Another fashion week has come and gone and there were plenty of shocking trends to trot down the runway mixed in with some breathtaking collections that were filled with intricate historical references. Here are the most newsworthy shows from London Fashion Week.
Christopher Kane’s Crocs
Mon dieu…Crocs have made it to the runway. From Birkenstocks to Tevas, we thought we’d seen all the normcore influences we could handle on high-end runways. What’s next, Uggs? Givenchy’s Birks will nearly break your bank, so we don’t even want to know what designer Crocs are going to cost. Kane’s attempt at making Crocs cool involved colorful marble patterns and rock crystal adornments. Bless your “sole” Christopher, but no amount of adornment can make Crocs an “it” accessory (although we imagine we’ll be see several fashion victims sporting these, nonetheless). Much more covetable were the black leather thick-soled slides, plus ready-to-wear pieces like a white column dress with hanging kerchiefs printed with model polaroids, graphic floral prints, and Catholic iconography T-shirts covered in punk-inspired grommets paired with black skirts that were pieced together with ’90s-style metal rings.
Deauville meets a 17th century shipwreck at Erdem
Erdem Moralioglu turned out one of the best collections at London Fashion Week, and there was inspiration in spades. The first point of reference was the recent discovery of the drowned wardrobe of Jean Ker, Countess of Roxburghe, the lady-in-waiting for Queen Henrietta Maria, wife of Charles I of England. Ker was also considered a controversial adviser to the queen during the early years of the English Civil War. The ship wrecked in 1642 on its way to Holland to pawn off some of the Queen’s jewels in order to raise money for King Charles I’s fight against Roundhead rebels. How’s that for ready-to-wear inspo? But wait, there’s more…Moralioglu was also thinking of Deauville when he imagined the women of the British shipwreck landing at the chic French beachside retreat. The result: jewel-encrusted gowns; silks from Vanners, one of the oldest mills in England; black grosgrain ribbons; seaside stripes; and morose, but romantic black beach hats with drooping brims. Although not cited as one of Moralioglu’s references, one could imagine Kate Chopin’s turn-of-the-century women, beachside at the Grand Isle resort, wearing some of the closing numbers of the show. It was an awakening of things past and it stood out as one of the most thoughtful collections of the season.
R&R at Victoria, Victoria Beckham
Anyone who has seen Victoria Beckham lately might notice that she’s letting down her hair and taking off the heels of her former Posh persona. So it’s to little surprise that Victoria, Victoria Beckham took on a more relaxed vibe this season. The collection included chic pieces that felt like they could be lived in, like white slouchy pants, flat slip-on sandals, and cozy-knits like a stunning swirl patterned white and navy cut-out sweater. A Mao-style skirt suit even had a chic air in its simplicity. Beckham, no matter how posh her life may be, is a mom of four, and one can imagine she might be looking for clothes that better suit her busy life. Few women these days would be opposed to the notion of an ultra sleek, but relaxed “wear everywhere” wardrobe.
Tartan Takeover at Pringle of Scotland
Designer Fran Stringer hit all of the codes of this Scottish house, but it was the tartan numbers that were most covetable. Done patchwork style, the dress and pants versions were classic enough for a more conservative lady and just punk enough for an edgier woman. Plus, isn’t it fun to think about running through the Scottish Highlands in one of these looks? One can dream.
Burberry’s Literary Lesson
In case there was any question about the inspiration, a copy of Virginia Woolf’s Orlando was placed on every seat at Burberry’s buynow, wear now show for Fall ’16. The novel, of course, is famous for its protagonist, a poet who changes sex from man to woman and lives for centuries. Woolf based the novel on her close friend Vita Sackville West, who was a poet and novelist. Sackville West was married to writer and politician Harold George Nicolson, with whom she had an open marriage, and who each had same-sex relationships outside of the marriage—in Sackville West’s case, an affair with Woolf. The couple and Woolf were associated with the Bloomsbury Group of writers and artists, which has also inspired Christopher Bailey’s past collections for Burberry. Gender, love affairs, and male vs. female are often brought into question, initially behind closed doors, and Bailey’s collection focused on the boudoir with men and women in dressing gowns, pajamas, robes, lingerie-inspired dresses, and so on. The latter came in lace and were worn over men’s pajamas, or as lace skirts were worn over silk men’s boxers. Sergeant Pepper capes and jackets referenced some of the eras in which Orlando lived as a man. While gender-bending has been a hot topic on runways for quite some time, the mélange of masculine and feminine felt wearable and relatable here.
