Designers fused creativity with wearability on London Fashion Week’s spring 15 catwalks.
Flouncy asymmetric hemlines brought movement to skirts and dresses. Waterfall and dropped hems featured, but most fresh were the layered, wrapped and multi-section skirts. Younger shoppers will be drawn to shorter, wrapped designs, often with a split thigh, while more modest falling hems suit a wider demographic.
Give pleats a chance
There were pleats galore this season, from delicate plissé to exaggeratedly wide folds, with the most sellable versions featuring on ladylike mid-length skirts. Neat pleats brought fluidity to skirts, shown off particularly well when used with light-catching metallic fabrics. By adding a little volume, pleats create a more flattering shape that can suit all ages.
There was plenty of skin-flashing sheer, but designers showed the trend can be translated into wearable styles. Semi-sheer layers gave new interest to skirts and dresses, often covering printed pieces at the likes of Burberry Prorsum, Richard Nicoll and Jonathan Saunders. Elsewhere, sheer sections extended hemlines with semi-see-through edges, while pieces were spliced with riskier transparent panels for a younger look.
The humble denim jacket was given a fashionable refresh. Burberry Prorsum kicked it off, with button-up denim jackets tailored to the body and nipped in at the waist, while other designers experimented with embellishment, appliqué and denim treatments to elevate this staple item.
The bare shoulder was an interesting trend spotted in several collections, with straps and cut-outs focusing on the area. A designer direction to watch for the eveningwear market particularly, this is a trend that can work for all ages, offering a demure and unusual flash of flesh without
being too revealing.
There was a softer, lighter and looser vibe to many collections in London. Silhouettes were simple, relaxed and slouchy, with oversized shapes and a draped finish. Wide Bermuda shorts, culottes and trousers were teamed with tops featuring floaty batwing or drop-shoulder sleeves. Dresses and outerwear layers were thin and flouncy.
Long and lovely
London continued the focus on longer skirt shapes, which are most flattering with a little structure, so keep an eye on dresses with empire-line silhouettes, as at Giles, or skirts with a higher waist like those at Michael van der Ham. Consider merchandising the style as a casual piece to show its day-to-evening adaptability.
The catwalks were awash with all-white, but a more accessible twist is for black and white combinations, which will appeal to all ages. As with the New York catwalks, the look is graphic this season, with variations on stripes particularly popular in London, although solid black or white pieces merchandised together will also look on-trend in store.
The long & the shirt of it
One of the easiest London trends to wear, shirt dresses are likely to quickly catch on. Longer-sleeved and belted styles are most elegant for older women, while details such as concealed buttons, oversized pockets and sheer panelled insets are a more modern update.