Everything you need to know from the first day of the spring 17 edition of London Fashion Week, including new names and established labels.
Lingerie lace trimmed the hems of tops and formed the straps of light dresses with flyaway hems and peplumed tops at Teatum Jones, decorated with oversized and colourful floral prints. This was contrasted by a bold stripe, used in graphic blocks across long, figure-hugging pencil skirts and slim trousers. Elsewhere, heavy lace lent a peek-a-boo see through feel to some pieces, the strongest creating wallpaper floral style patterns.
The brand also launched its first menswear capsule collection as part of its expansion since winning the International Woolmark Prize in February, featuring an array of transitional outerwear
Inspired by his late grandmother, Bora Aksu created one of his strongest collections for a number of seasons filled with the dresses his grandmother always dreamt of wearing. Think frothy princess dresses filled with frills and flounces, layered with gathered panels of delicate gauzy fabrics in candy colours.
Some dresses stuck to the designers signature silouhette, with long skirts, high necks and full sleeves and featuring layers of fabric and heavy lace. Others were lighter and fresher, with shorter skirt lengths that gave them a more everyday appeal.
Shirting was one of the key messages from Eudon Choi’s spring 17 collection: deconstructed and remade into a series of new tops and dresses, featuring wrap-around panels, reconfigured statement sleeves or sliced and diced to create fly away panels featuring fastenings, strappings and strings. Asymmetry was at play, with gathered details or flowy flounces that wrap around the body adding interest to simple shapes.
Many of the outfits on show by Alice Archer for spring 17 would look perfect on any red carpet, but the beauty and intricacy of her embroidery and embellishment deserves much closer attention. This season, coral reefs grew across dresses with demure hemlines and high necks, some featuring semi sheer layers of fabric covering chest or arms. Elsewhere the coral wound its way up the leg of loose, silky trousers, created by thousands of tiny sequins or layers of precise embroidery.
Ryan Lo brought a sense of theatrical opulence to the catwalk with his show this season. Luxurious metallic brocade dresses with bouffant sleeves and cascading ruffles were topped with sequined admirals hats which lent an operatic extravagance to the collection.
The overall dominance of a colourful palette alongside the oversized and exaggerated silhouettes gave the show a clownish aesthetic, which was mirrored in the harlequin prints of the later pieces.
Despite the excess of much of the collection, there were also some more wearable pieces dotted through the show, such as the black ruffle hemmed mini dress and the white lace cut-out dress. However, even with these more commercial pieces, the collection was overwhelmingly characterised by a sense of playfulness: a dressing up box of extreme, decadent theatricality.
As one of the designers to show both menswear and womenswear on the same catwalk this year, Daks presented a tightly themed show throughout both collections. Muted tones of ashy greys, blacks and burned orange and burgundy were consistent throughout, and the collection saw the heritage fabrics key to Daks’ history given an Indian twist.
Off-the shoulder ruffled maxi dresses, turbans, flowing gowns and tunics were presented in a range of fabrics more traditionally seen in tailoring, with heritage checks and shirting given a distinctly bohemian twist.
Hannah Weiland brought Shrimps to prominence with her pop-coloured fake fur accessories and coats, and this collection continued her focus on quirky furry creations – only this time in a more paired back palette.
Alongside the cream princess collared coats and black shawls, Weiland also showed sheer, elegant dresses and silky pyjama-like outfits featuring new interpretations of the brand’s pencil drawn characters. As a designer who began in accessories, the details of the collection were particularly delicate.
The models wore moss green furry converse shoes co-ordinating perfectly with the clothes. Dainty embroidered handbags and elegant bows also added a sense of youthful femininity to the collection. Ruffles featured once again, a trend that is sticking around for spring after also appearing at Daks and Ryan Lo on day one at LFW.
A heavy dose of 1980s nostalgia suffused the collection from Ashley Williams, which saw bold prints, power suiting and velvet creepers brought together in a vibrant, playful collection.
Alongside Williams’ signature bold prints, which appeared on baby pink and lemon yellow sweaters, as well as in miniature on matching pyjama style shirts and trousers, suits and skirts.
Reworked shirting, also seen at Eudon Choi, featured in the collection as well, with Victoriana ruffles adorning shirt dresses and voluminous power sleeves enhancing the collection’s nostalgic credentials. With her bold colours and quirky shaping, Ashley William’s designs seem set to influence high street trends in the coming months, with her prints in particular holding a strongly commercial appeal.
At Sadie Williams, classic, elegant cuts were combined with bold primary colours and luxe fabrics for a collection inspired by maritime traditions and materials. The shipping forecast played throughout the room, where dresses featured patchwork prints of nautical flags, three dimensional maritime ropes and sequined accents inspired by the bold nautical code.
Dresses were long and 1950s-inspired in shape, but made contemporary through the use of glossy, almost metallic satins and bright primary colours.