London is one of the best cities in the world for fashion. Think of Paris and you think chic, think of New York and you think downtown elegance, think of Milan and you think extravagance. But London doesn’t conjure up one word or image, it’s an eclectic mix. And so is London Fashion Week.
London Fashion Week is getting better every year with a strong mix of fashion designers and a broad range of talent on show. From Mulberry and Burberry, designers who bring out the traditional British style to the upcoming designers who add the clashes of colour, there is always a fantastic mix of style. This year was no different and the talent came out in full force, proving London is still one of the most exciting fashionable capitals in the world. Here’s a quick guide to who’s on top of their fashion game and who you may not have heard of yet, but will do soon enough!
The two designers, Marta Marques and Paulo Almeida, met as students at Central Saint Martins in London. Since winning the LVMH Young Fashion Designer Prize in 2015, they have become one of the most inspiring collection at London Fashion Week, gaining a lot of momentum with their SS show back in September last year. Their Autumn/Winter 2017 show was as daring, if less wearable. The designers are successfully moving away from being known as a denim brand and created a show bursting with geometric designs. The eighties were in full force with big shoulders, bold clashing prints and huge earrings. Key themes were black and white stripes, asymmetry and oversized everything. A big inspiration for the duo was Malick Sidibé’s photographs from the sixties and seventies, which celebrated the fashion and popular culture of Malians. To have created a collection of such youthful, fresh and inspirational clothes which are wearable today, inspired by these photographs is a feat in itself, but it seems the inventive duo have created a collection which represents the modernity and diversity of London itself.
Peter Pilotto, with his friend Christopher De Vos, set up his eponymous label in 2007. Although their designs have been worn by big names such as Michelle Obama and Rhianna, they haven’t become as well-known as other designers and their recent shows have been more lacklustre than alluring, but that may be about to change as their AW17 collection at London Fashion Week has really gotten people talking. This show was inspired by their recent travelling around the world, and this can be seen particularly in the Incan designs and Peruvian quilting from Latin America. There was a fantastic mix of prints, which clashed together perfectly and modern shapes with a focus on draping, cold shoulders and layering oversized pieces. It’s also great to see that velvet is still in for this Autumn/Winter!
This was Michael Halpern’s first collection at London Fashion Week under his eponymous label, and let’s just say he started with a bang. Inspired by the ’70s and most notably Cher, the collection was a burst of sequins, sparkles and colours which enticed you in with each new dazzling shape. The mix of bold colours over embroidered heavily detailed dresses was stunning and his use of asymmetry was perfect. Flute sleeves, flares and roll necks were prominent and there were nice drops of corset styling and cropped jackets in the mix. The future is definitely looking as bright as his sequins for Halpern.
Erdem Moralioglu set up his brand in 2005, and his designs have tended to focus on powerful femininity. His AW17 collection at London Fashion Week was a flawless blend of his Turkish and English heritage, with conservative designs seeming desirable due to their extraordinary detailing and delicacy. Erdem presented an extremely cohesive collection with each design giving a perfect hint of what to expect from the next. Sheer sleeves with detailing and printed velvets were key features. The prints across all of the dresses were heavy and complicated, but worked well with the clean shapes and finished silhouettes. His velvet coats were a success, worn over simple starch white dresses, allowing the coat to take the limelight. It’s great to see Erdem is still at the top of his game.
Ashley Isham established his label in 2000 and has since risen to international acclaim for his luxurious and elegant designs. For his AW17 collection at London Fashion Week, he followed the trend a lot of designers are setting of showing both men’s and women’s clothes in one show. This show was as stunningly beautiful as his previous ones, with a rich mix of materials and detail, whilst telling a coherent story. His Singapore heritage is abundant in his designs, and if there’s one thing to take away, it’s that belts are an essential item for AW17 (as if Gucci hadn’t already made us aware). His use of rich materials such as velvet and silk was countered with tie details and leather sleeves and wrists. For menswear, bombers were key, along with tailored kimono-style wraps, bright prints and roll-necks. He made a statement with a peplum embroidered sculptured design which was breath-taking and ensured that everyone would be talking about his show, a talent worth having.
These are just a sample of the brilliant talent which continues to grow at London Fashion Week, and that is why London Fashion Week is the one to watch.
Words: Sarah Yellowley
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