I guess you can consider London Fashion Week a stylish layover between the New York and Paris shows. Most of the big European designers show in Paris, but this doesn’t make London any less influential in the fashion game. I would say London Fashion Week is comparable to our LA Fashion Week here in the states. There are a few established designers; but it’s mostly a showcase for emerging designers – which can be a very very good thing.
Runway trends for spring seemed a bit more dressier here than the previous week’s NY shows. There were still high waists and tons of eighties inspiration.
Said to be inspired by Stevie Nicks, Camilla Staerk’s collection had ’70s feminine style. Evening gowns were sporty looking; one was a petrel blue lycra with a sporty vest and floor trailing skirt. Tailored pencil skirts in black parachute silk had high waists and were paired with lace blouses with dramatic balloon sleeves. She also had more masculine looks with high waisted cigarette tux trousers, which were cuffed and worn with a boxy jacket. The wide belts from NY Fashion Week also made an appearance in the show, worn with longer length skirts.
Julien MacDonald must have today’s young starlets in mind with his lineup of island print dresses and western shirts paired with hot pants in citrus colors. Thinking of the starlets of yesteryear, he gave us a pencil skirts and chiffon blouses, and for eveningwear he went from prissy to prudish. There was a sequin number, flip hem dresses and sweet satin petal skirts paired with bandeau tops. For the line dancers, there were great plaid tiered skirts shown with ruffle neck tops.
If you need a party dress or a prom dress, this would have been the show for you. A white silk dress with lime chiffon outer layer set the tone. Following that were mini dresses in shocking pink and another made entirely from orange sequins. In true London tradition, there were dresses perfect for a princess. An off-the-shoulder number, a salmon colored sheath dress and, like the MacDonald show, a ’20s inspired gold flapper dress. There was also a red carpet-worthy tulle empire-waist gown.
It was like the ’70s met Banana Republic circa early ’90s (you remember the safari stuff, jeep crashing through the window?). There were soft leather skirt suits, safari shorts, collarless jackets and wide legged trousers all in oyster and olive. The gowns were to the floor, kaftans in black or pistachio and white similar to zebras stripes. An oyster colored kimono sleeved gown cinched with an embellished cummerbund, and short white dresses all made for a gorgeous spectacle.
Slim sexy dresses and skirts brought to mind the Hitchcock girls. Loose tees with belted pencil skirts, decorative coats over cotton dresses that knotted at the shoulder in baby rosettes. Belts seemed to be included in almost everything, bringing much attention to the waist. There was also lot’s of white, which seems to be a spring trend across the board.
Basso & Brooke
It was more like a festival then a runway show. Lots of color mixes and exaggerated silhouettes created the tone for this event. Wide hats, bouncy skirts and burlesque designs added character to the almost twisted fashion time line:
Psychedelic computer-printed ’50s prom dresses, Vegas gowns and spray-on ’80s leggings with flowers, Technicolor polka dots and Metropolis modernist prints.
A game of Cricket anyone? That was the key inspiration in Paul Smith’s collection. Loose tailored shirts were on display, cotton shorts, tanks, v-necks and of course a cricket cardigan. Classic mens styles were cleaned up and reworked into crisp lines. There were colorful trousers and soft pretty dresses inspired by vintage lingerie: silk, lace,sheer voile slips, camis and knickers in emerald and peach.