Day four of London Fashion Week was perhaps the most contrasting day seen thus far. As there were incredible shows, there were also the appalling as was evident at Christopher Kane and Michael Van Der Ham. Kane had the potential to be a hit, but with so many zigzags and vulgar sheer pieces, it was a clear case of too much of a good thing. At Van Der Ham, the only way for this collection to succeed was to scrap everything and start over. When has an all velvet dress collection sounded like a good idea? Fortunately these were the only two embarrassments of the day. At Burberry Prorsum what we saw were checkered plaids, cow printed furs, tweeds, voluminous sleeves, and simple but refined shapes, it was classic Burberry. It was feminine and chic, undoubtedly a wearable set for an everyday woman.
As the day unfolded, it began to take us on a journey through British fashion. The first stop were the fifties’ at the Giles show. In a mostly monotone color scheme, featuring hair skirts, and binded waists, it was classic elegance with a modern and edgy twist. It was innovative, it was fresh, it was a collection that any woman could wear to look smart and in vogue.
After the age of empire waists, came the times of Twiggy. At Holly Fulton what we saw was sixties’ British pop with a worldly charm. Textured skirts, a variety of colors, and fitted silhouettes, made for what was a slightly edgy and fantastic collection that any young gal could sport. At Pringle of Scotland the sixties’ were also present, but it was the menswear that was the main source of inspiration. With Sergeant Pepper-like collars attached to voluminous sleeves, poncho-like prints, and cigarette pants, the collection proved to be a simple but chic display of easy wearability.
Holly Fulton (Left) Pringle of Scotland (Right)
Also using menswear for inspiration were Erdem and Paul Smith. At Erdem it was a more creative approach with splattered paint-like prints, black laced appliqués, daring necklines, fitted dresses, and tailored pants. Although the collection could be too revealing for some, it was that borderline vulgar yet tasteful twist that made the collection a treat. At Paul Smith the male inspiration was quite literal. Loose fitting pants, denim, woven cardigans, all in an array of bold colors made for what was a gender bending, sexy, and chic collection, that any trendy woman could wear. There’s just something about a woman wearing her hubby’s clothes that reads sex appeal.
Erdem (Left) Paul Smith (Right)
Another to understand the concept was Peter Pilotto who took the male wardrobe and tailored it to the women’s body and with the scraps left over innovated the look. With a clash of checkers, fading prints, geometric lines, and a mix match of colors, it was the visual meaning to the word paradox. However, never has such an eclecticity been so serene.
But if a more androgynous style is what you seek, then look no further than Todd Lynn. Using fitted pants, neutral tones, leather jackets, and tall collars all cut innovatively, his collection proved to be edgy and wearable at the same time. A complete treat for any contemporary lady.
With the same color scheme, Mark Fast also delivered what was a young and sassy review. Voluminous jackets, leather pieces, fitted silhouettes, and textured detail, all proved to be the perfect ingredients to what was a fresh and wearable collection. Although the shapes were simple, the collection itself was complicated, the perfect contrast for the perfect look.
Also textured was David Koma, where we were able to see circles on every piece which almost looked like a second skin rather than appliqués. Although the collection was a bit safe, it was most certainly wearable, much the same like Julien Macdonald. At Macdonald what we saw was gothic glam with a touch of romanticism. It was full of ruching, extensive finishings, feminine sheer dresses with leather jackets, it was a very dark but light collection that any woman regardless of gothic or not could wear to her appropriate style.
As is evident, day four was about contrasts, not any two collections resembled each other which only means more variety. But variety also includes the bad, thus being said, lets hope that day five is able to erase and surpass the few tragedies we saw today.