A Study in Contrasts at Simone Rocha
Jackie Nickerson’s Sub-Saharan images of field workers combined with 18th century Old Master paintings in Dublin’s National Gallery of Ireland were the influences behind Rocha’s beautiful and chaotic Spring collection, which was held in the aisle of the splendid gothic Southwark Cathedral in London. Deconstructed garments, like half of a trench coat worn over a sweet chiffon dress or a saccharine lace number with ruffles and girly puff sleeves, were paired with rubber boots. And those ladylike lace-trimmed white gloves? They were rubber. The utilitarian theme contrasted with the almost over-the-top feminine garments made for an uncomfortable but ultimately wonderfully creative visual feast.
Love Fest! Katie Grand’s Major Party for LOVE by Mert Atlas
Katie Grand went all-out for the special collector’s edition of LOVE Magazine, titled LOVE by Mert Alas, which was supported by Marc Jacobs, with a party at Loulou’s in Mayfair hosted by Mert Alas, Katie Grand, Poppy Delevingne, and Marc Jacobs. Berlin 1989 was the theme of issue 16.5, and guests entered the depths of Loulou, which was a tribute to Berlin’s counterculture complete with a dim lit squat club, via graffitied stairs. Guests wearing Marc Jacobs included Courtney Love and daughter Frances Bean Cobain, Bella Hadid, Eva Herzigova, Anna Cleveland, Cora Corre, Arizona Muse, Erin O’Connor, Jourdan Dunn, Daisy Lowe, Taylor Hill, Stella Maxwell, Lineisy Montero, Rose Hanbury Marchioness of Cholmondeley, Adwoa Aboah, Edie Campbell, Lili Sumner and Oliver Burslem, Cora Corre, Kiki Willems, Laura Bailey, Tallulah Harlech, Harriet Verney, Lady Mary Charteris, and Immy Waterhouse. Marc Jacobs’ VIP dressing team was hard at work!
The Business of Fashion’s Big Bash for the #BoF500
BoF threw one of the must-attend events of LFW to celebrate its annual list of the 500 most influential people in the global fashion industry. Held at The Edition hotel in London, guests like BoF cover star Kate Moss, plus Lineisy Montero, Taylor Hill, Alexa Chung, Freida Pinto, Arizona Muse, Ajak Deng, Charlotte Dellal, Will.i.am, Jonathan Anderson, Suzy Menkes, Natalie Massenet, Adwoa Aboah, Dean & Dan Caten, Caroline Issa, Jefferson Hack, Justin O’Shea, Alexandra Shulman, Jonathan Newhouse, Stefano Tonchi, Derek Blasberg, Mary Katrantzou, Erdem Moralioglu, Nicholas Kirkwood, Tory Burch, Virgil Abloh, Anya Hindmarch, Elizabeth Saltzman, Eva Chen, Christopher de Vos and Peter Pilotto, Adrian Joffe, Verbal and Yoon, Pierre Hardy, Stephen Jones, Lu Yan, Sarah Andelman, Alexandra Richards, Christine Arp, Simone Rocha, Grace Wales Bonner, Martha Ward and Gosha Rubchinsky and BoF founder and editor-in-chief Imran Amed comprised the guest list. Guests sipped on Ruinart champagne, Belvedere vodka, and Plymouth gin cocktails before sitting down to dinner in Jason Atherton’s Berners Tavern, with a menu including crispy chicken Caesar salad and slow-roasted shoulder of romney marsh lamb. After dinner, Leon Else gave a live performance. “This is now the fourth year we have celebrated the BoF 500 and each year I’m amazed by the incredible energy in the room when you have so many people who are so talented from all over the world,” said Amed in a statement. “There are people from Tokyo, from St. Petersburg, from Columbia and Italy and France, there are people here from 27 different countries in the world. For me that’s testament to the global nature of our industry and the interconnectedness that all of us share.”