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London Fashion Week AW 17 – LFW AW17

February 25, 2017

In this season’s catwalk, the see-now-buy-now trend persists so not everything was actually LFW AW17 autumn/winter 17 but some was spring/summer 17. The move makes sense when manufacturing can be completed so quickly and its to be expected that soon most, if not all, brands will move to this model. Surely in the not-too-distant future it’s going to be one of those quirky factoids – did you know that fashion designers used to show clothes completely out of season? How strange!

Also continuing were the catwalks filled with both genders, showing menswear and womenswear at the same time.
But apart from that, what are the big take away trends from the catwalks? Well, there were three.

LFW AW17

The love affair with velvet shows no signs of abating, with deep dark velvets at Simone Rocha, bias cuts shown at both Christopher Kane and Roland Mouret, and interesting treatment elsewhere – Emilia Wickstead created “velvet lace”, it was printed and devoré at Peter Pilotto and Erdem, and Mary Katrantzou appliquéd jellyfish onto hers.

Colour-wise, daring colour combinations are in – Johnny Coca at Mulberry was apparently inspired by Cadbury’s Roses when he proposed an ochre shirt worn with a purple skirt and spearmint green boots. Roksanda always has an interesting take on colour and this season she created a tribute to Richard Nicholl, with a model in head to toe “Nicholl Blue”, following that with a sophisticated combination of cobalt blue, oxblood and chestnut. Roland Mouret did a striking shoe in teal, mauve and forest green, and elsewhere, scarlet shoes and jumpers were everywhere.

Then there is the “statement pocket”. You can probably still stick your phone in one but away with the subtle inside pocket – now you choose between a necklace-pocket at JW Anderson, the massive patch pocket (emphasised by a huge flower) at Christopher Kane, or the array of equally giant pockets added, camo trouser style, at Simone Rocha.
Here are some of the highlights of the shows:

LFW AW17 Teatum Jones

 

photo credit – FIRSTVIEW.

 

Teatum Jones always seem to look for a gimmick – last year the design duo were apparently inspired by LGBT people, and this year they – gasp – put some disabled people on the catwalk. Who, apparently, they had a chat with and discovered they just want to be treated like everyone else and also wear fashion like everyone else. So what they did was, they highlighted the missing limbs by tying ribbons around the prosthetic limb or knotting off the sleeves so that you could really see there was a different configuration going on under the clothes.
That bizarreness aside, the clothes were beautiful. Oversized slouchy knits, worn off the shoulder were followed with fit and flare dresses in brocade, slouchy trouser suits and interesting combinations of fabrics and textures.

CHALAYAN

photo credit – INDIGITAL.

Hussein Chalayan used Ancient Greece as the inspiration for this show, and talked about “modern reincarnation of ancient values”. In some ways the connection was obvious – a toga-like garment in brown worn over a sweatshirt; a custom jacquard depicted an Ancient Greek city map overlaid with Manhattan’s modern grid system. In other ways the connection was more cerebral.
It was a stripped back show, with a concentrated colour palette, pinky-browns, greys, blacks and inky blues to the fore. The fabrics were stern and supported some fluid cuts that were feminine but not fussy.

Molly Goddard

photo credit – INDIGITAL.

 

Molly Goddard is rising up through a stead Fashion Week presence to become a looked forward to staple. Her clothes are always about the dressing-up box but not in a Lolita way, and this season, too, she couldn’t avoid adding a signature awkward looking ruched tutu or six and a babydoll dress worn over silver leggings. Her tulle is often worn with 90s staples, like stripy tops, or very obviously over another item, like an incongruously printed sweatshirt, but one dress for LFW AW17 seemed to emerge from this trend – a blue tulle with only small ruffles, worn over a plain black leotard. Ethereal and original.

Gareth Pugh

photo credit – INDIGITAL.

 

Gareth Pugh is still creating clothes that Marilyn Manson would drool over: all black ensembles in fine wool, rubber and vinyl with some absolutely stand out tailoring, padded at hip and shoulders and nipped at the waist in a Forties way, but worn with wide legged trousers and a truckload of black eye makeup. In fact, with the exception of some shaggy wolf-grey faux fur, the entire collection was black, and a mixture of his outrageous exaggerated shapes and the very wearable – I see those wide legged trousers going down a storm. The wolf coats look good too for some Red Riding Hood role play, even if the stiffly structured black robot garments probably won’t be flying off the shelves.

