London Fashion Week spring/summer 2016 has just finished; the last models have walked for designers, the last parties are in full swing and we can all take a moment to digest what has come out of London for the last five days before we move on to the next city and the next set of madness that is fashion month. London has a style unique to itself, and with every passing year it becomes bolder in itself as it stops trying to get the world’s press attention and just lets the designers do it for them. Over the last five years especially, London Fashion Week has been all about championing home grown talent, and that’s why every designer I showcase in this post is British or British based and feeds into ur economy. Because more than most other fashion weeks, in London, we are all about celebrating the UK. We are also all about celebrating individuality and our own style, which makes London street style always so interesting. The parties are also more restrained and usually chock-a-block with celebrities. I’ve also focused more on smaller brands that only held presentations, because some of them have really put the effort into showcasing their new collection and it’s worth seeing it.
The big gun of LFW is without a doubt Burberry Prorsum, and it got it’s own section because you really can’t restrict it to just five images and a short blurb. We also have some great backstage images again from shows that I haven’t covered too and to finish it off we have the new River Island Design Forum collection that has just been launched in their shops.
This post is a long one, just to be warned, and to make it a little easier I’ve split them up into sections you can quickly navigate to here.
- The key shows of London Fashion Week
- Presentations at LFW
- High street offerings
- The best of London street style
- Backstage and behind the scenes images
- Burberry Prorsum spring/summer 2016
- Celeb spotting at LFW
- Best parties at LFW
The key shows of london fashion week
Mary Katrantzou – A Roma love affair
Mary’s come a long way since she graduated from Central Saint Martins in 2008 and wowed the fashion world with her masterful design of digital prints. But she’s not a woman to be called a one-trick-pony, for this collection shows how far she has come in those 8 seasons. She had broadened her skill set, embraced embroidery and colour and this season taken another departure from her signature prints. This collection was all about a love affair of the Roma gypsy tradition with micro floral prints, miniature sequins and, metallic quilting and lurex shiny tights. Another first for Mary is that she’s designed pieces in all black, eschewing her usual skills by focusing on cut and shape, showing once again no matter what she sets her hand to, she can pull it off.
Jonathan Saunders – Colour clashing prints
Jonathan Saunders knows what he does best; that is colour and beautiful prints. He is one of a collection of London designers who all exploded onto the fashion scene at the same time and helped revolutionise how we view prints. He is also a graduate of Central Saint Martins and that shows in his skills and excellence in design and this season is no different. With bright fresh colours, clashing with beautiful small prints, this collection is perfect for renewal that spring usually envisages. He’s also gone back to a much-loved dress from his archive, the bias cut slip dress and reinvigorated it with new prints and clashing bright colours. For fans of his work, this may be similar to previous seasons, but it’s also going be a bestseller.
Erdem – Moody prairie girl
Set in a theatre just off King’s Cross, the show opened with the sound of gurgling water, dark mesh curtains, low lighting and a very moody and lonely atmosphere.
The collection was pure prairie girl meets childish Victoriana with its ditsy floral prints, high necklines, lots of ruffles and light pastel colours that invoked a Victorian summer garden. While not as pretty as his usual offerings, Erdem Moralıoğlu gave us something darker and moodier, but also something much more interesting. There’s an edge we’ve never seen before in his works and that’s why this show was so enthralling to watch and even more beautiful in person.
Christopher Kane – Chaos reimagined
Christopher and Tammy Kane have had a hard year; they lost their mother just days before the autumn/winter 2015 showing of their collection back in February and with this collection it’s obvious that their mother;s death still played heavily on their minds. As the show outline says, this collection is all about crash and repair for this collection and it couldn’t be more obvious in their splashes of colour, their inventive uses of plastic piping to stitch clothes together and the seeming randomness of the entire offering. Yet underneath all the utter confusion of the collection, there are hints of what makes the Christopher Kane brand unique; his much beloved neon coloured lace made an appearance on the runway again in the form of lace coats and delicate blouses, his unique take on coloured piping, this time on a heavy black background and even a little homage to the eighties in his geometric embroidered triangles on white slip dresses. Through all the grief and heartbreak for the founders of this brand, there is beauty and that’s what this collection encapsulates.
