So often at fashion week, if you’re not lucky enough to grab a moment with the designer pre- or post-show then the only glimpse you get of them is their head poking around from backstage following the models’ final parade. Delightful then was this morning’s chat with Lulu Guinness – over coffee and tiny pancakes in a suite at the Hotel Café Royal – where she personally talked guests through her AW15 accessories collection. Unlikely prints, such as that taken from a photo of her lacquered and chipped warehouse and a winking face made of tape, sat alongside her more well-known pieces. Lips and lipsticks in novel clutches, and updated colours in her leather totes – priced surprisingly modestly – mingled with new shapes in leather shoppers, boxy zipped styles and the ‘London’ bag made a few options that will translate well to a male customer.
The library was open at Orla Kiely’s AW15 presentation, where models perused the bookshelves in prim dresses and cropped suits in bursts of colour and her much-loved style of print that broke the “silence” requested in the library setting. Much more Blair Waldorf than bland, the collection felt youthful and right. At Sibling there was some more obvious rule breaking where Chanel style tweeds were punked up with black and pink bed hair, Stephen Sprouse style graffiti and cobweb crochet. More vivid colours in latex dressed trimmed with multi-textures of fur and some dangling glitz sexed up the show and confirmed that knitwear was not the only string to their bow.
JW Anderson’s models stomped the grey striped office tiles to Human League in a collection of unashamed eighties nostalgia – a break from fashion’s current seventies fixation. A travel agent uniform’s print on lamé, ruffled leather knee high boots over corduroy trousers, leather skirts and dresses wrapped and buckled through resin discs, and brightly hued overcoats didn’t feel modern at all. And in this case, that isn’t a problem. Not at all.
Julien Macdonald’s collection surprisingly managed to outglitter the front row, which Whitney Port, The Saturdays’ Rochelle and Vanessa, Millie Mackintosh, Michelle Keegan and a gushing Ella Eyre dominated – obviously favoured over buyers and editors. Julien sent out a dazzling display of dresses in black, silver and jewel tones that were Strictly what his customer wants. He won the prize for most impressive venue so far at LFW, in the neck-strain inducing courtyard of the Foreign and Commonwealth building at Horse Guards Parade, at least until arriving at the Barbican’s Conservatory for 1205’s show. Amidst the foliage, designer Paula Gerbase offered up pinafores, culottes, raincoats and layered knits. The androgynous, minimal collection was perfectly coherent.
By far the most talked about runway of London Fashion Week so far was strangely absent of any mention of clothes – it was the runway itself on everyone’s lips and Instagrams. Henry Holland, never one to allow his House Of Holland collections conform to trends or mass market appeal, created a moving one (literally, not emotionally) for autumn/winter. The models stood stationary as a conveyor belt did the work for them, a concept as fun as the collection itself, which featured his favourite pink and red checks, and stripes which mirrored the caution tape on the moving catwalk below. Mongolian sheepskin coats and accessories in the brightest of shades will no doubt delight his most loyal of fans, who aren’t afraid to introduce a bit of fun in their stride, even if they’ve only seen them standing still so far.