London Fashion week is back again and it’s the capital’s chance to shine and show off it’s unique creativity. As well as The British Fashion Council hosting for the established designers ON/OFF and Fashion Scout also offer alternative venues which showcases new up and coming talent.
This year it’s a celebration and a melting pot of ideas with Burberry being the innovators who were showing a seasonless collection with a see now and buy now concept. An Elizabethan tease running through with high neck lines Ruffles, romantic lace over silk pyjama trousers, leather jackets, embroidered coats, men’s jackets in pastel pinks it’s the masculine meets the feminine and vice versa any piece can be worn at any time around the world and in any seasons. The collection inspired by Virginia Wolf’s Orlando whose theme is showcased throughout a pop up fashion and craft exhibition which was held at Makers house in the heart of Soho for a week after the show opened to the public to celebrate craftsmen and artists which showed us all was true craftsmanship is all about.
Getting into a festive mood I attended the fascinating and aptly named “let’s go bananas” show that the very glamorous Charlotte Olympia presented to us showcasing the shoes beautifully with graceful dancers in glitzy 1930’s showgirl golden bathing suits, fruity feel and a vintage chic inspired event with Bebel Gilberto Gilberto serenading us with her with her brasilian sounds,this show was a winner from the start and one that I will never forget.
Another designer that put on a breathtaking show was Gareth Pugh who never cease to surprise us and presented a highly dynamic and dramatic, operatic collection. Colossal 3D sculpted shapes, golden star like head pieces, metal asymmetric appliqué placed over dresses, coats and corsets, soft tailored suits and the more fluid kaftan and languid silhouettes whisked past us it was powerful and romantic and somehow wearable with a touch of darkness.
Julien MacDonald was it’s usual glamorous front row of celebrities and a party atmosphere with lusty music, drinks being served and great energy all around,tanned and charismatic he explained to me that the collection is an African adventure with the Rolling Stones, It’s rock n roll and Afro Chic and it’s everything that you wouldn’t expect, the collection was a selection of provocative, sexy and sharply finely knitted cut dresses with studs, metallic fringing, snakeskin, catsuits and mainly nude colours as well as a classic little black dress with a twist, Body conscious shapes, this is all you need for a red carpet.
Sobering up a little from all the glitz I find myself at Paul Smith who creates soft tailoring to perfection with a modern feel,a plethora of bright pastels florals and contrasting colours,soft lines and a comfortable feel throughout the collection which has at times a Japanese minimalist feel with its Obi type belt and loose shapes, it all makes a soft statement of classic and contemporary elegance.
According to the audio coming out of the speakers at Brewer Street car park Teatum Jones just wants to have a good time and so do we while watching the show,waist and hips are the focus of the collection with some splashes of colours, stripes and see through lace slip dresses with over lays of contrasting fabrics and zips, simple lines with a 90’s feel ,floaty sleeves pretty lace edging flattering shapes, women and menswear are shown in a modern fresh young way.
After a long journey across London I finally arrive at Mulberry in a very interesting setting allowing the spectator to view everything no matter where one is sitting. We know that Mulberry makes exquisite bags so what about the fashion? It’s oversized with masculine tailoring,ruffles embellished details on dresses that could look alluring on a red carpet, one of the main theme though is soft leather, loose dresses and watery fabrics with micro florals, asymmetric lines satchel and oversized bags It’s an experimental fusion of looks and shapes.
Sharon Wauchob also worked with some oversized pieces and my absolute favourite was the soft leather coats belted at the waist in a Lauren Bacall fashion with a film noir undertone.A breezy collection sporty outerwear mixed in with pyjama pants and layers of lace with floral. A very innovative collection.
As always Antonio Berardi blended his exquisite tailoring with original ideas keeping it modern and wearable with organza details on the sleeves, uneven hems and luxurious fabric. There is nothing quite like his clothes to make you want to dress up and experiment.
Who better to bring us sirens and sunshine but Temperley the eternal romantic with raw edged layered tulle ruffles, ribbon embroidery, iridescent sequins and sheer mesh appliqué for understated opulence. A truly 1970’s inspired collection with colours and flattering shapes.
You can always count on the elegant and contemporary designer such as Amanda Wakeley who this season opted for private appointments to showcase a very stylish and easy to wear style with denim pieces, crisp white shirts, trompe l’oeil effect and oversized accessories, forward thinking and an intelligent collection with wide prints, crisp cotton and soft waist.
Jasper Conran is in the mood for love perhaps with his collection featuring the birds and the bees, florals,modern classics that will never go out of fashion and a real investment pieces, micro floral, bias cut in heavy satin and fluid shapes all accessorised with statement pieces of jewellery.
Full of the joys of spring is Huishan Zhang shift dresses with rivets sequins, and flowers on an almost all black and white collection which is a terrific mix for the more adventurous bodytype, keeping warm in case of a summer breeze with soft textures at *Pringle of Scotland * who have an eye catching comfortable collection with oversized sleeves, checks and fringing, your cozy boho chic look on the beach.
