London Fashion Week kicked off in style last Friday with an array of prestigious and diverse designers showing their collections for Autumn/Winter 2015. Despite the bitterly cold weather and outbreaks of rain, the fash pack put on their glad rags and braved the weather to see what London’s fashion scene had to offer. British designer Gareth Pugh made a highly anticipated return to London, Kanye West made an appearance at the shows and Cara Delevigne was notably absent from the runways, preferring to take her place on the front row. Here, we take a look back over the past week and pick out some of the highlights from the event.
Gareth Pugh returned to London with a show on home soil influenced by British history after seven years in Paris. The model’s faces were painted in bold red with the Saint George’s Cross and the whole collection felt like a celebration of the richness of British history. With references to Boudicca and football fans of the ultra-tribal, the wars, chaos and passion laced throughout the country’s past came through in the striking dark clothing. The over-sized silhouettes in long, glossy, ink black fur, worn by models with cropped hair was a clear reference to the work of the late designer, Alexander McQueen, who’s exhibition Savage Beauty opens at the V&A next month.
Ryan Lo‘s Autumn/Winter collection had elements from a range of references. The beautiful pussy bow blouses took influence from the Victorian trend. Updating the look, he used sheer fabrics with a feminine floral detail and fine white feathers. Lo’s girls were youthful, quirky and much more fun than the Victorians. It was his first solo show since graduating from Fashion East and a very exciting London Fashion Week debut from an emerging talent.
There were a lot of public transport inspired prints this season. Anya Hindmarch used road signs for the inspiration of her collection of clothes and handbags. The London Gay Men’s Chorus closed the designer’s show, dressed in high vis outfits and hard hats. Peter Pilotto on the other hand went more underground for his inspiration, using the tube map as the basis for his prints. The white dresses with bold splashes of colour were both modern and wearable. At House of Holland, there were bold hazard tape prints and instead of catwalks, the models stood stationary on travelators.
London Fashion Week attracts the weird and the wonderful, who flock to Somerset House to show off their wacky, unique and stylish outfits. It is an opportunity to showcase yourself, put together an outfit that cannot go unsnapped by the hundreds of photographers who pace the courtyard each day looking for the most interesting people. It is also a chance to get yourself some free advertising, wearing your own creations in the hope that someone will take notice. Of course, not every one is snapped for getting it right…
Another emerging talent, Beth Postle, won joint ownership of the L’Oréal Professionnel Creative Award, alongside Matty Bovan, for her Central Saint Martins MA show. Her signature use of thick black lines and PVC melted to garments using the heat press technique were as strong and artistic as ever. The young designer combined skin tight, fishnet body stockings worn underneath with loose fitting, draping garments. Her print work is what really makes these pieces so unique and interesting, inspired by French painter and sculptor Jean Dubuffet.
The event came to a close on the 24th February after bringing thousands of visitors through the gates at Somerset House. London Fashion Week has yet again proved just how strong it’s home bred designers are and that they are worthy of their place among the world’s greatest.
Shoe designer Sophia Webster is going from strength to strength, releasing a collection of super cute designs for Autumn/Winter. She has teamed up with Coca-Cola, so naturally there are some references to the company’s drinks, such as the ‘Cherry Coke’ stilettos with beaded cherries placed on top and the brand’s logo reworked into prints. The sexy, thigh-high boots in leopard print link back to the kinky boot trend seen on catwalks including Ashish, Marques Almedia and Jonathan Saunders.