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Sam smith kicks off LFW with surprise performance at Harris Reed fashion show

Sam Smith surprised London Fashion Week attendees on Thursday with an intimate performance at designer Harris Reed’s catwalk show.

The singer songwriter took to the stage accompanied by a grand piano to sing a haunting rendition of Des’ree’s “I’m Kissing You” at the fashion show which took place in baroque church St John’s Smith Square in Westminster.

The song was written by Des’ree and Timothy Atack for Baz Luhrmann’s 1996 Romeo + Juliet.

As Smith performed, models wearing Harris Reed’s latest collection, “60 years A Queen”, stood facing an intimate group of show attendees made up of press, buyers and influencers. When the show closed, Reed ran on stage and embraced Smith and the pair ran backstage together.

“Nothing but INSANE amounts of gratitude!” wrote Reed on his Instagram earlier today. “60 Years A Queen debuts tonight…. This isn’t just a show for me, but for any of us who ever felt like we didn’t fit in for being queer, different, or who we were born to be! See everyone soon!”

Though he only graduated from Central Saint Martins in 2020, the British-American designer is one of the hottest tickets of London Fashion Week, having made his debut on the official schedule in September 2021 for the SS22 collections.

Reed’s designs are defined by gender fluidity, with a romantic, glam rock aesthetic. While still studying, Reed was spotted by Harry Styles’ stylist Harry Lambert, who invited the designer to collaborate on stage looks for the singer. Styles later wore a Harris Reed suit-dress on the cover of US Vogue, sparking a debate about gender in fashion.

Since then, Reed has collaborated with Gucci, jewellery brand Missoma and MAC cosmetics, and in September 2021, he designed Iman’s outfit for the Met Gala – a handmade crinoline and gold leaf gown with jacquard bustier and flares, topped with one of his trademark metre-wide hats.

A black iteration of the look appeared in Reed’s AW/22 collection, which retained all the dramatic and glam flair for which he the designer is famed. The collection had a mostly monochrome palette, punctuated with red and yellow.

Dresses, corsetry, hats and sequins were modelled by men and women in a continuation of Reed’s love of gender fluidity, with extra-wide brimmed hats and masks.

One top is likely to be an instant hit: a bandeau in the shape of two hands reaching around the chest to hold a twisted ring, was worn with a dramatic black fishtail skirt.

An all-yellow silk look of Thin White Duke-style skin-tight flares, worn with a New Romantic pussy bow blouse with blouson sleeves was another star look.

The show took place on the first of five days of events scheduled across the capital to mark a return to a relatively normal London Fashion Week schedule following several digital-only seasons. Although there remain notable absences on the schedule from big names designers including Burberry and JW Anderson.

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