From new names like Marta Jakubowski, up-and-coming designers like Ashley Williams and heritage brands such as Daks, there was lots on offer at day one of London Fashion Week.
Teatum Jones blends feminine and industrial
Teatum Jones AW17
Fusing slick femininity and sexuality with distinctly raw, industrial accents, Teatum Jones kicked off the first day of LFW with a show that oozed a dark sensuality shot through with touches of a more robust, masculine aesthetic. Textures were fluid, with silk and vinyl leather dominating, while oversized eyelets and lace up details added an undone industrial element to the otherwise elegant items.
Peplums, sheers and cutaways gave an exaggerated femininity to looks, while super-length bell sleeve tops and dresses and chunky knitwear appeared with cutaway backs and off the shoulder slouch to give the same effect. The palette stuck to traditionally autumnal hues of navy, grey and burgundy, all of which were elevated into slightly more abstract tones by the shimmering texture of the materials, while pops of mustard yellow and gold acted as a fresh relief from the largely block colour looks.
Highlights within the collection included the PVC overlay on classic, heritage-style coats, with the grey tweed trench with super-sized plastic sleeves a particular standout. As one of the designers showing menswear this season, the industrial quality of the womenswear was reflected in men’s, with menswear dominated by an oversized, slouchy outline, which gave a relaxed take on tailoring, with twists such as sleeve ties and plastic overcoats giving a quirkiness to the designs.
Eudon Choi tackles minimalism
Eudon Choi AW17
Backstage after the catwalk show Eudon Choi told Drapers: “A lot of people have been telling me that I’m a minimalist, which I don’t think I am.” However, this season the designer, inspired by the work of architect and pioneer of the modernist movement Adolf Loos, decided he wanted to give it a try by exploring minimalist inspirations, focusing on what he called the “elimination of adornment”.
This saw Choi return to his menswear beginnings, taking classic tropes of the male wardrobe like tailored coats and shirting, paring them back and twisting them in his signature modern way, deftly mixing a sense of the utility with the feminine.
City worker stripe shirts stood out, but with oversized cuffs, split sides or elongated backs finished with tie fastening details. Silhouettes were oversized, like roomy trousers that were given shape by wrap-front details or oversized ankle cuffs, or tops featuring flyaway fastenings and sculptural panels, or shin skimming coats, cosy padded jackets and piles of chunky, oversized knitwear.
Marta Jakubowski’s strong rainbow of jewels
Lemon, magenta, neon orange, violet and fire engine red were the five punchy colours that Royal College of Art graduate Marta Jakubowski used in bold and vibrant blocks for autumn – a jewel-like rainbow of sexy and modern glamour.
As is often the case, her designs played with and twisted traditional and familiar items into something experimental and new. There were sporty puffer jackets reimagined as dresses, cushioning themselves around the body, and hanging off the shoulder. Roll necks came in tactile velvet but featured cut outs under the breasts or long wrapped details. The smartest pieces, however, were the remade tuxedo blazers morphing into a belted jumpsuit, or another featuring a lapel panel that extended across the body like a sash.
A 1980s cowboy fusion at Ashley Williams
Ashley Williams AW17
Ashley Williams described her autumn 17 collection as “clothes to sneak out of the party in” and throughout the show snug track suits and hoodies in icy lemon yellow and charcoal grey gave a cosiness to the designs, as well as Williams’ typical 1980s homages. The collection blended influences ranging from western cowboys in tassel cow print cropped jackets, to 1980s New York street style puffer jackets emblazoned with slogans such as “paranoia” and “misery” with a nod to Scottish grandmas, with brazen check trousers in high waist paper bag shapes.
As ever, the show oozed a nonchalant, knowing cool, with designs created for the bold party girls looking to make a statement. Williams was another designer fusing street style with heritage tailoring, but her approach was much more quirky and cartoonish in nature than the styles pioneered by the likes of Vetements or Martine Rose, with bright blue oversized checks and a general brightness of palette giving more of a playful and daring tone to the fusion. Highlights included a heritage knit jumper slashed with a neon V across the body, as well as the plaid mini dresses with glittering fringed bibs. Cowboy hats worn over hoodies gave a wry take on the hoodies and snapback trend, with the offering as a whole knowing, smart and with an enviable street ease.
