London Fashion Week consistently delivers on innovation, and this season
seemed especially relevant with an inaugural location in Soho’s Brewer
Street Car Park.
There was modern romance, 90s references, Victoriana, modernism, high brow
and lo-fi, and without attaching a label to London Fashion Week it is best
described as an eclectic culmination of both quirky and innovative
collections. There was plenty of directional fashion and even commercial
collections, but its was the 90s influence that gave London its youthful
A new Romanticism
From Giles Deacon’s Victorian references, to a celebration of femininity
seen at so many catwalk presentations, there were high-cut necklines,
intricate lace and sheer fabrics that underlined a new romanticism for
SS16. These were underscored by ruffles, as seen at J.W. Anderson, frills
as seen at Preen and floral prints as seen at Erdem.
The nineties are back
Truth be told, in London the nineties have never gone away. British
designers often reference the 80s and 90s and this season was no exception.
We saw electric colours, grunge, high-shine metallics, even 80s power
dressing which emphasised shoulder silhouettes. Designers who embodied
these previous decades were Christopher Kane, Mary Katrantzou and Preen.
J.W. Anderson also made references in his ‘Odyssey’ collection with bold
shoulders and the mixing of patterns.
More is more
More is more, in volume terms that is. It may be spring, but there is
plenty of volume next season, albeit in lightweight fabrics and
silhouettes. The focus was on exaggerated details and diaphanous shapes
which move away from the body. Floor-skimming hems offer a dramatic finish,
as seen at Giles, Jasper Conran and Marques’Almeida.
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Yellow is the new green
New York had green as its pop colour for SS16 and London has yellow,
buttercup yellow to be exact. Both subtle and summery, the yellow seen in
the collections of Burberry, Pringle and Jonathan Saunders was pale and
interesting. Elsewhere there were plenty of brights, like an acid-yellow
dress seen at Joseph and yellow detailing at Holly Fulton.
Continuing from a trend we saw in New York, graphic black and white gave a
modern and dynamic contrast to detailing, as seen at Joseph, or added
sophistication with a timeless appeal, as seen at Erdem and Amanda
Wakeley. There was plenty of pattern and print, too, this being London,
and layered contrast prints put a new focus on geometric fashion. As seen
at Roksanda Ilincic, Gareth Pugh and House of Holland – prints were often
spliced and came in mismatched patterns and hues.
Florals bloomed across the London collections
If the dress is the key item from the London collections, florals are the
key print. Florals literally bloomed across the SS16 catwalk collections,
with a focus on English summer garden flowers. Designers combined these
prints and patterns with feminine shapes and lightweight materials.
Bare shoulders seem to be the new erogenous zone in fashion, as was already
seen in New York. Here cut-out shapes and off-the-shoulder detailing was
sexy without being too revealing. This styling was seen mostly on longer
length dresses to get the maximum effect, as presented by Pringle, Erdem
and Barbara Casasola.
The new trouser shape for next season is a wider leg, as seen at Paul
Smith, Christopher Kane and Joseph. Fluid is the key word, as is
lightweight and softness. Fabrics came in silks and cotton blends for this
loosely tailored and masculine-inspired shape.