- Don-Alvin Adegeest |
London proved itself a vibrant and ever-changing source of inspiration for fashion week. Designers were political yet united, using their voices in a time of global uncertainty to make statements of inclusivity and creativity. Shared men's and women's catwalks kept the androgyny vibe ongoing and consumer facing shows, like Burberry's, are changing the face of fashion week as we know it.
What rose to the fore is London proving to be a city that cherishes independence and eccentricity. This diversity wavered through the collections, which could be challenging and directional at times, yet equally feminine and exquisitely crafted. Here we present an inside guide to the season's trends and themes:
The oversize silhouette is here to stay, with exaggerated shoulders, sweeping floor length gowns and enveloping outerwear perfect plays on bigger proportions. We have been seeing this for several seasons, but what started at Vetements in Paris has filtered through to more traditional brands, like an oversized man's blazer seen at Mulberry, or a peacoat's lapels blown up at Joseph.
One garment that stood out in the crowd is the oversized sweater, which has been scaled up several sizes. We saw knitwear with extra long sleeves and roomy bodies in finer yarns like cashmere teamed with skirts or worn over dresses. Chunky homespun knits in textured XL versions were worn with a loose trouser. The key is to get used to wearing a few sizes up.
Technique and Construction
Complicated patterns, cut & sew techniques and abstract styling showed London has brawn when it comes to garment making. Established designers such as Preen by Thornton Bregazzi showed their technical prowess with their penchant for the asymmetrical and unique take on Victoriana, while newcomers like Robert Wun are experimenting with craft and technology. Whether it is playing with proportion or working with 'petit mains' on novel techniques, the London collections were nothing short of cutting edge.
The colour palettes seen at London Fashion Week are a rich mix of practically everything. Floral prints (at Erdem) to Disneyland fairytales (Mary Katrantzou) to collages of technicolor (Christopher Kane) there was something for all tastes.
There were neutrals at Burberry, like the layered knits worn over crisp white cottons, and similarly seen at Joseph and Pringle. A graphic red story also emerged, as seen on block colours at Roksanda and Emilia Wickstead in elegant evening wear. Brown-tones, black and florals were also in abundance, the latter a pattern favourite at Simone Rocha and Preen's blanket dress.
You can't get more classic than the traditional British wool check which during LFW was reinterpreted with modern styling. Glenn plaids have already been seen in New York at Calvin Klein and were back on the London catwalk too. Markus Lupfer proposed a double-breasted wool check suit version, in a grey lightweight check with a dropped shoulder and loose trouser.
According to data analytics company Edited, the cardigan is making a return for AW17. Their data shows in-stock sweaters outnumber cardigans by 60 percent but the new season will soon turn this once-forgotten knitwear item back into a trend. Forget about granny sweaters, these cardigans are oversized, as seen at Christopher Kane, or bold and functional, like a zipped-up stripe version seen at Molly Goddard.
If there has been one item for the past two seasons that has had a fully-fledged makeover, it is the humble shirt. There has been no lack in creativity in reimagining this wardrobe staple, as seen at Burberry, Roksanda and Eudon Choi. What makes these shirts unique? Think dramatic proportions such as elongated sleeves and body length, mixed with drapes, folds, cut-aways and ruffles.
Less is not always more, especially when it comes to a generous dose of embellishment, as seen on the London Fashion Week catwalks of so many designers. There were versions of juxtaposed materials, such as mixing a beaded vest with a tassle skirt, or full-on highly decorative surfaces that were equally mesmerising, as seen at Mary Katrantzou, where beaded embroideries were inspired by Fantasia.
We reckon these brands will give Gucci a run for its money next season.
Photo credits: Catwalkpictures