The capital’s famous creativity was on full display on the penultimate day of shows, which saw collections from big and emerging names alike.
Designers this season have dialled up the glamour, showing attention-grabbing gowns and well-constructed tailoring.
Big dresses ruled the roost at Huishan Zhang. Several pink satin gowns have been spotted on the runway for autumn 20 and a key example – with puff sleeves – came from the Chinese-born, London-based designer. Feathers were also in full flight at the show, trimming a top-and-trouser set in palest lilac and zigzagging across a velvet gown.
London fashion week autumn 20 huishan zhang
Frothy, feminine dresses in intricate layers of pleated pastels dominated the runway at Bora Asku. Drapers’ eye was caught by the delicately constructed designs.
London fashion week autumn 20 bora asku
At Burberry, a neutral colour palette reigned. Chief creative officer Riccardo Tisci continued to reinvent the British fashion house’s key tropes, including head-to-toe tonal looks in Burberry check and a black patent version of the luxury brand’s classic mac. Slouchy rugby shirts – for both men and women – provided a more vibrant look. And as ever, outerwear was key. Tisci played with both colour and texture when it came to coats, including a sandy beige version with an off-the-shoulder shearling trim and a sweeping trench in mossy green.
Ashish rounded off the day with a typically exuberant and extroverted show. Designed to inspire joy amid uncertain and unsettled times, it was a print-heavy collection that featured giant polka dots, zebra stripes, leopard print, abstract florals and art deco swirls. Striped sequinned mini dresses and halter-neck evening gowns were a vintage-inspired take on party dressing.
London fashion week autumn 20 ashish
Libby Page, senior fashion market editor at Net-a-Porter, reflects on the day’s shows
How was today at LFW?
Firstly, it wasn’t raining so this lifted the mood and secondly, London veterans Erdem, JW Anderson and Burberry were all showing today. These are some of the major anchor brands for London Fashion Week, so it was an exciting day filled with strong collections.
Which collections stood out this LFW today and so far this season?
For me, some of the highlights of LFW have come from newcomers to the scene. Petar Petrov held his first runway collection consisting of beautiful, wearable, chic clothes that will fit seamlessly into our woman’s wardrobe.
On the opposite side of the spectrum there was Richard Quinn, whose dramatic dresses glided down the runway to the sound of Hannah Grace, a Welsh singer and songwriter, as the epitome of modern couture, featuring sculpted silhouettes and bubble hemlines in unexpected colours and rich prints.
Lastly, Awake. Mode always manages to bring a fresh twist to a classic – whether that be a fluid dress with subtle cut outs or a trench with a plisse pleat. All of these designers help to give London that cool and buzz-worthy factor that has kept it interesting for so many years.
JW Anderson also stood out as a highlight of the day. He opened his show with Kaia Gerber in a sleek black wool coat, in juxtaposition with the numerous extravagant dresses that followed. This is a true testament to Jonathan’s multiple talents as a designer as he has the rare ability to understand what women want to wear every day, as well as the ability to know when they want something a little more exciting to add to their wardrobe.
What makes London different from the international collections?
London always has a more directional undertone compared to the other international cities, it has a sense of dare and risk to push the boundaries a little more.
Are there any trends or must buys emerging from the collections so far?
Absolutely, there have been two key ideas that have transpired from the collections I’ve seen so far. Firstly we’ve noticed a couture sensibility in many shows where designers have been inspired by some of the greatest couturiers, such as Givenchy, Dior and Lacroix leading to a number of dramatic and show-stopping dresses, as seen from Christopher John Rogers, Oscar De La Renta, Richard Quinn, Simone Rocha and Molly Goddard – to name a few.
Secondly, we’ve seen brands bringing sexy back but in a smart and sophisticated way. The return of the bodycon dress but with a modern twist – with a high turtleneck and long sleeves at Brandon Maxwell and with cut out details at Khaite and Proenza Schouler.
Why do you attend LFW?
London Fashion Week is an amazing celebration of local, and global talent that comes together to give the industry a real understanding of London’s culture and style. New generation designers and recent graduates from our world-renowned fashion universities are always interesting to see, as they come with a multitude of fresh new ideas that we haven’t seen before.
Are there any LFW brands that currently perform well for you?
Our customer loves the beautiful faux leather pieces from A.W.A.K.E Mode, such as the ‘Lucy Padded Tote’ which has been in high demand this past season, in line with the oversized clutch trend that has been emerging for AW19 and SS20. As a whole, JW Anderson and Burberry have been performing well across all categories.
What are you looking for in the LFW shows this season?
We always look for a distinct point of view and a recognisable signature in both designs and presentations. With London Fashion Week showcasing more new designers than ever before, it’s important that whomever we think about launching on Net-a-Porter next has that unmistakable design DNA that makes it instantly recognisable and offers something that we cannot get from our existing brands.
Net-a-Porter's Libby Page reflects on the fourth day of London Fashion Week