Best of LFW
I’ll be honest, when it comes to London Fashion Week, I never expect too much. There has not been a large shift in variety from the sheer boxy fit crop tops, 3D flowers and laser cut fabrics that I remember from 2009. I see them every single September during the Spring/Summer shows and it’s starting to get extremely tiresome. Isn’t London supposed to be the fashion capital of the world with some of the best design schools around? The answer is most certainly yes, so why is there such a lack of originality from our current British designers?
I really had to think hard about which shows I would include in this post and although Erdem was outstanding (usually a given), there were only a couple of other shows that really stood out for me. While it may seem like fun and games designing sheer shapeless silhouettes in pastel tones, not all of us want to look like we have just rolled around in an ice-cream shop. I am really hoping to see more diversity next season but at the same time, I know better than to get my hopes up.
Belgian designer, Anthony Vaccerelo showcased a collection that stayed true to the Versace ethos of supermodels and 80’s rock and roll – a look which verged on the brink of being trashy but somehow worked. There were plenty of cut out details on asymmetrical dresses that can be seen on current Versace designs. Strappy bralets were crafted out of leather to add edge, while brass buttons were emblazoned on waistcoats which were worn as dresses. Silver appeared in the form of piercings, lion crested hardware and zips which was a pleasant change from Versace’s signature gold. I find silver is more understated and less brash than gold which is why I tend to favour it on clothing details.
This show was only Vacerello’s second season for Versus but he seems to be taking a different angle than his predecessor, Christopher Kane, something that Donatella seems thrilled by. She has been quoted saying that Vacerello really gets the brand and even named him ‘The One’. It was, however, nice to see Christopher sat front row for the show, suggesting that there is no hard feelings between him and Donatella since he left as creative director.
Erdem Moralioglu is known for his beautiful floral creations that one could only describe as ‘delightful’ and ‘charming’, however he definitely took a different approach to Spring with a collection full of darker flowered patterns and melancholy vibes. The Victorian era was ever present in floaty Dickens-esque creations complete with dramatic sleeves and high ruffled necklines.
A personal favourite was a baby blue organza dress with a black ribbon, partially tied at the neck and left askew. I love when looks are not too ‘done’ and there are slight imperfections; it looks less pristine and more effortless. Another interesting element to these dresses was that some possessed cut-out arm details making them an innovative modern take on the 80s trends arising.
I remember seeing a recent collection Marques Almeida did for Topshop, it was all one-tone frayed denim and Barbie pink crop tops – clothing that displayed all the things I hate about 90s fashion and would also be very out of place in my wardrobe. It was such a refreshing surprise to see their SS16 collection was miles away from this with the two designers, Marta Marques and Paulo Almeida (both Portuguese), describing the collection as their true identity. There was still lots of their signature rips and frays but the colour palette was largely neutral giving a softer approach to the designs that were crafted from sheer fabrics and adorned with ruffles giving a glamorous grunge vibe.
Although their designs may not be so wearable on account of being very shapeless, I can really appreciate their talent as designers. They strike me as similar to J.W. Anderson, who started with very unwearable garments, but is someone I feel is really starting to find his feet in the industry with his Spring collection. Marques Almeida are still finding their way but I am extremely interested to see what next season brings for them.
What did you think of LFW? Let me know in the comments box below!