AW18 LFW: The Round Up

This week, across London, some of fashions greatest presented their trends for autumn and winter 2018. We’ve seen collaborations, protestors and even The Queen sitting next to Vogue’s very own, Anna Wintour at Richard Quinn’s spectacular production. As Milan Fashion Week kicks off today, we look back at some of the best collections on show in our very own Capital. 

The look of a Christopher Kane woman is constantly modified season to season but resides around the intense aspects of the human form; bondage, ageing and decay. Overtly authoritarian and defiantly sexual, the AW18 collection epitomised self-assurance, power and class in women. His inspiration coming from two classic 1970’s books: ‘The Joy of Sex’ and ‘More Joy of Sex’. Christopher F Foss, the original illustrator of ‘The Joy of Sex’, actually lent Kane many of the line drawings in the book, who, in turn, put them on a series of dresses and flesh-coloured silks with lace trims; whilst also printing words from the text all over his garments. There were wearable pieces throughout the collection including a masterful trench coat with a leather tie front that opened the show. The ‘below the knee’ boot made a stunning return and was paired with kitten heels, tight lace slips and pencil skirts. Shades of camel started the collection before slowly transitioning into black, reds and rainbow fringing.

The interruption of a rogue protestor couldn’t take our attention away from Mary Katrantzou’s mouth watering collection. Using modernism and interior design as her inspiration, Katrantzou produced complex prints in shades of pink, blue and red, defining the graphic Bauhaus messaging.“I realised there are two schools of thought: one is the simplicity of form and function – which, to me, is Bauhaus – and the decorative ornamentation of Victorian times.” Known for her fabric techniques, Katrantzou combined her inspiration in the form of embroidered matador-style jackets, oversized quilted puffer jackets and sculpted bodice tops that recalled lampshades. The main attraction, however; a series of Pointillist inspired beaded curtain dresses that came to life with pastel floral designs.

Jasper Conran’s AW18 collection resembled everything we love about London Fashion Week; individuality, passion and visionaries. Conran’s clear commitment to craftsmanship inspired his entire show with models looking as though they hadn’t seen a make-up brush at all. The seemingly untouched faces echoed the simplicity and grace of his pieces, achieved by incredible eye to detail.  The effortless gowns were paired with undecorated hair styles to get the laid back feel of Conran’s elegant collection; a refreshing alternative to what often feels like a contest to out-shock each other at London Fashion Week. Colour blocking was the focus of design, with blues, pinks, purples, greens, yellows and even the odd black used for a monochromatic aesthetic.

A bright Sunday morning seemed the perfect time for designer duo Thea Bregazzi and Justin Thornton - also partners in real life - to present their aquatic eco-feminist collection. Inspired by deep-citing books such as Haenyo Women Divers of Korea, Why Women Will Save The Planet, The Pearl and The Seaweed Collector, looks related to oceanic imagery; think scuba sheath base layers and pearl sequined dresses that stole the show. Make-up was designed and applied by Val Garland and almost gave a mermaid like glittery feel. Ruffled skirts, floral dresses and mandarin collars were perfectly accessorised with furry shoes, netted tote bags and drawstring bonnets. 

As models emerged from a giant grey air hangar, we new this wasn’t an ordinary Alice Temperley collection. This shows inspiration? 1940s-showgirl-meets-WW II-pilot. With Amelia Earhart in mind, models donned military badges, flight jackets and sequined blazers in a khaki fatigue. From there, we saw flowing cocktail dresses accessorised with a roman like belt to bring the outfit together. Sequins were a focal point of the collections, and frankly, one of Temperley’s incredible fortes with one dress leaving all the front row stunned; a sheer mesh dress with tromp l'oeil sequinned ribbons spooling down its front. Each look was paired with flat boxing boots giving the show an energetic ease. You can be sure to see the kimono-style, printed suits and beaded mesh dresses dominate the shelves this year.

At home-grown label, Marques’Almeida, the focus was upon social responsibility and the inclusion of diversity. As new parents of a beautiful baby girl, it was evident that Marta Marques and Paulo Almedia have been considering the definition of the female and what it actually means in 2018. The designers have used their platform in an attempt to ‘empower generations of girls to do great things and feel represented’, said the duo. In reality, this meant a video of their diverse group of models – both professional and street - discussing the state of being a girl, projected upon the walls of Waterloo station. The clothes themselves ranged from models in biker leathers, sometimes multicoloured, puffball skirts and exceptional croc-effect bum bags. The Louise Grey-designed ‘power women’ printed jerseys were a massive talk of the show and completed an overall inspiringly diverse collection.

Two down. Two to go. We would like to take moment to congratulate our fantastic clients and all of the designers on their stunning collections. Being a part of such an inspirational event makes us so proud, year on year and we can’t wait to see what Milan has to offer!

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