With London Fashion Week ending today, Mia Howe reports on some of the highlights of this year’s event. Occurring twice a year in February and September, LFW is part of the collective hub of major fashion weeks alongside Milan, New York and Paris. Organised by the British Fashion Council, it is held over a five-day period in which there are 50 or so catwalk shows on the schedule, as well as further 45+ show off schedule. There are also exhibitions that run alongside the catwalk shows showcasing over 100 ready to wear and accessories designers each season. It really is a must see event.
Kick starting LFW are the duo Antoni & Wilson whom are celebrating their 25 years in fashion. Their collection was every inch a work of art, plundering the paint box and recreating their S/S 13 collection drawings. Creations of smooth thick brush strokes, a wash of acid oranges, faded green bows and sprays of dusky pink – in all, piecing together the ultimate shift dress.
Next, another designer duo by the name of Fyodor Golan, for me this was one of my favourites – inspired by the book ‘The Blue Tattoo’, a book about a story of survival. Thus, fuelled with spirituality each piece is rich with history and bursting with raw opulence. With a simple colour palette of royal blues and hues of amber, the pure attention to detail was incredible and the clashing of the lattice blue skirt and chiffon blouse was a marriage made in heaven.
At midday, it was Zoë Jordan who for me is at the top of her designing game right now, and this collection met more than expectation. Inspired from her travels in Africa, this collection oozes tomboy elegance. Styled with damp tousled curls and caps, what I love about this collection is how wearable and effortless it is.
Last to hit the floor was PPQ, the most favoured of designers among celebrities. Again, incredibly opulent – signaling a conduit into 1970’s decadence. The paisley print throughout was a favorite, in rich tones of maroon and dusk pinks featured on flowing maxi dresses, cat suits and swimsuits alike perfectly matched with killer chandelier earrings. This collection exuded drama, and the oversized accessories were the perfect compliment to such a look. PPQ S/S 13 has done Hollywood glamour its absolute justice.
Instantly drawn to Jasper Conran’s collection when I saw the backdrop of flowers in neon lights alongside an astroturf catwalk, sensing a definite hint of the Wild West. And I wasn’t wrong, look after look was inspired by a hint of country western with sequinned boot-cut jeans, micro leather and jean jackets and my absolutely favourite piece of the collection – a patchwork floor-length gown. Conran has mastered trailer trash chic in my opinion.
Next to take to the catwalk was House of Holland and not in the usual setting, Holland’s collection was held in a car park transforming it into a clubbing paradise. Titled, ‘Buzz Kill’ this collection was full of vibrancy and in all full of fun, which is what I love about House of Holland, fashion is never or nor was too serious for him. So cue the cropped jacquard trousers, embellished beanies, nineties grunge dress, oversized plaid shirts and bomber jackets – this collection did not stop giving.
The collection I was most excited about is Antipodium, it’s a label that is so wearable, and this season just heightened my loving for the brand. Titled, ‘How to affect robots and influence people’, Antipodium delivered look after look of eminently wearable pieces in accents of peaches and dusk pinks. Slick tailoring, neat collars and their signature bomber jacket this futuristic theme had undoubtedly made for a great collection.
To end day two, is Moschino Cheap and Chic, a new edition and favourite for LFW, creative director Rossella Jardini looked to the Sixties for inspiration a decade that sits very well with the ethos of Moschino. Bold prints, exposed midriffs, and vibrant flared suits trousers and pineapples!
The tongue-in-cheek, cartoonish looks were mixed with modern London street-style that gave this collection its commercial practicality and energy.
Onto the third day, we kick -start with Christopher Raeburn. Known for his reappropriation of military materials, this collection was inspired by the first female aviators. Look after look showed sleeveless mini dresses and Mac jackets crafted from British parachute nylon. With an air of fluidity to each garment, practical yet chic – just showed the ease that Raeburn can modernise such a classic fabric. Topped off with bags shaped like red hares, owls and dogs this collection still had that sense of fun the British designers do best.
Next, a futuristic setting for Topshop Unique, the catwalk was filled with contemporary minimalism, yet refreshing with just enough space age influence to not make it too ‘extra-terrestrial’. The collection saw plenty of transparent sheers, meshes and square plaids – crisp, simple yet extremely effective.
Highly anticipated is this next designer, Mary Katrantzou a commander of all prints. But this season she left her flowers at home and instead brought out an incredible stamp collection. Silhouettes were graphic and inconsistent from A-line swinging dresses hung heavy from the neck, to streamlined power suits to full on and kimono straight-down dresses. In a palette of blues and green these summery hues made for a flawless collection.
Thus the penultimate day of LFW, and already excited for Kane’s collection after hearing Mary Shelley’s novel of Frankenstein was behind the collection’s inspiration. Still dark but plenty more muted tones in this season compared to the very gothic collection last season. Starting with all white quilted rose jackets, then quickly moving onto bubble gum pink dresses, texturised with gaffa tape and plastic bolts this collection was all about texture.
Next was celebrity central with Burberry Prosum at Hyde Park. And what a metallic extravaganza this collection was, look after look of quality street coloured trench coats in shades of fuchsia, raspberry, maroon and gold, green and cerulean. Alongside this were the arrival of new silhouettes, fishtail hems, micro knickers and super-cropped bomber jackets. Christopher Bailey knows just how to make a British summer super sweet.
So LFW has reached the fifth and final day and no other to open up the last day than Mulberry. The creative director Emma Hill’s inspiration behind the colour palette of apricots, spearmints and bubblegum pinks were derived from ice lollies and what a perfect set of colours they were for a refreshing summer wardrobe. The looks were made up of belted jumpers worn with neat pleated skirts along with a-line camel capes and plenty of metallic brocade trousers, cropped blazers and bags. This collection was dripping luxury.