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London Fashion Week buyer diary: Lisa Aiken, Moda Operandi

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Lisa Aiken, fashion director at American online retailer Moda Operandi, shares her highlights from the second day of London Fashion Week.

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Molly Goddard spring 20

Following on from a first day filled with new names, London Fashion Week turned its attention to more emerging names and contemporary stars on day two.

The schedule was dotted with several buzzed-about names, such as Halpern and Molly Goddard, commercial hits such as Rejina Pyo, and LFW mainstays including Marques Almeida and House of Holland.

A varied schedule meant a busy Saturday for several top buyers: Browns, Net-a-Porter, Moda Operandi and Bergdorf Goodman all spotted in prime position on several front rows.

The headline acts for the day were disco-drama laden Halpern and Molly Goddard. The latter’s show in a retro leisure centre presented a strong counterpoint between fashion week drama – Goddard’s signature exuberant tulle concoctions –  and more commercial items. Cotton dresses and floral organzas featured the baby-doll silhouette and balloon sleeves the brand has been instrumental in popularising in recent seasons. The high-volume silhouette is still going strong, both on and off the catwalks.

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Gettyimages 1174661081

House of Holland spring 20

Elsewhere on the schedule, contemporary womenswear brand Rejina Pyo debuted her first menswear offers for spring 20 alongside a characteristically sculptural and colourful womenswear offer, which was part retro boardroom, part chic riviera summer.

House of Holland, which showed in the elegantly dramatic gas cylinders at King’s Cross, also showed menswear for the first time, as part of an activewear collaboration with Chinese sports brand Xtep, in a wider collection dubbed “Dance the Pain Away”. Trends on day two continued to favour the 1980s, and tie-dye, ruching and silky textures also made several appearances.

Colour continued to be a focus: there were pastels galore at Fyodor Golan and bold brights at House of Holland and Ports 1961. Bold bluebird-toned shoes – from boots to sandals – emerged as an eye-catching accessories trend, spotted at Molly Goddard, Rejina Pyo and Awake.

Pyjama dressing, from satin sets to slip dresses, also emerged as a popular motif:- slinky, comfortable and sexy in equal measure.

Lisa a crop

Lisa a crop

Lisa Aiken

Lisa Aiken, fashion director for Moda Operandi, shares her view on the day.

Why do you attend LFW?

London is an integral part of the international fashion calendar. I don’t believe its relevance is even in question, as the line-up of designers is stronger than ever.

It is widely recognised that London is a creative hub and often a focal point for new ideas and emerging talent. However, many of the brands on schedule have managed to scale their businesses very successfully with strong wholesale distribution.

It is a delicate ecosystem that balances creativity and commercial success.

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Gettyimages 1174675897

Rejina Pyo spring 20

How was today at LFW?

Overall, it was a strong line-up. Molly Goddard, Rejina Pyo and AWAKE all stood out for their elevated design aesthetic and evolution within existing signature ideas. The day was a good mix of established runway collections and presentations from emerging talents.

Are there any trends or must-buys emerging from the collections so far?

Interesting colour combinations with unexpected pairings and new neutrals.  A new approach to tailoring that will move [the Moda Operandi customer] on from the blazer silhouette, which she is fond of. Organza and sheer fabrics, as well as exaggerated volumes are also emerging in various guises, alongside overtly feminine details

What are you looking for in the LFW shows this season?

Our intention in London is always to continue to build upon our existing partnerships, as well as scout for newness and champion emerging designers. 

How were the New York shows?

New York had a strong season. Some of the established players delivered wonderful collections and there was also more of a presence from the emerging designers.

Tommy Ton’s Deveaux was one of my highlights. The show had such upbeat energy: everyone left smiling. His collections have a capsuled approach to clothing and have gone from strength to strength.

Despite being a young brand, Khaite feels so established. I loved the overtly feminine yet modern necklines, romantic interior inspired prints and the tulle evening wear the brand is known for. Other collections I was drawn to were Proenza Schouler, Gabriela Hearst and The Row. 

Are there any designers you are looking forward to seeing in the international collections?  

Collectively, the industry is eager to see Bottega Veneta in Milan. Its designer, Daniel Lee, is establishing himself as the designer to set the tone, and current trade is following suit. The Moda client is very much responding to his hybrid of modernism and a powerful sensuality.

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