The final day of LFWM saw the Vivienne Westwood brand return to the London catwalk with a combined men’s and womenswear show, alongisde stand out collections from Qasimi, Blood Brother and John Lawrence Sullivan.
The autumn 17 edition of LFWM drew to a close with one of the biggest shows of the weekend, as Vivienne Westwood bought her Man Label menswear back to London, combining it with her Red Label womenswear in one grand show (just called Vivienne Westwood).
The designer’s punk aesthetic was instantly recognisable within this collection, synonymous with a rebellious London style thanks to deconstructed gowns and tailoring set alongside patchwork patterning and homespun knitted items. As ever, Westwood used the fashion week platform to convey a message beyond her designs, this season theming the collection around ‘Green Energy’.
This was evidenced in a ‘recycled chic’, the deconstructed elements of the collection hinting at clothes’ former lives, with items such as loose, wide-woven knitwear given the collection a hint of hippie.
As ever with Westwood, bold patterns, prints and checks gave the looks a sense of dynamic maximalism. Tailored coats and jackets with oversized puffed sleeves and swirling hooded capes, which were both cosy and dramatic, were signature pieces.
Although slightly lacking in possible future greatest hits, this homecoming show demonstrated Vivienne Westwood’s signature aesthetic at its best, and the powerful brand identity forged along with it.
Qasimi designer Khalid Al Qasimi told Drapers the colours of his autumn 17 collection were inspired by 1960 interiors mixed with military uniforms, with mustardy greens and yellow browns beautifully combined across tonal outfits, alongside the softest palette of pinks and navy.
Stand outs included a fuzzy, furry and fleecy textured wool coats – one in mustard and one in pink – that came belted to give them a relaxed, dressing gown-like loungewear air. There was also a lovely pared back and buttoned up version of a trench coat with military patch pockets and lovely leather sets inspired by officer uniforms, featuring collared field jackets with contrast colour pockets and matching cargo pocket trousers.
A directional oversized duvet coat was another example of designers instilling a sense of protection into their collections.
John Lawrence Sullivan
John Lawrence Sullivan
John Lawrence Sullivan was a fresh brand in London this season, returning the catwalks after a three year break from presenting. For autumn 17 he focused on the off kilter fusion of streetwear and tailoring, popularised recently by cult label Vetements and a strong trend across fashion for recent seasons. Slogan hoodies, zip jumpers and sporty roll necks were paired with oversized tailored items such as wide leg trousers in rigid cord and thick woollen fabrics, with 1980s shoulder pads giving an even more exaggerated silhouette to blazers and jackets. Nods to the 1980s also came through in the palette and fabrics of the collection, with golden mustardy coloured velvets, black vinyl, bold checks and metallic silver leather all featuring. Stand out items included the longline leather trench coats and extreme wide leg trousers, which created an oversized, powerful outline to the collection.
On a rainy January day blighted by tube strikes and terrible traffic, those attending the Blood Brother presentation may not have held the warmest affections for the city of London. However, with their autumn 17 collection inspired by the river Thames, Blood Brother offered a futuristic twist on the charms of London’s natural backbone, creating a vision of the city far more appealing than what was outside.
Cartographic representations of the city were subtly woven into the collection, notably appearing as embroidery on jackets and coats. Patterning was also reminiscent of water with a fluid striped knit a stand out item. A darkly futuristic feel pervaded the collection, with block colours and metallics set against minimal shapes and signature urban meets streetwear items. Utilitarian designs with zip detailing, boxy shaping and harnesses were contrasted with delicate silky fabrics and romantic loose tailoring. Black dominated the collection, with flashes of vivid orange and pink adding an eye-catching pop. Coats and jackets were a particular highlight, with a reversible shearling jacket and a textured bomber particularly standing out.
There was a contrast between the clean and controlled and the raw and wild at knitwear specialist John Smedley for autumn 17. Alpaca, fuzzy boucle and wool from Britain’s black sheep helped create tactile, textural and raw textures intended to reflect sparse outdoor landscapes.
Hero pieces this season included a wide boat neck jumper with chubby cable knits arranged in a V formation, a slouchy and oversized cocoon-like cable knit cardigan, a fuzzy moss-like textured jumper trimmed with a thick ribbed collar, and a simple jumper featuring stark vertical ribbing.