London Fashion Week 2017 Highlights

London Fashion Week will forever remain an iconic event in the fashion calendar. Thanks to the development and meticulous planning of the BFC (British Fashion Council), LFW is now a place where new emerging talent is welcome and encouraged to share their skills by the established greats of British fashion. The BFC even held its first Global Fashion Awards in December, showing the new business-driven mind that the fashion industry is encompassing. Perhaps this is why the shows this LFW shaped up to one of the most commercially appeasing and successful, with the shows being more accessible than ever and far less outlandish. The new mantra of ready-to-wear seemed to dominate this LFW meaning new slicker designs for the first time in years. However, some designers still managed to find the balance between the wearable and the eccentric, creating designs that are fresh, cutting-edge and exhilarating. A balance that seems very much like the city itself.

House of Holland

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House of Holland are known for their exuberant, quirky style, utilising bright colours and patterns to create stand out pieces. This LFW, designer and creative director Henry Holland did little to disappoint. Every season, his shows drop with the similar vociferous energy and indistinguishable graphics/gimmicks. As the show attendees sat down in the bare concrete setting to the sound of Tennessee-born singer Miley Cyrus’ album ‘BANGERZ’, it was an ample indication for the show to come. When the models finally hit the runway, the immediate ambient of the American Wild West was obvious. Star prints, fringe jackets, flares, graphic knee high boots and cowboy hats took the industrial setting by storm. The cuts and silhouettes of  the pieces ensured that a strong reference to the Wild West was maintained throughout. Standout pieces included maxi chiffon dresses branded with fringed stars, billowing long red trousers with fringed details and over-exaggerated flares, large checked fur coats and a series of items inspired by Woody Woodpecker including thigh-high boots brandishing his face. As a whole, the collection was impressive, but the unique ability of House of Holland to create a collection that accommodates to all buyers, not just those willing to dress as a cowgirl. Despite the high-key Wild West vibes and a prominent American Rodeo aesthetic maintained throughout the collection, there was something for everyone;  graphic tees, tartan skirts and velvet bomber jackets prove that the ready-to-wear collection is cutting edge as well as accessible.

J.W.Anderson

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Jonathon Anderson’s J.W.Anderson collections are the most highly anticipated and sought-after shows of LFW. Every season, Anderson draws more inspiration from more and more eclectic sources. Thus, not only is the brand constantly evolving in an exciting way, but also every show contains a new and exciting collection to present. Due to the ever increasing number of people wearing his clothes and using his accessories, Anderson seems to be on a winning streak. Audiences have seem his style evolve from statements about gender fluidity, to refining his style to feminine glamour.

The designers 2017 Autumn offering appeared to be very much inspired by the woman’s silhouette. Described as being something of a ‘style odyssey’, Anderson focused on the stripped back nature of clothing as well as the structure of building up from there. When creating the collection, Anderson admitted that he attempted to create something very feminine, only to have it crash, and attempted to build up from there. This is perhaps most evident in his work through the layering. The show opened with a capacious black key hole dress with a cinched-in drawstring waist, providing emphasis on the natural figure. Tailored jackets, floral prints matched with feathers and a relatively neutral colour palette (minus the vibrant purple silk dress) dominated the catwalk and provide a hint as to what to expect this Autumn/Winter in high street stores.

Molly Goddard

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One of the hottest designers to emerge from last year, Goddard is known for her immense tulle dresses, smocking, embroidery and crocheting. Although the crowd at LFW are used to daring styles, nothing could prepare them for the experimental designs created by Goddard.

Fascination of preserving a child-like dream in which the perceptions of princesses is still very much real is evident in Goddard’s previous work, and this LFW helped to preserve this image. Keen to perpetuate her image as the go-to designer for the most hardcore party girls in London, this collection provided fashion with a side of fantasy. People involved very heavily with the social circuit will revel in Goddard’s familiar and yet faultless use of embroidery with cross stitch detail, pink cupcake tulle and cinched in smock dresses and sleeves. Sheer dresses over graphic shirts, tutu mini skirts, satin ballet shoes and glittering knee high socks seemed to be reoccurring looks on this seasons catwalk. It is evident that Goddard is looking to reawaken the inner girly-girl inside every woman and their child-like fascination of parties in her newest, exciting Autumn/Winter 2017 collection. Instead of diminishing this inner feminine innocence, it appears that Goddard is attempting to embrace it in a socially modern way that is distinguishable to the brand of Molly Goddard.

Topshop Unique

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Topshop perhaps holds one of the most recognisable names in the high street setting. Translating that onto the catwalk is no easy feat, and yet the Topshop Unique show managed to faultlessly make the transition. Not only that, but the show produced a strong sense of youthful energy and fun.

