Milan Fashion Week is well underway, but we are still smiling about the fantastical displays at London Fashion Week. Given how Brexit and Trump-certainty has been looming over the industry of late, it was a pleasant surprise to see an optimistic and whimsical turn for the upcoming Fall in London. This time the runways were bursting with outstanding devil-may-care looks: bright colors, deconstructed materials, asymmetrical cuts and exaggerated silhouettes.
What were the winning moments of this brave new fashion world?
The name on everybody’s lips still has to be Burberry, who absolutely stole the show with their intricate handmade capes borne straight from their atelier. Think luxurious yet oftentimes difficult materials like feathers and chainmail. The unexpected caped revival not only transformed the collection during the finale, it was also a brilliant reminder of the fashion house’s heritage and garment techniques beyond their iconic trench coat.
Mulberry was another brand that referenced the British heritage, drawing influences from the British aristocracy such as floral prints, the equestrian uniform, and Edwardian embroidery.
Out of This World
London also took us on a fanciful adventure with upbeat colors, novel accessories, and (our favorite) cartoon references. The white wigs and shearling body warmers of Anya Hindmarch reminded us not to take 'winter' too seriously, while Mary Katrantzou’s Fantasia-themed collection was an elegant reminiscence on childhood.
Truly, it is the everyday heroes of our lives that spark the most inspiration. Erdem’s collection of feminine dresses was a unique insight into his personal thoughts about his Turkish and British grandmothers’ roots. On the other side of the style spectrum, Preen by Thornton Bregazzi gave a nod to the women’s suffrage movement and offered literal comfort in an interesting interpretation of the wrap-around coat.
Yes to Inclusivity
The week also saw a much more diversified and unconventional cast of models strutting down the runway. Models Benedetta Barzini and Jan de Villeneuve showed that you only get more fabulous with age in Simone Rocha’s collection, while Teatum Jones used models Jack Eyers and Kelly Knox with prosthetic limbs, as a political statement. Others also made use of quotes on garments to show their proactive stance against discrimination.
“London has always been about eccentricity and humor and creativity, and I think that’s really what was recognized in London this week,” said Anna Wintour. We agree entirely. The Brits may be known for their stiff upper lip and adherence to regal tradition, but you don't have to look far to see that behind that this is a world of color, imagination, and whimsy. From regal stately structures, to colorful cultural nods and dreamy, whimsical anecdotes, London did not disappoint in displaying her fashion imagination.