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LFW Day 1 & 2
September 15, 2014
London Fashion Week’s spring/summer 2015 womenswear shows and presentations got off to a warm start on Friday and Saturday, with collections that were ready to be worn now in our first glimpse of an Indian summer. Sheer fabrics were all over the runways, and metallics and foils dominated. Markus Lupfer matched his signature sequins with holographic foiled separates and dresses on Saturday.
The look had already appeared at McQ by Alexander McQueen’s Friday presentation, but instead of sequins, the silver and rose gold leathers were matched with a mix of fishnet, python, tartan and foiled denim, making it more punk than disco. Felder Felder’s take on the emerging metallic leather trend saw them knock a decade off of this season Seventies vibe, and make it Sixties festival ready by teaming the aquatic-toned mini-skirts and shorts with sheer, floating shapes.
Leather was prominent throughout and when not metallic, came fringed, laser- cut or woven – or a combination thereof. Christopher Raeburn ended day one with his signature utilitarian translation of the sheer trend. Cagouls, tracksuits, and backpacks in black, white, grey, navy and bottle green all served a relaxed purpose, which married seamlessly with more conventionally feminine shirts, skirts and loose-fitting dresses. The colour came in the form of candy pink and a marble print that could have been the product of a day at Holi Festival, which will certainly brighten up an April shower.
Emilia Wickstead was thinking Oscars dressing on the morning of LFW day two. A collection of muted pinks and whites, interspersed with citrus hues, will delight her customers and the red carpets. Julien MacDonald, not really a fan of an edit, gave his customers what they want too and showed – in one skin-tight form – everything from bridal to swimwear in his usual approach of dressed to the nines glamour.
Sibling’s show invitation, featuring a photograph of Maripol – the stylist most famous for giving Madonna her Like a Virgin wardrobe – set the tone for their show. Rubber bangles, giant head bows, black lace and graffiti prints paid tribute to that fame; gingham and crochet brought another dimension, as did the hits of blue and orange; sheer fabrics were sometimes replaced with no fabric at all with bared breast covered in electrical tape; and knitwear – Sibling’s staple – was reinvented in such a way that it was barely even recognisable as knitwear, in dresses and jumpers that looked as if they had been cultivated, somehow, from excess rubber bangles that couldn’t fit on the models’ arms.
House of Holland’s invitation – a 7-inch vinyl record with a floral label – also told us what to expect. The predominantly floral spring collection – inspired by Sixties and Seventies groupies – was bold, colourful, fun and unapologetic. It was Henry Holland. Marchesa and Holly Fulton also got on board with the florals for spring predictability and the results were truly beautiful if not, forgive me, groundbreaking.
The British design duo behind Marchesa celebrated their tenth anniversary collection by swapping Manhattan for Westminster for one season only, and – as if to reinforce the significance of the British return – had Georgia May Jagger lead out their floral, chiffon and lace covered bohemian girls. There was a noticeable move on from Marchesa’s well-known award season glamour, and while it’s unrealistic that the price tags on these dresses will make them Coachella/
Glastonbury appropriate, no one is looking for reality from Marchesa. Whistles – now an excitement for both men and women – took to the newly opened corridor entrance to King’s Cross St. Pancras station to parade their spring looks in the stark, curved runway. Sorry, subway. A completely wearable offering was expected, and delivered perfectly (yes, even the cut out dresses and men’s jumpsuits) in relaxed and muted fabrics and colours.
Jonathan Anderson was arguably the most-watched designer of day two. The twenty-nine-year-old, as well as designing his own men’s and women’s lines, let his position as the creative head at Spanish leather brand Loewe influence the JW Anderson collection we saw on Saturday. Leather covered heads in massive, floppy fisherman hats; midriffs in exaggerated, buttoned belts; and everything else in long skirts and raincoats. Exaggeration was everywhere – buttons, lapels, ties, rouching on gloves and necklines, hat rims and heels. Where there wasn’t leather, there was dense, patterned wool and unexpected towelling. It might not be for everyone, but this outing was perhaps his most accomplished and wearable one yet. It was safer than anyone expected, but it will sell, and that will make LVMH happy.