The show opened with model Lily Donaldson wearing a baggy silk black jumper plastered with the words ‘Happy WKNDR Forever’ across the chest, paired with stripped pajama style trousers. The casual outfit set the tone for the rest of the show as juvenile and boyish- and that was just the beginning. What followed was  PVC skirts, cut out dresses, jackets with green-faux fur and zip up high neck collars. The clothes remained joyful, with masculine and casual figures for the Autumn/Winter 2017 season as well as clothes inspired by Western Indian states, nightclubs and exotic countries. The brand continues to reach commercial success due to the new ready-to-wear strategy adopted last year by many design houses. Pieces are now available online for anywhere between £60-£400.

Ashish

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The brand of Ashish will forever remain bold, youthful and exciting. After reaching commercial success and good reviews from their use of graphic shirts in previous collections, creative director Ashish Gupta utilised the graphic tee again, this time more politically focused. With glittering shirts plastering comments directed towards American President Donald Trump, such as ‘This Pussy grabs back’ and ‘unity in adversity’. The strong political and social messages are not where the collection ends, however.

Although superficially wrapped up in sequin and glitter, London based, Delhi-born designer Ashish produces some of the most thought-provoking shows of the LFW period. Transporting us in a glittery universe away from the mundane everyday life, even the setting saw a glittery yellow brick road with ‘Somewhere over the rainbow’ playing in the background. Perhaps the broken heart and red poppy decor indicated that the show would be symbolic and embedded with lots of meaning. Rainbow stripes and sequined check board pattern and glitter rugby shirts dominated this catwalk as well as recognisable iconography from American sport. The formatting of teams such as Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox were reimagined in a loud and exuberant way, amplifying Ashish’s position as a designer invested in the art of escapism, and yet still grounded in the political agenda of reality.

For a full review of Burberry, click here.

‘The minute your brand can be predicted, you’ve got a problem’

– J.W.Anderson

Burberry Autumn/Winter 2017 #LFW

When thinking of quintessential British fashion, more often than not, Burberry will be the defining brand of British fashion traditionalism. It remains one of the most sought after and highly regarded shows in the busy schedule of London Fashion Week. This LFW was no exception. Fashion editors and online influencers alike gathered at Maker’s House, Soho to see creative director Christopher Bailey debut his new collection.

The night started with an electric guitar chord, and the hazy voice of Anna Calvi along with her band and members of the Heritage Orchestra & Choir. Live music is always an important part of Burberry shows, and this year was no exception with Christopher Bailey’s newest discovery. Bailey seemed set to combine as many art forms as possible this LFW.

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It seemed that Bailey relied on the sculptures of Henry Moore to enhance the show. The infamous sculpture ‘Mother and Child’ was placed beside the runway, between guests such as Penelope Cruz and Tinie Tempah. Anna Wintour was seated opposite Draped Reclining Mother and Baby. The sculptures themselves transcended their role as a spectacle for the audience; instead the art proved as ample inspiration for the clothes themselves.

The big sculptures present the natural body in an abstract form. For this show, Christopher Bailey took direct inspiration from Moore’s sculptures. He even worked closely with Moore’s daughter and took notes from the artists personal style in the lead up to the show. This is perhaps more evident in the forms of the silhouettes; bold shapes, exaggerated cuffs, shoulder details and deconstructed garments. With the smooth lines of the art surrounding the catwalk, it was easy for the audience to see how this translated into the slick curvature of the clothes. Ruffles, frills, lace and abstract hems gave the effect of a sculptor creating his own piece of art on the human body.

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This show was all about the shoulder. Grey jumpers with embroidery details, white ruffles, denim details. You name it, Bailey made a variation of it. Model after model appeared wearing some sort of upper accessory. Coming out of the recent AW16 season, the high street saw an epidemic of ruffles. Judging by Burberry’s new AW17 show, the trend appears to show no sign of dying out. Instead we should all expect to see more ruffles and shoulder details this upcoming Autumn. In terms of colour, this collection varies greatly from the previous bold prints and exuberant metallics. Bailey seemed to be in a very stripped back and organic head space, with stripped back navy, whites, blues and blacks dominating this catwalk. The clothes, instead focused on craftsmanship, tailoring and different textures in order to echo the omnipotent sculptures surrounding the room.

the-cape

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The one piece of tailoring that seemed to prevail this collection was the humble cape. Particularly popular in 19th century Britain and important in the 161 years of Burberry history, the cape took a new reimagining in 2017. Capes in feather, lace, plastic- even one made entirely from crystal. Furthermore, in order to kick start the buy-it-now form shows have been adopting, Kendall Jenner picked up her own chunky knit cape worn to a party later that night.

