This season marked 10 years since Henry Holland launched his signature graphic slogan T-shirts, which evolved into the full collections the designer now shows at London Fashion Week.
House of Holland
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Those T-shirts were reissued within this collection as 2016 updates (such as “I’m Yours for a Tenner, Kendall Jenner”) as a see-now, buy-now capsule range.
The main spring 17 collection was exuberant as always, opening with an explosion of bright ginghams in different sizes across dresses with oversized tiered ruffles, tiny bra tops and kicky flared trousers in red, orange and blue.
Then came an abundance of floral morals, printed and patch-worked together and trimmed in lingerie lace across a series of halter neck dresses, or as guipure lace that bloomed across string vest-style netted tube dresses.
As well as a variety of dresses – some ticking trends such as off the shoulder or given a wiggle of ruffle at the hem, Holland’s jumpers, tracksuits and bomber jackets will keep his younger customers shopping too.
Similar to the crisp white Barbara Casasola dress the Duchess of Cambridge was recently spotted in, there was a stark simplicity to the Brazilian designer’s latest spring offering, from the strict sandy neutral shades of white, sand and black, to the simple shapes.
But there were very wearable pieces throughout, including shirt dresses, jumpsuits and light mac coats, as well as some lovely wide lapelled tailored jackets teamed with boxy shorts and high waisted trousers.
A sweeping scoop neck, a deep V or an off the shoulder shape differentiated a series of short and long sleeve dresses that hugged the waist and came with shin length kicky skirts, skin-bearing and sexy in that unique Casasola way.
Having established herself as a denim authority, Faustine Steinmetz presented a spring 17 collection aiming to subvert interpretations of the everyday utility fabric through embellishment and logo-monogrammed denim.
Jeans were presented dripping in crystal rocks, which were mirrored on the shoes within the collection – an embellishment the designer described as an update on stereotypical diamante lettering. Other pairs were presented with giant logos printed across the fabric, creating stripes of the brand name in shimmering metallic lettering.
With denim’s sustained popularity, this particular adornment continues the move of denim away from an industrial, day-to-day fabric into something more exclusive.
Molten prints and fluid fabrics gave an ethereal, volcanic elegance to Paula Knorr’s debut LFW collection. Draped dresses and separates appeared in largely primary colours, with splashes of metallic giving an otherworldly feel.
Marbled prints mirrored the draping of the fabric on each of the fluid garments, and on the more structured pieces gave an impression of stone-like sleek.
Despite the bold tones, the collection felt extremely elemental, combining the harshness of stone and metal with an unexpected delicacy from the sweeping shaped and swirling patterns. Ruffle edged trousers in silver, red and navy blue stood out as highlights from the separates, with the marbled dresses an highlight overall.
Presenting what she called ‘MimiMount’, the collection seemed inspired by cult film posters. Bold colours and cartoonish prints were combined with a touch of 1990s nostalgia in the form of bold print motifs and slip dresses. Metallics, both on overall looks and as smaller accents, were also a key feature, adding a sense of Barbarella-esque sci-fi to the collection.
The majority of Malone’s collection was dominated by athletic-inspired stretch fabrics and jerseys, which were cut into subtly sporty silhouettes. Dresses were topped with halter necklines and paired with pedal pusher shorts, colours were overwhelmingly bright, with cornflower blues and oranges teamed with Malone’s signature white go faster stripes, which enhanced the sporty aesthetic further. The stand out pieces however, were those showcasing a twirling sculptural element, which moved with an exquisite fluidity and bounce on the runway.
Taking maximalism to new extremes, Fashion East’s newest name Matty Bovan’s collection drew inspiration from punk and alternative culture and presented a bombardment of colours, textures and shapes. Numerous pieces were layered over each other with neons, sequins and lurex crochet knitwork combining to create looks so intricate that each outfit became a kaleidoscopic explosion of bold eccentricity.
A V Robertson
For her collection, Aime Robertson took the traditional embellished floral and presented it with a surreal, dark and almost grotesque twist. The intricately crafted crystal florals featured dashes of acid green and inky blacks and twisted around the garments in a way which seemed to ensnare the model beneath the clothes. A dominance of sheer fabrics and metallic leather added to the sense of fierce, brazen modernity behind a traditionally elegant motif.