Sadie Williams’ modern disco
Sadie Williams AW17
Disco textures, bold colours and a riot of glittering details made Sadie Williams’ autumn 17 collection a sparkling, gleeful presentation, providing a playful lift as day one of London fashion week began to draw to an end. Lame, sequins and velour gave the collection a 1970s feel, with disco stripes and flares adding to the aesthetic.
Other shapes contrasted to this 1970s styling however, with ankle grazing dirndl skirts paired with sweatshirts giving a fresh modernity to the bold fabric and colours. Highlights were the shimmering striped maxi skirt, paired with a discoball sequin top, and the voluminous lime green skirt in crushed velvet, with tiny trails of crystals accenting the hemline. A crisp, single line of glitter across the models’ eyelids also stood out, encapsulating the collection’s combination of modernity and dazzling excess.
Fyodor Golan’s Post It note reminder
Fyodor Golan AW17
Splashes of vibrant colour and stripes washed over Fyodor Golan’s fifth anniversary collection for autumn 17, with the duo’s signature neon pops sprayed across much of the range in prints and appliqués inspired by artist Katharine Grosse.
Leopard print T-shirts and spotty fake fur jackets featured odd appliqué patterns, like stickers glued on in graphic repeats, while a collaboration with Post It also saw the classic paper squares reimagined and jotted with embossed notes like Love is Love and Girl Power, littering transparent PVC jackets, jeans and skirts.
Dresses were adorned with panels of ruched peplums, stuck on with poppers like 1990s sportswear tracksuits, or came softly draped and expressively ruched around the body, revealing flashes of skin. A standout skater skirt featured a panel of pleats exploding from its side as the model walked, with coloured pleats seeping out of the coated denim fabric.
Amongst the flurry of the bold and the bright, items like a calmer high-necked ribbed knit dress with statement peplums and a long deconstructed striped shirt stood out.
Daks looks to Savile Row
“The Savile Row” woman was creative director Filippo Scuffi’s starting point for autumn 17 at Daks, in a collection heavy on outerwear and masculine suiting fabrics like checks, pinstripes and herringbone.
Classic coats were worked and reworked in a variety of shapes and silhouettes, with nods to military style via pea coats and capes.
Checks and herringbones were given a feminine touch via sparkling decoration, such as sequins and studding, while the inclusion of blooming florals nodded to a more typical take on femininity.
Daks’ classics and take on heritage styles were the strongest elements of this collection.
Bora Aksu’s shades of romantic Victoriana
Bora Aksu AW17
Girlish romance was the underlying aesthetic at Bora Aksu, with Victoriania ruffles and delicate lace giving the collection an overall sense of softness. Contrasted to the prairie baby-doll dresses however were more gothic notes as the show progressed, with sheers and gingham incorporated into monochromatic designs which gave an aesthetic that almost seemed a subtle nod to Japanese harajuku styling. While gothic elements appeared, it retained a sense of the whimsy, with bouncing skirts and swirling fabrics meaning even the more gothic looks retained a lightness.
Tie sleeved coats made another appearance at this show, livening up a classic black work coat. Signature lace and sheer dresses were high points, with an intricate pastel gown in macaron shades of soft pink and cornflower blue, just sheer enough to bare a flash of skin negating the saccharine palette.
Boudoir sweetness at Le Kilt
This season there was a boudoir edge to Le Kilt’s classic shapes, with shades of pastel pink and blue featuring heavily, creating an initial impression of sweetness in the designs. The kilts themselves appeared both in classic checked patterns, but with some designs featuring pale pink pony-skin panels, or longer ankle grazing lengths, which added variety to a brand based primarily around one single item. Long vinyl leather gloves, crossbody chains and ties featured in the collection, adding a grown-up sexuality to the sweeter styles. There was a subtle 1960’s feel to the designs, with a rosy palette and short mini shapes giving a youthfulness to the presentation.