The Best of London Fashion Week, Part 1

by Paige Reddinger

London Fashion Week was in full force this weekend and plenty of big trends emerged, from princess dressing and wistful longing for the romance of bygone eras to futurism. Below are some of the best looks from across the pond.

Christopher Kane
Fall 2017: A Space Odyssey. When the realities of planet Earth are no longer appealing, look to the stars. Kane’s futuristic Fall collection included metallic spaceship-like materials and, more literally, a dress printed with spaceships. But there were elements borrowed from the old world too, like a gorgeous peachy pink and mint jacquard fabric cut into modern-looking origami shapes and cozy grandma cardigans worn over romantic sheer dresses and skirts. And there were more of those Crocs, this time in brown and trimmed with fur. If you can’t take comfort in the present, take comfort in the future.

Erdem
Only Erdem Moralioglu could make folk elements, prairie style dresses, and patchwork look so utterly rich. The fabrics alone are enough to set one’s heart aflutter. Sheer overlays, boating stripes, an antique-looking floral white gown—the incredible romance and detail of this collection look made for some kind of Impressionist landscape.

Roksanda
An eye-popping Nicoll Blue dress opened Roksanda Ilincic’s Fall 2017 show in a tribute to the late British designer, Richard Nicoll. Nicoll and Ilincic attended Central Saint Martins together and Ilincic helped choose the Pantone color in his honor. What followed was an exquisite array of looks that showed off Ilincic’s own talent for color in vibrant reds, maroons, oranges, and cobalt blue on easy ’70s silhouettes. It’s a beautiful thing when clothing can be both comfortable and statement making. Speaking of comfort, quilting has been a major trend this season, and the white versions that mimicked the fabric of mattress covers at Roksanda were some of the chicest versions we’ve seen on the London runways. This collection makes dressing well seem so wonderfully simple.

Mary Katrantzou
What’s not to love about Mary Katrantzou’s Fantasia-inspired collection? Set to the tune of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the Tate Modern, Katrantzou provided one of the season’s most appealing escapist collections that included everything from a Centaur-printed velvet suit and a pleated sound-wave print skirt to beautiful fur and fur trimmed coats. Every look in this collection was worth dreaming about.

 

Temperly London
A folklore theme has been emerging on more than one runway this season. At Temperly, the prettiest versions were the flowing floral dresses and the sheer embroidered skirts and dresses.

Mulberry
The silhouettes at Mulberry were mostly unflattering and frumpy save for a couple of fabulous check print coats and pinafore dresses, but accessories are key at this storied British brand and the oversize circular leather bags and crystal encrusted caramel colored sunglasses were lust worthy.

Peter Pilotto
Swoon! Peter Pilotto’s prints are made for head-turning, especially this season’s assym dresses with scarf necklines in a combination of hues like burnt orange with turquoise, watermelon with mustard yellow and pink velvet embroidery, and a fuchsia number with pale pink leaf patterns. A knitted fringed coat in a myriad of colors was another winner. Even the embroidered riding boots, colorful socks, and statement earrings were conversation starters.

 

Preen by Thornton Bregazzi
Is that Cat Marnell-inspired smudged red lipstick we spy? The novelist is everyone’s favorite bad girl babe of the moment. Preen’s party princess channeled the same sense of rock ‘n’ roll recklessness. An off-the-shoulder ruffle-trimmed tartan dress or an avant-garde floral blanket puffer were a nod to that je ne sais quoi mix of fragility and rebellion. We must admit, we’re addicted to more than one of these pretty punk ensembles.

Anya Hindmarch
The geometrical mountainous range that comprised the set for Anya Hindmarch’s Fall 2017 show was a brilliant backdrop for her Nordic-inspired accessories. There were furry slippers with eyes and dragonflies, paper chain handles, bear faces, and florals on Hindmarch’s quirky chic handbags. The coolest versions came as stacked backpacks and bags and a few versions that looked like six different bags in variant hues sewn together in a tower. And there was, of course, a winking smiley face backpack in gold lurex. Hindmarch’s hygge universe complete with furry Stephen Jones hats and Cutler and Gross sunglass goggles was so imaginative, it left us wishing for more than handbags.

 

Versus Versace
The only thing more fun than wearing a sexy Versus Versace number out on the town for an all-night rager is either partying with Donatella herself or perusing her Instagram all day on the couch as you recover from the night before. Gigi Hadid sashayed out in a tiny draped black party dress with black eyes and morning-after hair. What followed were oversize puffers worn off the shoulder in current style and thrown over a T-shirt dress or Versus-branded underwear that peeked just above the waist of a black skirt in true ’90s Aliyah fashion. Plus, there were some killer leather looks as exhibited on Bella Hadid. Versus Versace is as synonymous with sex appeal as the Hadids are with an entire generation of youth culture—a match made in retail heaven.

Gareth Pugh
Attention! If Gareth Pugh’s collection isn’t scaring the living daylights out of you, then you’ve missed the picture. Pugh’s dictatorial women clad in all black looked poised to break out their whips. The show notes demanded that the audience stay awake so that they might “Stay Woke.” The collection was, of course, meant to be political. This was perhaps the most ominous of the politically charged collections this season, but we would expect nothing less from Pugh, who has a penchant for the dark side. The black circles and white makeup that adorned the models’ faces combined with black vinyl reminded us of Annie Lenox’s look at the 1992 tribute concert for Freddie Mercury in which she performed “Under Pressure” with David Bowie. The pressure cooking at Pugh turned out to be a recipe for an explosion of creativity.

Simone Rocha
Fierce and soft. Rocha’s woman might wear a military coat with Sam Brown leather straps on top, but the look will come adorned in red daisies. A checked pantsuit trimmed in mink might walk next to a floral shift, but best of all, these looks work well on women of every age as illustrated by the number of older women that walked Rocha’s runway, like Bendetta Barzini or Jan de Villeneuve. And who doesn’t want to curl up with one of Rocha’s sumptuous minks?

J.W. Anderson
Dresses adorned with ostrich feathers came paired with hi-top sneakers. Micro-cropped leather jackets were thrown over tank tops, and an assym dress looked poised for the dance floor.

Emilia Wickstead
Fit for a princess! Wickstead is known for dressing British royalty and her clothing has always had a regal romantic air. In a season full of inspiration from Edwardian and Victorian to Tudor and Elizabethan references, Wickstead’s aesthetic was right at home. The standouts were a princess-sleeved pink gown and a silver sequined dress both paired with velvet slippers. But for the modern princess, Wickstead also threw in a pair or two of de rigueur high-waisted denim to off-set the more demure silhouettes.

 

Molly Goddard
It would take a brave woman to wear one of Molly Goddard’s exaggerated baby doll dresses, like the smocked peach version with enormous teacup sleeves paired with silver tights that look like aluminum. But they sure would make for a great conversation piece! In case you have trouble envisioning these in a party setting, Goddard illustrated how that might look by staging a banquet table where the models gathered after walking down the runway. A feast for edgy princesses is an invitation we would definitely like to receive.

 

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