The British Fashion Council has transformed the iconic London Fashion Week into a digital platform. Hill & Friends – a British luxury accessories brand by Emma Hill and Georgia Fendley – has adapted by showcasing their AW20 collection as a virtual presentation called ‘Happy Factory From Home’. It revealed an imaginary The-Grand-Hotel-Budapest-like universe where the brand’s accessories get born. A playful melody, animated set design and glamorous bellboys challenged the COVID-19 anxiety by delving the audience into the world of careless creativity.
From the beginning, there was an exposure to the uniquely fresh and adventurous essence of Hill & Friends' bags. The audience was first awakened by the sound of a pastel-pink alarm clock, followed by a model dressed as a bellboy who makes his way to the Hill and Friends Factory House. There, the brand’s production happens. The digital narrative provided an insight into the creative imagination which goes on behind the scenes of Emma Hill’s studio. The prominent pink tone of the overall presentation highlighted the bright and dynamic energy that Hill & Friends tries to evoke through its artistic handbags. The first bag from the latest season was a vivid, neon-pink Happy Bag. The iconic bag harmonised elements of boldness and grace through its eye-catching colour with the carefully crafted chains and side stitches. The classic smiley-face logo reinforced the lively nature of their designs, and the usage of the gold colour underlined the luxurious appeal of Hill & Friends. A more casual version of the Happy Bag was also introduced via a black-strapped camera bag, which displays a more everyday look that could be worn daily.
Through the use of animations, real-life animals and models, as well as the introduction of the new ‘THE RILEY’ line, the brand further emphasised the subversive world of the contemporary luxury brand. ‘THE RILEY’ is a collection of leather bags with a square panel and outer folds on both sides that vaguely look like hexagons. This newest series exhibited different looks ranging from red and pink leopard prints to a calmer grey and blue-black edition of the RILEY bag. Apart from the FLUFFY RILEY, all the other bags included a single leather strap, increasing the functionality of the artisanal handbag. The construction of geometric designs by using structured leathers further emphasised the luxurious shapes.
Another prominent line from Hill & Friends’ AW20 season was ‘THE HEPWORTH’ day-time totes, which come in four different colours: orange-brown, black, white and wine-red. Four different strips of leather straps were used to maximise the utilitarian shape of the totes so that two straps can be used as a shoulder bag, and the remaining two can be used as handles for a handbag. The circular metal rivets that are inserted on both the front and back of the straplines heighten the decorative look of the daily totes, and the side stitches along the corners of the straps create a more polished impression. The structured bottom of the bag also increases the overall functionality of the totes, as the wearer can carry more items without seeing a significant alteration in the original shape of the bag. Hill & Friends stylishly incorporated elements of modernity and simplicity to construct a series of day-to-day bags that could be worn by everyone.