As the spring 17 edition of London Fashion Week kicks off in less than a month on 15 September, Drapers rounds up the fresh names, new additions and key changes to know ahead of the five days of catwalk shows and presentations.
1 It’s all change at Burberry
Top-to-bottom change is afoot at the British heritage heavyweight this London Fashion Week. In addition to the merging of menswear and womenswear shows into one, the event will also see the presentation of a “seasonless” collection that will follow a new straight-to-consumer structure, arriving in stores immediately after the show. There will also be a new venue, which will hold events through the week that will be open to the public.
Chief creative and chief executive officer Christopher Bailey said: “The changes we are making will allow us to build a closer connection between the experience that we create with our runway shows and the moment when people can physically explore the collections for themselves. Our shows have been evolving to close this gap for some time. From live-streaming, to ordering straight from the runway, to live social media campaigns, this is the latest step in a creative process that will continue to evolve.”
2 NEWGEN news
This September sees Frankfurt-born, Royal College of Art MA graduate Paul Knorr debut her eponymous womenswear label to press and buyers at London Fashion Week as the latest recipient of NEWGEN sponsorship via the British Fashion Council in collaboration with Topshop.
Molly Goddard, who is already part of the NEWGEN class, will graduate from a presentation showcase to her first full catwalk show for spring 17.
3 Introducing: Robert Woods
Fellow Royal College of Art alumna Katie Roberts-Wood also comes to London Fashion Week this season with her womenswear line Robert Woods. Founded just last year, the brand has expanded quickly, and already counts Dover Street Market and H Lorenzo among its stockists. The label has also rapidly racked up a number of impressive accolades – The Vogue Talent Award, The Fashion Scout Merit Award and Collection of the Year for the designer’s MA collection at International Talent Support, to name but a few.
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4 Stepping into London with Malone Souliers
Duo Mary Alice Malone and Roy Luwolt have chosen London as the location for their first dip into the fashion week show pool with their brand, Malone Souliers.
Graduates of Cordwainers at the London College of Fashion and Eli Broad College of Business in Michigan respectively, they tell Drapers: “It is a natural prerequisite of our decision to locate in London – drawing a feminine form off the luxuriant legacy of Savile Row and Jermyn Street – to eventually show there, too. We’d just tactically waited, in order to focus on the business and product itself, establish identity, awareness and scale, before exhibiting at home – really an ode to the standards London has come to expect of itself, and we of ours.”
With collaborations at the core of the brand’s ethos, the presentation for spring 17 will include pair-ups with model Natalia Vodianova and bootmaker Sorel, as well as partnered collections with Pringle of Scotland and Roksanda. Expect pieces in the brand’s signature materials – nappa leathers, exotic skins, pony skin and fur – in heel heights ranging from 50mm to 110m, all produced in Italy.
5 Hats off for Piers Atkinson
Joining the designer showrooms this coming season is Piers Atkinson. No stranger to the London show schedule, previously adorning looks at shows including Ashish, Charlotte Olympia and Bobby Abley, this is the designer’s first standalone presentation for his eponymous collection. Citing past mentors Zandra Rhodes and Andrew Logan, his mother and musician Grace Jones among his influences, and counting Anna Della Russo, Miley Cyrus, Paloma Faith and the Princesses of York among his client roster, Atkinson’s unapologetically bold aesthetic is defined by couture skills and an embrace of new materials.
6 Fashion East’s new name: Matty Bovan
Joining talent champion Fashion East’s bill for spring 17 is Central Saint Martins MA graduate Matty Bovan. If you are not familiar with his womenswear designs, you may recognise the newcomer from his appearance in the autumn 16 Marc Jacobs ready-to-wear campaign in which he models a look Jacobs created in collaboration with Bovan and Central Saint Martins alumna Amie Robertson.
Joining last season’s bevy of Fashion East talent Richard Malone, AV Robertson and Mimi Wade, Bovan’s designs, which adhere to an aesthetic of “stretch, lurex, colour, drippy, sculptures” inspired by “music, TV, my garage and crap shops”, as he puts it, will feature in a showcase comprising both catwalk and presentation format.
7 Milan Versus London for Versace
After a one-season sojourn in its homeland, Italian fashion house Versace’s sister brand, Versace Versus, is back in London for its spring 17 show, this time minus creative director Anthony Vaccarello, who has since taken over the creative reins at Saint Laurent.
8 Jigsaw joins the party
Another brand adopting a “see now, buy now” model for this coming fashion week is high street store Jigsaw. In addition to the announcement that it will open an “emporium” in St James’s Market, central London, in October, along with three other standalone UK openings, the brand will be holding its first on-schedule event for press and buyers, showcasing the Jigsaw A Line, now in its third season. It will come complete with Facebook live-stream to drive consumer click-through to the instantly available collection.
CEO Peter Ruis says: “We are marching ahead with all of our plans to expand the brand, despite post-Brexit concerns about the economy. We’ve thought about showcasing at London Fashion Week for a couple of seasons, and now that our A Line is fully immersed into our seasonal collections, have decided that this is the perfect time to launch the collection on the fashion week platform.”
9 Teatum Jones expands
It’s been a big year for Catherine Teatum and Rob Jones’s namesake brand, graduating from Newgen mentorship and winning the Woolmark Prize. There is more to come, however, with the launch of Teatum Jones menswear and a joint women’s and men’s wear show.
The pair tell Drapers: “Since winning the International Woolmark Prize in February, our business has pretty much changed overnight. We’ve been working with a renowned business strategist on the next stage of growth and menswear was always part of our ongoing conversation, so now seemed the perfect time to launch our debut menswear capsule. It also seemed like a natural move to have men’s and women’s presented together on our debut catwalk show at London Fashion Week.”
10 The Anya Hindmarch man
Having quietly launched its menswear line for autumn 16 on to its website, the London Fashion Week favourite is set to fully integrate its men’s footwear and accessories into its women’s catwalk presentation this September. It’s in the bag!