Details at Burberry RTW Fall 2017    Source

In light of another successful show, where clean cut silhouettes and smart tailoring hinted at what is to come this AW17 season, one prevailing thought on everybody’s mind. The role of fashion in art. There is a long standing debate on it’s position, but Bailey has just reminded the public, by drawing inspiration from Moore and echoing his style, that he is the ultimate artist. Translating work from sculpture to human is no easy feat. Not only did Bailey prove the place of London as a credible fashion event, he also blurred the rigid lines between fashion and art, reminding us that designers remain some of the best and most successful artists there are.

‘Fashion now is much more than a product. It’s about entertainment and people feeling a part of something’

-Christopher Bailey 

#LFW Highlights

Away from the exciting and yet strict New York Fashion Week, London fashion week comenses. London always seems to be the centre of arts and fashion, full of exciting talent and integral talks of acceptance. The city may seem enigmatic, but upon entering, you feel a true Londoner. Everyone here has a goal, and the sheer amount of multiculturalism sweeps you up. Something about the manifestation of people is truly a great experience. Wanderers, dreamers, artists…people. LFW does nothing to tarnish the encounter, in fact, it heightens it. Designers from all around the world come together to display their art. Men and women’s fashion intermingled, with the buzzing culture of the arts. This fashion week saw a new era for fashion emerging. One where art may be combined with the present. The new accepting culture is mixed with English traditionalism to create a culture that many yearn for. Bloggers, Instagramers and reporters a like were left with much to absorb, as this London Fashion Week became the best one yet. And from home, I was religiously checking my social media feeds every second. In my awe and amazement, I have decided to compile a list of only some of my favourite shows that have seemed the most important.

Burberry

One does not simply make a blog post about London Fashion Week without mentioning Burberry…

This years show did not disappoint. As the centre of attention for LFW, all eyes were on Makers house on the 19th of September. It seems like this year Christopher Bailey made a huge change to the art of fashion shows as we know it. A new scheme in which people could buy pieces from the catwalk after the show sees a new change for fashion. A mantra of ‘see-now-buy-now’ is over taking LFW, and the fashion world. In this show we saw men and women’s fashion side by side, and a new form of fashion emerging from the event. In contrast, the clothes, inspired by Virginia Woolf’s Orlando, hints at a collection inspired by the past. Old wallpaper prints, and ornate drummer boy jackets creates a vintage vibes for the spring summer trends. Golds, blues and reds keep the traditional Burberry style that we all know and love. However, we see the Burberry brand rewriting the conventions of catwalk shows. Remember this show that defines a change of the Burberry brand, and in fact, fashion shows as we know them.

Fyodor Golan

Alas, here I am again. Writing about the shows with bright colours, unique fabrics and quirky styles. I am constantly attracted to the most aesthetically pleasing catwalks shows. Although I am a massive advocate of high couture shows, the newer more futuristic looks really interest and attract me.

Bright colours seemed to be a massive theme running throughout Golan’s show. Blues, pinks,reds, oranges and greens. Despite the clashing colours, they work well together harmoniously, while still creating a striking look. The sheer amount of texture injected into this collection gives it a great sense of movement. Holographic materials, paired with denim, faux fur and sheer/lace materials hint at what is to come this spring summer. The childish and yet futuristic look of the collection just screams fun to me. Matched with brightly coloured trainers, I could not help but include this show into my favorites.

J JS Lee

The main thing that took my attention in this collection is the use of sheer tulle material. Standard, ‘normal’ clothing is spiced up with the material, which gives the clothes an added detail. Not apparent at first sight, the tulle gives the clothes a more angelic and light look.

Different from other shows, the clothes in this collection are wearable. Not too crazy. In fact, the clothes are sensible, using masculine figures to accentuate the elegance of a women’s figure. Monochrome tones used throughout the collection, with a few deep tones of blue and a few bright patterns indicate a lot of darker colours used in spring summer 2017. However, the tulle adds colour and definition into a otherwise bland outfits.

Marques’ Almeida

Again, Marques’ Almeida’s collection injects a sense of entertainment into LFW. Flower prints and delicate lace materials, are paired with denim and frayed edges. The romantic feel and style of the clothes are matched with more urban accessories and shoes. I think this perfectly encapsulates the atmosphere and mood of London. Traditionalism mixed with urban settings. London is steeped in history, and yet exerts business and innovation at it’s core. Something that this collection by relatively new designers Marta Marques and Paulo Almeida  have created. Despite being from Portugal, the collection screams modern London, which reflects the accepting society we live in. More silver fabrics give off a futuristic feel, and tulle fabric is used again to bring femininity and lightness to an otherwise urban collection. Paired with sculptured shoes and bad-ass boots, who could resist putting this collection in their LFW highlights?