JW Anderson

photo credit – INDIGITAL.

 

JW Anderson is one of the leaders of London Fashion Week and what with also being the creative director of Loewe, all eyes are on the designer right now. His collection was elegant and cohesive, with brown leather straps as a theme, used as shoulder straps and collar closures, and, ok, this doesn’t sound elegant but somehow is, um, pouches worn over the breasts? I’m really refraining from jokes about fun bags. Actually that part looks very much like a pro-breastfeeding art installation. I don’t know. Anyway, there are also some wolfish coats, only this time they are clearly not faux fur but fur. There are also sheepskin flying jackets, puff-ball skirts, and some interesting layering going on.

Emilia Wickstead

photo credit – INDIGITAL.

 

Emilia Wickstead excels at dresses, and at LFW AW17 she presented them seemingly by the dozen. Some of the voluminous and floral ones came close to looking like curtains, but the best were floaty and in interesting fabrics like sequins or deep velvets, which admittedly we’re seeing a lot of this season but which she does very well. There were some high-waisted jeans, crop tops and pops of scarlet in there too, for a well-rounded collection.

House of Holland

photo credit – INDIGITAL.

 

Henry Holland’s show was a messy affair based on rodeo queens in seventies flares with fringing and little girl pastels with questionable wording. There were Clueless style mini kilts and plaid trousers, an awful lot of star prints and some print clashing going on.

Roland Mouret

photo credit – FIRSTVIEW.

 

Roland Mouret hasn’t shown in London for quite some time – now he is back. He has always showed flattering, wearable dresses – one of his most famous was the “Galaxy” body con dress, seen on celebrities everywhere ten years ago.
This season he showed an updated version of it, still with that zip very visible right down the back but an updated, higher neckline. It was still square, and along with the flowing sleeves gave a very medieval effect.
That zip appeared elsewhere too, but on the whole that strongly structure look was replaced by flowing satins in block colours of blue, purple and mustard along with some dark floral prints. It was all very nice, but if there is a new blockbuster dress in there I haven’t spotted it.

Simone Rocha

photo credit – INDIGITAL.

 

Simone Rocha gave us a gorgeous collection entitled “The Marching Roses” for LFW AW17 . Featuring women from three generations modelling, it primarily played on luscious textures – satins, velvets and faux furs – in a neutral palette of black, khaki and beige, enlivened with liberal pops of red in floral prints. The shapes were very military, with large pockets everywhere and belts and straps that looked like gun holsters. The effect was feminine but tough. A new uniform for 21st century Suffragettes?

Christopher Kane

photo credit – INDIGITAL.

 

Christopher Kane loves Crocs and he’s not afraid to show it. The designer has partnered with the shoe brand in the past, and for LFW AW17 a few fur-trimmed ones slip in there, alongside alarmingly pointy patent leather and glitter shoe-boots and what seemed to be sandals with foam rubber inserts.
But, dragging my eyes from the footwear, what about the clothes? Origami folded dresses and skirt suits in brocade and sandy coloured cocoon coats were pleasant, if not setting the house on fire, ditto the well cut trousers and white shirts. There were metallics and a fur coat (fur is definitely a thing this year) and then the massive sequin 3D flowers, used as appliqués and added to pockets.

Erdem

photo credit – INDIGITAL.

 

Erdem is always a poetic thinker and this time his romantic dresses are inspired by his own background, in a very specific way. The designs pay tribute to his grandmothers. “this collection – which is quite a personal one – [is] the story of my two grandmothers and their improbable meeting,” said the designer. “It’s about two women – one from my mum’s side, married to my great-grandfather who was in the Royal Scots Regiment and died in World War One; and on my father’s side a background in Turkey, near the Syrian border. I wanted to imagine what would have happened to those women had they met.”

The LFW AW17 show featured predominantly dresses, and they were as usually precisely cut, extremely feminine works of art. The Ottoman influence was seen in stylised embroidery and patterns reminiscent of Turkish traditional tiles, and his other grandmother perhaps was represented by the high collared Edwardian style dresses in white cotton. Other parts seemed all Erdem’s own, as cleverly structured outfits in rich hues complete with silver boots strode down the runway. The only faltering step for LFW AW17 was perhaps the pushing-it-a-bit harem pants, but over all, a beautiful show.

 

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