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LFW Day 3
September 15, 2014
Preen woke us up with an early start at LFW on Sunday, inspired by Kenyan Maasai cricket warriors who – unlike their English counterparts – use the team colours of red and white on wrapped skirts, with bare chests decorated in multi-coloured beading. The show was a beautiful and surprisingly wearable representation of this. Gone were the bare chests, replaced with bandages and navy stripes to add to the red and white, and a cricket jumper that will be an instant sell-out.
Then, Mulberry was sure to be fragrant, and the pressed flowers that arrived with the invitation carried through the twenty-two looks. There wasn’t a show, perhaps due to the lack of creative director (still), but what we saw at today’s presentation wasn’t any reason for concern. Embroidery gave the impression of pressed flowers lain over hexagonally woven ribbon; dark leather that was laser- cut into hexagonal mesh; and safari looks were highlights. The new Delphie bag can be flipped around to reveal two colourways, and can be worn as a clutch or over the shoulder, which may be a draw for those customers that have seen the price of Mulberry’s offerings rocket in recent years.
Margaret Howell stuck to her androgynous recipe of relaxed tailoring, as did Paul Smith who gave a slightly sexier approach with silks and bare flesh. He also used stripes in reds and whites, which became Sunday’s “de rigeur”. Where we were expecting androgyny and tailoring, was at Richard Nicoll. But, perhaps feeling the need to rebel against history in his eponymous line, after his recent appointment as creative director of British heritage brand Jack Wills, he took Paul Smith’s approach up a notch. Elegant eveningwear was given a futuristic twist, with sheer and glossy finishes which extended to sports-inspired outerwear. Marios Schwab’s show had some of his signatures, notably the black see-through dresses from 2014. While it was a strong collection, I couldn’t help but think I had seen it all before – from Schwab himself, Beckham, Burberry, Kane – and left feeling uninspired.
Topshop Unique’s front row didn’t disappoint – Poppy, Anna, Alexa – and Cara opened and closed, as expected. The Brighton Beach inspired looks kept the show young, fun and bright, but never cheesy. Evening was simple, and literally bare, with chiffon dresses scattered with Swarovski that will translate well to the shop floor. It was a strong collection that stood out, and stood up against the competition.
Mary Katrantzou said a definite farewell to the digital prints that made her fame and following and – on a runway of faux-volcanic rock – showed an exceptional, otherworldly collection. Inspired by the past – 200 million years ago to be exact – she decorated dresses and separates with fantastical creatures and flora, used sequins in trims that looked like they might come to life, and produced panelled dresses with the same artisanal precision that even Christopher Kane could learn from. David Koma also felt it was time for change. For seasons now, Koma has sent the same thing down the runway: sexy skaters in various incarnations. But today saw a move on, and the lack of skater skirts was a welcome departure.
Asymmetric, wrap or pencil skirts teamed with halter-tops, and beautifully panelled dresses made up a colour palette of cornflower blue, white, black and sherbet yellow. His first full collection for Mugler will show in Paris this month. Before heading to Jonathan Saunders, Vivienne Westwood let her political agenda and support of Scottish independence overshadow the unexpectedly tartan-free collection. Saunders played with proportion, picking up on some of where he left off from autumn/winter 2014’s offering – modelled front row by Daisy Lowe – with elements of glitter and appliquéd leaves. Oversized bows and ruffles, layering of conflicting patterns and fabrics, stripes and florals all against an eerie soundtrack filled the British Museum show space, the massive expanse accentuating the mood. Heavy coats sat with barely-there chiffons in a palette of blues, browns, black and white, and there seemed to be something for every season – handy for today’s global and counter-seasonal markets.
The day did leave us wondering one thing though: where’s Kendall?