Mind the gap!
Its Saturday 17th September, day two of LFW, whilst I’m sat on the tiled floor of Euston station there’s a chill in the air, the temperature has plummeted to below mid-teens and the wind is starting to feel icier, you can feel the cold creeping into your bones – pathetic fallacy perhaps because I’m leaving my favourite city, during fashion week nonetheless. But it wasn’t just the weather that embodied a sense of change, it was the fashion too.
This week in our nations capital there was a theme of regeneration on the runway, with smaller fashion houses making waves within the industry, fresh talent being revealed at the Kingston University Ma show and Burberry unveiling its highly anticipated ‘see-now, buy-now’ collection. In a city that was in utter dismay at the heart of a divided country following the vote in June, LFW offered a sense of unity and patriotism that seemed to have disappeared following the Brexit vote. It was out with the woe with a celebration of British talent, enabling us to have a more positive future outlook. Like NYFW, LFW was full of surprises with bejazzled crocs creeping onto the runway in the Christopher Kane show housed in the former Bankside Power Station, now Britain’s finest and most acclaimed Modern Art Gallery… wait does that mean bejazzled crocs are art?! Hmm it’s a no from me, but I can’t deny they were one hell of a fashion statement! Again, I could ramble on about all London had to offer this season, but I won’t! Placing myself under strict instructions to be as concise as I can, I am only going to share my thoughts on my favourite collections from this absolutely fabulous and marvellously British week.
Burberry SS17 ‘See-Now, Buy-Now’ – Tuesday 19th September 2016
Its safe to say that every LFW the Burberry show always acquires the most hype and this weeks was no exception. If anything this Virginia Woolf inspired show was probably the most highly anticipated in Burberry’s history as it was the debut of the brand’s ‘see-now, buy-now’ collection. All eyes were on Christopher Bailey’s landmark collection set to change the seasonal fashion calendar and it did not fail to disappoint. Despite its Elizabethan style, this gender fluid collection was sure to appeal to the modern millennial. The collection based on Woolf’s classic Orlando: A Biography which follows the journey of a poet as he transitions from a man to a woman embodied and embraced modern values and societal acceptance of gender fluidity. This collection also saw the merge of furnishing and fashion with curtain tassels, carpet patterns and luxurious silks and satins making an appearance. The disused book shop which housed the show was like a scene from a British stately home, floored with elegant olive green carpet, accompanied by a live orchestra and choir perfectly conveying the theme. This was a truly British send off to a truly British week.
Mary Katrantzou SS17 Ready-To-Wear – Sunday 18th September 2016
*sings* Who put the glad in Gladiator? Mary Katrantzou’s SS17 collection certainly did! This vibrant Grecian collection immediately caught my eye, evoking memories of the good old days sat in front of the TV watching Disney’s Hercules on repeat. I could see the muses in the Grecian vase prints, Megara embroidered in iridescent sequins and on closer observation (Look 1) an embroidered Hercules himself accompanied by his trusty companion Pegasus in the Temple of Zeus. There was a juxtaposition of old and new with ancient Greek prints on pop-art geometric prints. This groovy Grecian collection was a treat for the eyes and I enjoyed the nostalgia it brought with it.
Ashley Williams SS17 Ready-To-Wear – Friday 16th September 2016
This ‘80s inspired collection completely disproves the phrase “Acceptable in the ‘80s”, which implies that the unique style of the era should remain, well, in that era. This collection brought back the very best fashion trends the ‘80s had to offer with puffed selves, varsity jackets, blinging diamond earrings and tributes to ‘80s heartthrob River Phoenix, Malibu Barbie and the hit show Saved by the Bell. This fun, vibrant collection is sure to evoke a sense of nostalgia in any ‘80s teen. The super cute stuffed animal accessories, sparkling chokers and clips keeping in the ‘80s dos were also not to be missed. Looking through this fun, energetic, youthful collection had me subconsciously humming Cyndi Lauper’s Girls Just Want to Have Fun and made me want to pop round to my grandparents to find some ‘80s treasures they’ve been hoarding away.
Ashish S17 Ready-To-Wear – Monday 19th September 2016
The Brexit vote this summer not only divided the country but further alienated members of the community. The rise of racial attacks and hatred following the vote made many valued members of society who had migrated to Britain feel unwelcome in their own home, this is something which no one should ever be made to feel. However, the rise in hate crimes did not stop Indian-born designer, Ashish Gupta, who migrated from Delhi in 1996, from paying homage to his roots and demonstrating how Britain thrives from a rich, diverse, multi-cultural society. This collection saw the fusion of Eastern and Western cultures with delicately embroidered churidars partnered with preppy slogan t-shirts. This collection truly was a celebration of the migrant community in Britain, who I hope know are very much valued by many.
Temperley London SS17 Ready-To-Wear -Sunday 18th September 2016
Temperley London’s flirty candy coloured collection contextualised the conventional idea of beauty. Filled with intricate floral embroidery and sparkling sequins, I hope this collection, like Monique Lhuillier, graces its way onto the red carpet this coming award season. These dazzling pieces would make any girl feel like a winner, whether or not accessorised with a golden statue in hand.
Kingston University Ma SS17 Ready-To-Wear – Friday 16th September 2016
The Kingston University Ma show offered a breath of fresh air and positivity which ousted the doom and gloom that has lingered following the vote to leave the EU in June. This celebration of British talent offered an insight into the creative and unique minds of those who may just be the next McQueen, Westwood or Bailey. From asymmetric floral embroidered coats to vibrant and one-of-a-kind prints and patterns, the future of the British Fashion Industry is looking very promising and offers a sense of hope in these dark and uncertain times.
LFW was full of fresh new talent and like NYFW was littered with diverse and unique talent. This week has truly been a celebration of British talent and has provided a positive insight into what the future holds.