Combine 1990s power dressing, cowboys, disco-balls, animal print and a lot of shimmer into one collection and you would end up with the overwhelming super-glam aesthetic that Julien MacDonald presented this season.
Menswear and womenswear were presented together, with models dripping in sequins, skin tight lurex and intricately metallic crochets in a collection which seemed designed for a world of late night parties and champagne extravagance.
While some of the outfits seemed a touch ostentatious with their skin tight cut-outs and dramatically plunging necklines, each displayed an impressive level of intricacy. In particular, the fern printed sequin bodysuits showed an intricate patterning and a hypnotic three dimensional print.
Tasseling and sequins were the dominant aesthetic markers of this collection, which bristled with an amped up glamour.
While the overt, extravagant sex appeal of the outfits may not directly translate to the wardrobe of average consumers, MacDonald’s embellished elements and sleek shapes look set to influence partywear trends in the coming months.
Delicacy and feminine innocence characterised Emilia Wickstead’s spring offering, which exuded an overwhelming sense of softness and youth through each of the looks.
The clothes themselves were characteristically demure, with a dominant colour palette of pastels and whites combining with puffed silhouettes and ruffles to give a sense of wistful innocence. This was punctuated however, with hints of sheer fabrics, pops of colour and vibrant crystal embellishments which prevented the looks from veering into sickly sweetness.
A Victoriana aesthetic was at play on the catwalk once again at Wickstead, with ruching, maxi length puffed skirts, ruffles and voluminous sleeves all key elements to the looks. Reworked shirting appeared once again as well, after featuring heavily in collections including that of Eudon Choi. Overall however, the collection was dainty and whimsical, with colour and embellishment providing a sophisticated, grown-up twist.
For her debut catwalk show at London Fashion Week, designer Molly Goddard capitalised on her already well-established use of chiffons, sheer fabrics and volume to create a collection which was simultaneously sporty, child-like, psychedelic and Victorian.
The voluminous chiffon overlay dresses which have become Goddard’s signature were presented this season in an array of colours ranging from midnight blue to neon, and were paired with everything from ruched camouflage trousers to knitted hoodies and sportswear vests, creating a mishmash of textures and aesthetics which appeared thrown together but were nevertheless harmonious.
Gingham dresses, ruffles and long-line hem lengths placed the more disparate elements of Goddard’s collection firmly in line with the trends seen on the catwalks already. However, her collection of neon rave Victoriana was a fitting debut collection for Goddard, edging her established aesthetic forwards while retaining her distinct spirit.
Known for his penchant for a touch of the theatrical, expectations of grandeur in the Pugh show were this season left somewhat unmet. The show opened with a series of gothic, sculptural looks, part clothes, part walking sculpture – with bold black and gold armouring creating a powerful and impactful set of looks.
As the show progressed however, these Aztec inspired gowns morphed into a series of block coloured gowns which seemed uncharacteristically understated. The later pieces, featuring a hypnotic striped print retained a more experimental feel, but were nevertheless extremely wearable. Colours were bold and contrasting, with royal purples set against stark whites and inky blacks, with the stripe motif almost appearing as an optical illusion on some of the more fluidly cut items.
Key pieces included the striped trouser suit in shimmering satin, creating an elongated shape to the look. However, where Pugh seems to thrive is in the more theatrical pieces, and the opening and closing looks of the show – both incorporating large sculptured additions to the outfits – were the most exciting looks in the collection.
Historical inspirations are becoming a powerful motif within the London collections, and J W Anderson was no different, with tutor inspired ruffs and ruffles given a modern spin to create a collection that fused tradition and modernity.
Key pieces included quilted doublet jackets with segmented sleeves and a distinctly regal feel, which were set alongside more industrial items, such as soft cut biker trousers and sweeping feminine skirts.
Colours were overwhelmingly muted, with the occasional bright earthy tone embedded into individual pieces. There was an overarching sense of fused contrasts throughout the collection, with tradition and modernity and masculine and feminine combined into each look.
This season Anderson’s collection seemed particularly commercial, with numerous simple, more basic pieces, such as the yellow slim-strapped dress and the denim maxi-dress set alongside the more intricate items.