Including Professor Louise Wilson’s moving memorial and Anthony Cuthbertson’s debut at Sass & Bide.
As New York Fashion Week drew to a close, it was the turn of the UK capital to take centre stage on day one of London Fashion Week. Events kicked off with British Fashion Council chairman Natalie Massenet’s official opening speech, calling on political leaders to invest in and support the “serious business” of fashion in the UK. “The bottom line is not just about hemlines,” she said.
This was followed by a moving memorial service held at London’s grand St Paul’s Cathedral for Professor Louise Wilson OBE, the former head of the Central Saint Martins MA fashion course, who passed away suddenly last May, aged just 52.
To say Wilson had an immense influence on the fashion industry is an understatement. The list of global fashion leaders that passed through her office is long and illustrious, including everyone from Alexander McQueen and Christopher Kane to rising stars Simone Rocha and Craig Green.
Lanvin’s artistic director Alber Elbaz gave one of the most emotional speeches to a vast congregation that included the likes of Donna Karan, Celine’s Phoebe Philo, Victoria Beckham and singer Kanye West, all under one roof to pay their respects to the late, great Wilson.
And onto the catwalk shows. Inspired by a mid-century Japanese architectural movement known as ‘Metabolism’, Eudon Choi’s autumn 15 collection was an exercise in clean, modern design – but with a marked retro touch. This came through most clearly in the flared trousers that featured in almost every look. Outerwear is always a highlight at Eudon Choi and this season did not disappoint, with colour blocked woollen overcoats and cropped leather jackets that felt fresh and relevant.
At Daks, creative director Filippo Scuffi took us down a road of motorcycling inspirations, presenting biker girls and their overall-clad mechanic men. With a focus on all things post box red, the collection had a swinging 1960s meets 1970s vibe. Biker jackets were key in leather and lined with cashmere, sometimes collarless, sometimes belted and buckled and sometimes quilted to resemble the saddle of a motorbike. Prim, polished and properly luxurious, these might look like biker girls, but you’ll never see them riding on the back of a motorbike.
With high-shine metallics, space-age sunglasses and a recurring robot motif, Anthony Cuthbertson’s first collection as creative director of Sass & Bide was distinctly futuristic. While slinky party dresses – always a key part of the label’s repertoire – featured heavily once again, it was interesting to see several of the outerwear trends spotted at New York Fashion Week reappear here. Buyers: look out for shearling and capes.