As the world’s buyers and press jet off to Milan this morning, Tuesday at London Fashion Week was a day of contrasts.
The stellar name on the final women’s day (don’t forget the men today) was undoubtedly Mary Katrantzou. This was a decidedly more grown-up collection from Katrantzou in silhouette and colour while she retained a playfulness with her trademark prints.
Aiming to find ‘beauty in the everyday’, her sophisticated use of typewriter, pencil, spoon, hanger and chess piece prints across neatly structured tops and peplum dresses were at once fun, clever and, above all, lovely to look at. A London highlight to send everyone off to Milan with a spring in their step.
But there was still plenty to capture the imagination with Holly Fulton leading the charge from Somerset House. Sticking to predominantly flashy pink and electric blue, print was what Fulton concentrated on, decorating simple dresses, tops and skirts with an array of patterns that spanned hothouse and hot rod. The simplicity of cut made the snazzy printed pieces incredibly accessible, a detail some exponents of pattern at London sometime fail to appreciate.
Next up, Meadham Kirchoff. Where to start? Disco floor at the Topshop venue? Check. Classic pop party choons banging out from the deafening sound system? Check. Models breaking out from their normal poker-faced demeanour? Check. Crackers styling? Check. But underneath the loud and crazy presentation, there were some very wearable pieces. The knits were particularly strong, the opening sunrise sweater setting the design duo’s stall out from the beginning. Deciphering some of the garments meant stripping back the layering and razzmatazz to reveal the one of the week’s first use of denim in the form of jackets as well as checked skirts and trousers. Fun, if not wholly commercial – and the audience loved it.
KTZ had the dubious honour (considering the tiredness/absence of the Fashion Week goers) of closing out London, taking time to show an extensive women’s and men’s collection that while was by no means a tour de force, had some interesting highlights. Of particular note were the stellar knits, chunky roll-neck sweaters adorned with a constellation of sewn-on stars while volume was pumped up, or rather out with flowing capes and embroidered bombers. Sending out a male model with a WWF-style blingy metal plated belt towards the end may have been a claim on London’ finest show but it was ultimately the capital city’s impressive fashion community that was crowned the champion.