Topshop Unique

Topshop Unique is another collection that I cannot help but put onto my highlights.Another year, and another success.

The over sized jackets are paired with more fitting skirts and dresses. I cannot help but feel excitement towards the 1980s vibes that this collection is giving off. Jumpers tucked into high-waisted loose fitting trousers that reminisces ski suits, as well as large jackets to hint at shell suit jackets. Like other collections at LFW, printed fabrics and denim seem to be a reoccurring theme. Masculine silhouettes which only accentuate hourglass figures, are balanced out with over sized everything. Hinting at what is to come this spring summer. Blacks, white and deep blues seemed to prevail in this collection, with only a few exceptions of bright pops of yellow and pink. This collection seems far from haute couture, and instead displays what appears to be a newly emerged theme in the fashion world. Urbanized pieces dominated this LFW, clothes that you could wear straight off of the catwalk. It seems that Topshop also have adopted the mantra of ‘see-now-wear-now’. And yet, it works. I cannot wait to see the same prints and over sized styles in my local Topshop this spring/summer. Oh, and the same style of shoe that varies only in colour is a nice touch! The hybrid of high heel and boots will look so good paired with either trousers or a dress.

          ‘It’s really important to be disruptive and do things that are actually kind of a little scary and bold’

-Christopher Bailey  

The #LFW Effect

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Ever since I first found out about London Fashion Week, I have religiously checked for updates. I used to marvel at the gorgeous fabrics, the shimmer of sequins and the wonderful array of trends. Now, with social media, I spend the whole five days updating Twitter and stalking the Instagram’s of designers and models alike. Despite never attending any shows in fashion week, it is safe to say that I am pretty obsessed with the cultural chaos that is London Fashion Week.

I believe that LFW was the triggering event that made me realise my love of fashion. When I was younger, and asked what I wanted to be when I was older, the answer was always: Fashion. I wanted to create, design and immerse myself in the culture. Whatever way, I’ve always wanted to be in the fashion world.

With wide eyes, I looked at the shows. Chanel, Dior, Prada. I gawked and absorbed. The fascination and bubbling excitement I felt towards this week has not died, but perhaps gotten stronger with the prospect of LFW becoming part of my job.

Definite that I was going to become a fashion designer, it was not until I really researched into fashion week that I found out about fashion journalism. And, alas, here I am. 10 years later writing on my fashion blog and looking to study journalism at university.

In my mind, I imagined LFW up to be this glamorous and extravagant world. Full of opportunity and wonder, as the FROW snap pictures and look on in interest. The creme de la creme of fashion. The enigmatic and foreign world certainly made me realise my dreams and undoubtedly the dreams of thousands of others.

LFW has changed since I first discovered it. The shows were art. 2015 seemed to be the ‘death’ of fashion. Raf left Dior, Alber Elbaz left Lanvin, shows adopted the ‘buy now, wear now’ mantra. ‘Fast fashion’ has now swept up the entire fashion world, and the art form seemed to be dwindling out. With the ever evolving world of social media, we see it creeping into the fashion weeks. Models Snap chatting, designers uploading to Instagram. While I am not opposed to using technology, in all honesty I encourage it, I feel like the essential art of fashion is escaping us. I feel that it is no longer the essential art form that I first discovered.

Don’t get me wrong, I still marvel over the beauty and completely freak out when I see the Chanel and Balmain shows in their respective Fashion Weeks. But, as I have changed, so has London Fashion Week.

The ‘new age’ of fashion may be challenging for some, but this London Fashion Week, I hope to embrace it. For ages, I felt saddened by the evolving of fashion, but writing this post made me realise something. Although I found like I am complaining, I still love fashion. LFW still holds the same amount of wonder and excitement for me. I should stop contemplating the change of fashion, and instead embrace it. The art of the fashion is still there, the passion is still there, and most importantly my love of the culture. Whether it is the high-end, luxurious couture, or fashion bloggers snapping their street style outside, I love the culture.

So, yes, fashion has changed. London Fashion Week has evolved and developed. Although it might not be what it used to be, there is still undoubtedly phenomenal talent, translating their art form into the modern world. LFW will still hold an important part in the fashion world. From my 10 year old, fashion obsessed self, to now, LFW still means the same. It is the promise of my dream life, of the hope of fashion, the culture and life of fashions greats, brought together for a shared love.

Despite never being to one, London Fashion Week has changed my life and my dreams.

‘Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening’

-Coco Chanel