London Fashion Week: the Autumn/Winter 2014 edition came to a screeching halt yesterday afternoon after a four day roller-coaster ride through all the creative and sartorially-inclined talent that the UK has to offer. In between the flouncing and pouting some very impressive threads came marching down catwalks citywide, and as is our custom we thought it only reasonable to take some of our absolute favourites and pop them all on the site. Without further ado then, here’s our round-up!
Christopher Kane is one of the most consistently brilliant designers to show in London; not only is his work incredibly rich in references and inspiration, but the designer constantly pushes his own boundaries to test new ground. The proof is in the pudding; this season saw beautiful new experiments with fabric, pleating layers of tulle over one another à la Valentino to create book-shaped shimmering swathes, not to mention sleeves fashioned from wobbly silhouettes and flowers harking back to his botanical inspiration of Spring/Summer. Gorgeous stuff.
“There AREN’T going to be any DIGITAL PRINTS?” hollered the crowd in anticipation of Mary Katrantzou’s Autumn/Winter show, or at least they might have done if they’d known that fashion’s queen of novelty references would show a collection without any of her trademark iconic prints. They needn’t have worried, though, as Mary more than made up for their absence with layer upon layer of intricate brocade, lace and jacquard, recreating the powerful symmetry of the astonishing prints that made her LFW’s darling with beautifully-crafted symbols and emblems. It’s an exciting new direction for the designer, who has proven that it’s perfectly possible to mature your practice without losing any of the wow-factor.
Whenever I read the name Tom Ford the first image that comes to mind is one of a suave gentleman perched high on a throne with a red velvet and bejewelled crown perched firmly on his head; such is his majestic power over the forces of the fashion industry, effortlessly influencing the trends of each season with but a flick of his cape.
This collection saw him re-appropriate Jay Z’s already iconic lyric: “I don’t pop molly, I rock Tom Ford” with a sequinned American football shirt emblazoned with his own name and the crossed out word “molly,” to create a veritable love-in with the hip hop hero. (Not sure how Bey would feel about such a situation, but we’ll run with it for the sake of our imaginations). Also featured; red snakeskin suits, animal-print fur jackets, sleek tuxedoes and 60s influences a’plenty in strict monochrome and beatnik accents. You did us proud, Tom.
Ashley Williams was the name dominating Twitter yesterday morning – not only because the season was the final time she would be showing with Fashion East, the non-profit initiative created to support upcoming designers, but also because she showed a collection so unpretentiously fun and “funkyoffish” (equal parts funky and official) that those dark corners of the internet that hadn’t already been won over by her designs were immediately shot through the heart with a fluffy yellow arrow.
Cats graced jumpers, jeans and knits, horses galloped across rodeo leathers, hats were weird aviator affairs and dungarees came in metallic silver, pink, red, blue and indigo denim. Like most women under the age of 30 (and, I would hazard a guess, a fair few over) I want to put it all on my body simultaneously – a plight that I have no doubt the designer herself would support.
Vivienne Westwood Red Label
Vivienne Westwood’s show was among our favourites this season, not because it pushed the boat out into new, daunting territory, but rather because it was something like watching a lesson in British history play out through Dame Viv’s eyes; a progression of smartly-tailored 80s broad-shouldered suits, flamboyant oversized hats, retro silk headscarves, pearls and prints. In what Style.com described as a codification of her aesthetic, the designer gathered up her influences and references from far and wide to compile a heart-warming and nonetheless exciting collection of her most powerful pieces, with a quiet suggestion that the designer might soon be looking to pass on her legacy.