Let’s take a trip with Preen who have flowing silhouettes, black and &white and pastels, pentagrams, the moon and the stars, ruffles and full of romanticism in somehow an abstract way.
PPQ was a surprise party with fiesta flavour and a Spanish theme with plenty of ruffles and colourful prints, satin silks and bright prints.
The 1960’s being one of my favourite era in design I was delighted to see David Koma presented a 60’s modern shape with structure tailoring and bejewelled embellished garments with cut outs and statement off the shoulder sleeves beautifully executed with occasionally an explosion of neon and some asymmetric effects.
House of Holland was a festive and happy mood with bright, folky and fun elements a collection with gingham, florals, net, giant sequins one shoulder dresses that were draped over velvet trousers. A real 70’s disco vibe.
Daks was a vision of a pure white with empire line dress opening the show. It was accessorized with either long necklaces, large wooden earrings and turbans. A feeling of sophistication and long nonchalant summer evenings. Presentations were also taking place all over central London and this is a great way to see a collection as you can get close and personal.
Presentations are the new way of showing a collection which were taking place all over central London and this is a great way to see the clothes up close and personal a few examples were Shrimps with plenty of gorgeous faux fur, ruffles and high necks as well as delicate organza with an old fashion twist and adorable delicate details
Shoe designer Sophia Webster established her brand in 2012 and is going form strength to strength. She presented her collection with girls in birdcages swinging side to side showcasing her fabulous stilettos , mules, flats and sparkly chunky heels with feathers and florals.
Natahsa Zinko showed us how to wear oversized bright pink suits with turned up hems with a 1950’s modern silhouettes running through the collection.
Belstaff exploited military and romance for women riding through a selection of leather jacket plaid shirts and tobacco coats with cream shift dresses.
London being a great supporter of new designers we are lucky enough to be able to see their collections though Fashion Scout who showcase all the new up and coming designers showing in central London in central venues from the Free Mason Hall to the V&A museum and National history museum.
Following on from her graduate collection, this season Fei Fei Cicada indulges herself between dreams and reality, designing dresses for a Palace she envisions as belonging to no country, time or space. Hand pleated fabrics and rich embroideries are a continuous running thread throughout the collection. The entire line is hand made by Fei from her London studio.
The ApuJan Spring Summer 2017 collection was inspired by an ‘Ancient Summer Night’s Dream’. The dream was set in a fantasy world filled with dinosaurs and fossils. The Spring Summer colour palette includes a variety of blue hues as well as conventional colours such as black and white to make for a very versatile yet wearable collection. Stripes, plaids and graphic prints run throughout the designs all presented on self-developed jacquard fabrics, blue, white and black silks, and cotton knits.
Established in 2016, Annderstand is a new high-end fashion brand that imparts a sense of fusion, innovation and craftsmanship. The brand name Annderstand is inspired by the word understand, meaning products are created with understanding the urban female and attest to Annderstand’s commitment to provide the latest in cutting-edge and wearable style.
Studio HJ designer Hema Joshi was influenced by Tibet for her Spring Summer 2017 collection, in particular by its breath taking sceneries and its vibrant colours. The collection showcases pieces inspired by the Tibetan culture, costumes and architecture. Each piece shows a different angle of Tibet, be it their symmetrical houses, layered and decorated costume pieces or intricate embroidery and symbols.
The ʻOn|Off Presents…ʼ platform was established in 2007 by Lee Lapthorne and showcases designers that On|Off believe are the ones to watch.
Timothy Bouyez-Forge attended the Royal College of Art, graduating in Womenswear in 2016.Influenced by many art movements, industrial design, decorative styles, collage and virtual reality. He is inspired by industrial manufacturing practices in the automotive industry, garments can be built with industrial processes in mind that evoke our bond between our body and the machine. The garments hold a narrative towards future modes of travel, lifestyle - and escape.They are synthetic idealistic living and travel solutions for all the visionary thinkers out there.
Luke Rooney, a London based womenswear designer who likes to explore the use of texture, colour and surface design. His textile expressionism is offset with an expert cut. His work is an exploration of silhouette, form and application, taking inspiration from gaiety, frivolity and a sense of fantasy mixing hand techniques with creative cutting and stitching, the designs take on different dimensions. He designs for the ultimate attention seeker.
Jayne Pierson went on to win the London Graduate Fashion Week Ecological Design Award amongst many other national competitions. Jayne Pierson also gained a wealth of luxury brand experience interning and working for couture designers Alexander McQueen and Vivienne Westwood. She successfully showcased her debut Paladin Collection Spring/Summer 2010 exclusively with On|Off at London Fashion Week in September 2009, sponsored by Vogue.com and Lotus.
Laura Theiss is widely considered as one of the most exciting knitwear designers on the fashion scene. Theiss developed a bold signature style, recreating in a modern key traditional crochet and knitting stitches, designing fantastically original pieces for her own label and international clients, bringing knitwear into the future. Her silhouettes and shapes are indeed directly linked with sci-fi stories of brave amazons living in a galaxy far away.
A creative place , a vibrant city for there is in London all that life can afford.