how textile byproducts destined for waste, actually have an inherent beauty in them when viewed in a different way. Beauty doesn’t need to come from something perfect – its genesis can be quite broken. I want the show to be a celebration of fabrics reborn, as well as a celebration of the broad spectrum of gender and the many nuances of personal expression contained within,” Hector explains.
Maclean has eschewed the use of polyester, synthetic, or blended fibres, to ensure that the collection is itself entirely recyclable. He didn’t get to select the fabrics himself, rather they were donated, so the collection is a true representation of beauty’s intrinsic subjectivity. Some of the fabrics are decades old, and yet there is a freshness to the garments and a lightness in the silhouettes. The collection also references the notion of the Dandy and the idea of the gentleman being gentle and effeminate, borrowing lines and shapes from traditional tailoring.
Backstage Photos by Pip Dusadeevijai/Fabuk Magazine
Photos by Aleesha Rane/Fabuk Magazine