… With John Rocha, this collection was simply a wintry evolution of his SS’13 campaign. Inspired by County Wicklow, Ireland, the colour palette was all blacks, greens, yellows and salmon pinks, and a shot of scarlet on a cap-sleeve dress – the AW’13 version of the frou-frou from last season. But it was also about volume; organza appliquéd on dresses, and hand-sewn layers of silk under skirts. The girlishness was waylaid by cut-outs and crocheted mohair; a step on from Summer and a step towards fashion future. (Poppy D of WIWT fame went mad for it!)
Marques’Almeida was the Nineties meets ballroom. Their signature denim – ripped and worn – was still there, but this time there was silk and court-like shoes (but still clumpy) and biker jackets in dark, luxe ponyhair. And, of course, there were still trousers under skirts…
When Julien Macdonald takes the stage, you sit up and take note. And, with his triumphant return to a catwalk show, the tent was abuzz. “I’m most looking forward to putting on a fantastic, glamorous show! One of the things I love most about showing at London Fashion Week is working with a fabulous team of people to put it all together, there is always a buzz in the air and it’s that energy that I am most looking forward to,” the designer told Vogue before the grand performance. The show itself was pure rock ‘n’ roll. Shimmering, embellished, glittering and bodycon, Julien Macdonald had it all. Racer backs and mesh inserts made it a punky collection to boot. This AW’13 collection was all fireworks.
Todd Lynn‘s Ante Bellum was inspired by the Gopher Gang and was a fierce, confident collection with masculine jackets adjusted at the back, and even more jackets redesigned to become skirts. Biker jackets of nude, black and midnight, and designed to pair with textures of velvet, goat fur and pony skin, were skin-tight. My favourites were the pleated skirts with paper-bag waists.
Oh, Moschino Cheap and Chic, how you make my heart flutter. Ostrich feather, faux fur, leopard prints and graphic writing scrawled across dresses and trousers – this AW’13 collection is a riot of pattern and texture. Oversized jackets and knits covered dresses with flirty skirts, and glitter hemmed pink. The polkadot was tiny, but made the collection complete.
It was more monochrome from J JS Lee, with robin’s egg blue, candy pink and lemon yellow to help it along. And boxy was the order of the day; asymmetric hems and roll necks to create a smooth, unblemished outset, save the textured fabrics creating an overall warmth from this demure and girlish collection.
“My woman is cooler, she wants to explore,” Daniella Helayel from Issa London told Vogue backstage. “Her hair is messier, she’s tired of being too groomed. She’s nomadic, she travelled to Morocco and then went to the American mountains. She’s free.” This translated itself in Aztec prints and Fedora hats, earthy hues and geometric prints that evoked South America. Suede and shearling added texture, whilst polo-necks and long skirt hems kept it modest. The show ended with shimmering evening gowns, as was familiar to an Issa collection, but it was a newer feel to this range – a carefree traveller, come via the Seventies.
If House of Holland is known for anything, it’s flair and fun. The Summer of 1989 was the main inspiration for the range of almost psychedelic prints. The colours were pink and teal and lime with shiny tortoiseshell shoes to adorn them. Fuzzy parkas in jade and more pink, and bejewelled jumpers, and martini prints on boxy tailoring. Although the collection was the usual riotous party we have come to expect, there was a certain grown-up edge to it – a sign of things to come?
The second day of London Fashion Week was drawing to a close, but there was no rest for the fashion fabulous.
David Koma has been growing these past few seasons, and this collection was no less. Towering wedges aided the structural silhouette that was the base of this AW’13 range. Inspired by the Sixties, it was a step away from his usual angles, with new waved hemlines and ribbed panels. Contrasts of leather and wool and chiffon were blended by zips, and translucent stripes added a sporty appeal. Circular shapes like music records were the accents to a collection that is new and yet familiar, and colours were black, nude, red, lavender blue and inky teal.
Thomas Tait was one of the last collections to show. Another Central Saint Martins superstar, his collection is all slick futurism and minimalist beauty. This time it was colour blocks, and masculine trims against high necks, quilted puffa jackets and cuffed sweatshirts. It felt like another futuristic ensemble, with touches of the disco about it.
So it began over half an hour late, but it was one of the most hotly anticipated collections of London Fashion Week – Rihanna for River Island. We’ve been having sneak peeks, previews and the excitement has been almost unbearable. Imagine the perfect marriage between River Island – the grungy, edgy, hip hop highstreet store – and international superstar Rihanna – whose style is full of attitude, feminist flair and even more grunge – and you’ve about got it right. Sheer, neon, studs and mesh were all present in something both current and Nineties, detailed and simplistic. Maxi skirts with slits up to the thigh, cropped tops, and high-waisted shorts. There was little print – save florals on cigarette pants that stopped at the ankle, dresses with asymmetric hems, and splashes of blue tie-die across shirts and skirts.
So that wraps up day two of London Fashion Week… tired yet!?