Just like last week, I'm doing a rundown of my favourite collections from the most recent fashion week, and this time I'm drooling over what London had to offer. London fashion week is always my favourite because there are so many collections inspired by British culture and traditions, but also it's so exciting to try and predict what we're all going to be wearing this time next year. An embracing of the gothic continues on from NYFW, but this time touching on either the romantic or the rebellious. Rules are broken in the realm of the silhouette, and texture and layering are woken from their boring slumber and given a fresh new look.
Like something out of a kinky Brothers Grimm fairytale, the models strutted the runway in mesh bodysuits, capes and dresses made for femme fatales with dark souls. Silhouettes were exaggerated and switched from feminine to androgynous in a heartbeat.
I was mesmerized by the geometric patterns created by the intricate lace in this collection. There's definitely an underlying touch of goth going on here, but the muted lilac palette brings a romantic softness. There's fluidity in the fabrics, but the lace paneling and constructed silhouettes produce a female warrior.
It's so refreshing to see some new shapes emerging in collections like this. What would have been a rather unremarkable collection is turned into something spectacular with the use of ruffed necks, dropped-bell sleeves, tiered hemlines and oversized silhouettes. The two tone colour palette featuring greens, mustard and maroons only works to make the garments even more alluring.
Any collection featuring My Little Pony motifs has got my attention. Yes there's a kitsch, Cutester vibe to these garments, but there's also genius architectural sculpting that constructs an ultra-modern form. Mix these two factors with some contrasting textures, a candy palette and kaleidoscope prints and you've got something quite special.
Sass & Bide
I love a collection that flits from one extreme to the other. All of these garments ooze a grungy sexiness, but it's the proportions that are key. Lengths dart from maxi to mini whilst over-sized and super skinny have an on-stage battle.
Just one look at this collection and you're instantly aware of a reference to something classic. The New Romantic touches are prominent with the ruffled collars, structured shirts and monochrome palette but the sleek lines and minimalist simplicity brings it forward 25 years.
Any dramatic collection has my attention, no matter how eccentric, however it is nice to see one that's got the right balance of drama and practicality. The drama is there with the veiled headpieces and Disney villain capes, but it's the jewel tones, the tailored coats and exaggerated blanket stitching that I take away from this collection with a longing to see them commonplace next winter.
If you're aware of Moschino's SS15 Barbie collection, I wouldn't blame you for thinking this was some sort of punked up parody. I did. In fact I prefer it. The pink and black palette is a classic punk combo, but the latex, mohair, beading and sequins not only separate the collection from it's punky cliches, but work to create a fierce rebellion of its own.
These modestly sexy and edgy pieces ooze a Gothic glamour. Texturally rich garments that feature silks, lace, PVC and sheer / fishnet panels give a collection with a predominantly black palette body and substance, whilst the rare bursts of jewel tones are exhilarating.
If you're watching Wolf Hall at the moment, you'll get this collection and all its Tudor references. All the components for a classic Tudor costume are there, from tapestry and tweed textures and opulent hues to bodices, frills and ruffles. However the playful way in which Simone Rocha has pieced them together, with raw edges, and shapely figures merges two distant eras together.
Gareth Pugh collections make me squeal like an excited little goth girl. Words like gothic, weird, eccentric and dark just do not do his works of art justice. It just makes me so happy that designers like Pugh are continuing what Alexander McQueen started, with collections that shock, inspire debate and make people question fashion and it's 'rules'. This collection is no different. Nightmarish and threatening, this all black ensemble is strong and powerful. Of course texture is the only way to make a colour palette like this mean something, and Pugh goes all out. It's one of those collections that I can't even begin to describe, because I feel my words don't do it justice.
Preen by Thornton Bregazzi
Finally some 70s references. 70s was huge at NYFW. In fact it was the center trend I feel. But in London, the revival has been more muted. This dark, romantic take has a folksy edge. The bodices, high necks and fluted cuffs are reminiscent of the vintage Victoriana look that's been hovering around, whilst the tiered skirts and ruffles in asymmetric forms and primary shades exudes freedom and naturalness.
Another monochrome palette showcasing how texture can be utilised to it's fullest potential. Clashing prints are teamed with fringing and shaggy outerwear to create a sexy, sultry and understated collection .
Bonkers. Pure bonkers. But why the hell not? If you're showcasing your latest shoe collection, why not go all out with everything else? In a circus-style foire, Webster's shoes and accessories featured feathers, leopard print, glitter and tartan, whilst up top was an unconventional display of all things spherical.
Bohemian is given a fresh awakening with the help of Matthew Williamson. Of course you have the definitive components such as embroidery, beads and sequins, but it's the colour palette that screams at you. Williamson does away with earthly hues and replaces them with vivid and intense teals, pinks and crimsons. The silhouettes are classically Seventies, with high necks and silky, slim lines contrasting with voluminous jackets.
Vivienne Westwood Red Label
You can always rely on Vivienne Westwood to deliver. She's a household name with a signature style that will never grow old. Here we see punky notes of animal print, sequins, lace, and tartan in a homage to British punk culture, however the collection is more refined and delicate than the expected middle-finger style you'd anticipate.
The unification of formal and casual in this collection is hard to get your head round, but it works. Sparkles, frills, and peplums appear on informal everyday garments e.g parkas. Yet the pieces are sculpted to create feminine and elegant silhouettes and feature embellishment and graphic prints that are a feast for the eyes.
This collection is about attention to detail. The raw hemlines and carefully woven knits compliment the bold tones of royal blue, burnt orange and raspberry whilst the chunky furs are simply sumptuous.
Burberry Prorsum went for delicate vintage in this collection. The patterned patchwork and folk dresses and of course suede in deep, earthy tones of teal, maroon and olive create pieces suitable for any Stevie Nicks wannabe.
Other collections have touched on the Gothic Victoriana look, but Giles grabbed the style with vigor and ran with it. Strict silhouettes and crisp folds and pleats with ruffled collars create a textural haven and only emphasise the intricacy of the graphic prints featured upon them.
Taking the rebel theme to new heights, Ashley Williams' collection looks like the Bratz dolls met with the cast of Clueless and shared each others wardrobes. The pink sheepskin coat stole the show, with an over sized bucket hat to match. It would be a rather girly affair if it wasn't for the black lipstick and statement black heels. Slogans and metal band t-shirt graphics also featured heavily in the collection with dashes of femininity such as puffy blouses and sheer lace mini skirts thrown in.
To finish off the post is another take on the rebellion trend. Pretty Woman-style red boots and sequin embroidered 'SEX' slogans work to flaunt sexuality in an unapologetic manner. Combined with camo, tie-dye and leopard print, and you've got one big shout out to the style and sexuality of the 90s.
All images are from Vogue.co.uk
All images are from Vogue.co.uk