The low down from the third day of catwalk shows and presentations at LFW.
Demure 1950s skirts, tea-party dresses and even house-slippers were given a glamourous, neon bright makeover in Zinko’s collection this season. Traditionally feminine shapes and themes were fused with starkly modern materials, colours and fabrics, with neons and sequins featuring prominently throughout.
Alongside more classic shapes, Zinko’s modern take on femininity extended to loose, oversized jeans, biker jackets and longline shirting, which gave a slouched aesthetic which nevertheless retained the lengths and silhouettes of the more feminine dresses, giving the whole collection a very coherent theme.
Seeming to highlight to Zinko’s subversion of traditional femininity, the collection was presented across three floors of a Victorian town house, with the models acting out vignettes – hanging washing out, ironing, drinking afternoon tea – all while dressed in Zinko’s super-bold tea-dresses, slippers and elegant dressing gowns.
Preen by Thornton Bregazzi
Pagan rituals, skinheads, witchcraft, Goths and Lolita were among the influences for Preen’s collection this season. However, rather than combining to form a sinister, overwhelmingly dark show, the influences were given a feminine, delicate spin – resulting in a display which seemed both bold and fragile – with dark and light, monochrome and colour, bold and sheer played against each other.
The 1990s trend held a strong influence over the base of many looks, with clunky, creeper sandals paired with every look and polo shirts, ruching and pin badges also featuring prominently. Victoriana ruffles, on sleeves, shirtdresses and collars appeared once again, after making appearances throughout London’s shows so far – including at Ashley Williams.
The gothic opening looks of the show featured prints combining pentangle patterning with delicate wildflowers, a contrast which encapsulated the feel of the entire collection – sweetness and darkness rolled into one. Later looks evolved into more colourful offerings with metallic silvers and baby pinks combining over yet more ruffles and frills to evoke the sense of a sweet Lolita, but with an undercurrent of maturity. The highlight of the collection overall was the final sequined dresses, which were intricately embellished with bold prints in an interesting and experimental use of sequinning.
If LFW so far is anything to go by, we are set for something of an 1980s revival. Topshop Unique followed Ashley Williams and Mother of Pearl in presenting collections inspired by 1980s film heroines. A modernised take on Molly Ringwald in Pretty in Pink or The Breakfast Club, with a heightened sense of boldness.
Power suiting played a key role once again, with oversized silhouettes on blazers, trouser and dresses cinched in at the waist to create an exaggerated feminine outline. Colours and prints were similarly bold, with animal prints and pops of colour contrasting to the sophisticated neutral palette of navy, black and grey which dominated much of the collection. Patent gloss, satin, leather and sheer lace equally provided a sensuality to the collection, which when combined with the sharp cuts and bold colours of the items created a sense feisty femininity, with a distinctly modern, powerful attitude, which will undoubtedly appeal to the young Topshop customer.
Stand out pieces included the high waisted tapered trousers, which appeared in numerous incarnations including black, grey, gloss and leather, and an oversized zebra print jacket. The magenta, pointed toe heels worn by the models towards the end of the show were also a highlight, adding an 1980s finesse to each look. And with the high-street side of Topshop taking the lead from its growing runway arm, the 1980s revival looks set to take the high-street by storm.
As a counterpoint to many collections showing muted tones in London, Peter Pilotto’s spring runway was drenched in tropical colour. Themed around the idea of tropical baroque, the collection combined numerous colours and textures to create an impactful yet exhilarating collection.
The strength of the collection was particularly in the floral Tropicana patterns which adorned cotton dresses and playsuits, characteristically for Pilotto, the detail and vibrancy of these prints were extremely eye-catching. Alongside the cotton dresses, Pilotto also showed patchwork denim, gingham crop tops and shirt dresses, parachute-like gowns, delicate lace separates and golden ball gowns.
The combined effect was almost overwhelming, with too many influences and details to fully appreciate on a brief glance. However, the collection was vibrant, elegant and fun and seemed to capture an intense, albeit untamed, passion for the tropical from the designers.
Phoebe English’s presentation this season took the form of an artistic study, with crisp clean lines and neutral tones creating living ‘still life’ images.
Layering of textures and tones of fabric created a sense of minimalism to each look, despite the complex shapes and cut outs of some of the items. The paired-back elegance created a romantic feel to the collection, despite its seeming simple, with delicate silks and chiffons softening the feel of the collection as a whole.
With sunset tones, 1970s dresses and a focus on intricate embroidery, Alice Temperley’s spring collection was classic to the brand’s feminine, boho aesthetic.
With oranges and pinks forming the basis of the collection’s colour palette, there was a sense of beachy glamour throughout – with loose billowing dresses forming the core.
1970s details came in the form of off the shoulder ruffles and bohemian maxi dresses, as well of dashes of shimmer and leopard print. While the collection was typically pretty, the intricate embroidery added an additional element of interest to the clothes, catching the eye and creating a vibrant, luxurious interpretation of print. The most impressive pieces were the sequinned items towards the end of the show, which glowed iridescent in the stage lights and moved with a hypnotic sway, a disco jumpsuit in zigzag stripes and the closing art deco-inspired sequin dress were particularly stunning.
Mulberry creative director Johnny Coca’s second catwalk collection for Mulberry looked to classic English dress codes and a subversive take on its eccentricity for inspiration this season.
There were prep school uniforms, appearing as striped boxy jackets and matching co-ord kilts in autumnal green, navy and burgundy. And prim floral tea dresses decorated with oversized ruffles. Some with extra floppy flounces stretching from shoulders to waistband or trimming hems of pencil skirts.
Asymmetrical silhouettes are a growing trend this season, with a number of wonky hemmed skirts and dresses flounced with uneven panels seen here, some in a kinky wet-look velvet.
There was a return to what Mary Katrantzou knows best for spring 17 – both in the references to her Greek heritage and a her signature printed concoctions.
Optical mosaic-like patterns swirled around the body in a dizzying display, spreading up the sleeves of dresses and whirling down legs of flared trousers, framing classical references to Greece as if lifted from frescos and ancient art.
Some designs came with slightly voluminous hips that nodded to Katrantzou’s lampshade silhouettes in her earlier collections, or saw long vase-like column skirts ruffled with peplums at the hips.
There was also a trippy psychedelic vibe to much of the collection, like the scalloped edged tiers of miniskirts or the dresses overlaid with Perspex tiles, chained together into layers on top of dresses like retro body jewellery.
It was bold and buzzing with print and pattern, sometimes almost overwhelmingly so, but it was also Katrantzou at her best. When the busiest outfits are deconstructed there will be a bevy of key pieces to keep her fans happy.