The second day of LFW saw Gareth Pugh return to London’s schedule after seven years, alongside other standout shows.
Gareth Pugh marked the 10th anniversary of his eponymous label by returning to the London Fashion Week schedule for the first time in seven years. His autumn 15 collection was signature Pugh: a palette of pure black across sculptural, dramatic silhouettes with a blood red St George’s cross smeared across every model’s face acting as the only flash of colour - a typically dark nod to the designer’s homecoming.
Models resembled witch-like warriors, dressed in sweeping floor length A-line skirts, moulded breast plates, and long capes and coats, some of which were protective and wrapped around them like duvets, others featuring Grim Reaper-style pointed hoods. Thick fur lent a warmth to the collection, while what looked like spiky thorn embellishment in chevron stripes, hanging from trims or covering an entire dress, were in fact tens of thousands of hand-cut plastic drinking straws. Again, signature Pugh, injecting some off beat humour into the darkness of his clothes.
Henry Holland first made his name in fashion with cheeky slogan T-shirts at House of Holland, but his autumn 15 collection showed just how far he has come. He called his new season girls Uptown Urchins, summing up the sophisticated edge and sense of punky rebellion present in one of his strongest offerings to date. The signature House of Holland palette of pink and red came on tartans and bold chevron stripes, patchworked across mid length dresses layered over tulle or pleated underskirts and topped with some great quilted jackets and lashings of shaggy Mongolian fur.
Wearing a white fluffy coat over a silky slip, or a beaded gown under a latex jacket, this season’s Holly Fulton girl is both naughty and nice. Indeed, duality was a key theme for Fulton, whose autumn 15 collection explored the more hedonistic side of British history, from the early 19th century through to the 1990s. Coats edged in Mongolian lamb nodded to the shearling trend, while jewel-encrusted sheer dresses offered a subversive take on ladylike glamour.
Sexy, form-fitting dresses are nothing new for Julien Macdonald - they’re what earned him the following of the British starlets who watched his autumn 15 show from the front row. This season’s collection may have been more overt than ever though, with cut-outs, corsetry, and lashings of black lace, accompanied by accessories such as safety buckle belts, chokers and long leather gloves.