Peter Pilotto – Springtime ruffles
There’s something about the duo of Peter Pilotto and Christopher de Vos when they create a new collection for the brand; they are able to perfectly mesh the sweet and pretty with enough edge and modernity in it to make the entire collection completely covetable. This season, they and us, fell in love with Chantilly lace, and they really used metres of it, draping it around their models in the usual Peter Pilotto pencil skirt and layering it up for a ruffled effect. The collection also had a sporty aesthetic to it, mixing smocks with athletic pieces such as their carwash pleat skirts and lace bomber jackets. The colours were all about springtime pastels, mixing sky blue with a hazy lemon and it was topped off with the brand’s first footwear collection that perfectly matched their clothes.
Holly Fulton – Swirls of colour
Holly Fulton created a swirling embroidered sense of colour for her spring/summer 2016 collection, harking in springtime with bright dashes of colour in her details. Denim made a strong outing on the catwalk, a welcome change to her usual style and her peter pan collars and embroidered detailing on her denim jackets and smart trousers will have editors and fans awash with glee. Overall it’s a welcome progress in her evolution as a designer and shows how far she’s come since she debuted her label at Fashion East back in 2009.
David Koma – The LTD (little tight dress)
David Koma knows what he’s good at. He has perfect the little tight dress and this collection is all about playing to his strong suit. It doesn’t matter if they’re ruffled, bandaged with the oriental leather obi belts, or just skimming the thigh, this is all about doing sexy in the Koma way. It’s also refreshing he has stayed away from colour for this spring collection, choosing instead to feature the vast majority of his collection in whites and blacks, with only a hint of pastel shades in the mix. It’s meant that the emphasis on his collection has been on the cut and style and not the colour.
Presentations at lfw
Sophia Webster – Mermaid Launderette
So what happens when mermaids go to a launderette to wash their tails and lounge around? Why the Sophia Webster spring/summer 2016 collection. Marine motifs graced nearly every aspect of her collection from her massively high platform sandals and punchy slogan bags to her signature print sandals decorated with coral accessories. This is a fun and irreverent collection from a master shoe and accessories designer with a playful eye
Hill & Friends – Debut collection
For the former creative director of Mulberry’s first offering of her own line, this was a big moment for Emma Hill. With her former Mulberry cohort Georgia Fendley they launched their brand Hill & Friends in one of Mulberry’s favourite locations Claridge’s Hotel. In fact there was a lot that harked back to the two women’s days at Mulberry; and that’s not just because of the venue or the similarity in style to their Mulberry counterparts or the Shetland ponies that graced the ballroom at the end of the presentation. While the entire collection was beautiful crafted with some great styles and eye-watering colours from bright pink to dollops of leopard print, there was something about this collection that just couldn’t shake off its Mulberry history. Maybe that’s just because this is their first collection and to entice the buyers and public they reminded everybody of where they came from; but I hope it doesn’t become a trend. While it is undoubtedly able to capture the mid price-range market that Mulberry deserted, it should not be seen as a cheaper imitation. So, while I have no doubt in my mind that they will grow their brand and get the press and buyers they need, I hope they soon branch away from the duo’s history and that they forge their own path. After all, Net-a-porter is already stocking their bags and the website hasn’t even been live for three full days!
Anya Hindmarch – Brand logos redesigned
British handbag designer Anya Hindmarch does have a knack for turning the everyday, banal items into some fun, fashionable and most of all, luxurious. At first we had her take on Kellogg’s with her Fashion Flakes, then she took on household brands such as Daz, road traffic signs and a cheeky joke at the London ring-road the M25 and now we have her reimagining those famous British high street brands we grew up with. At first it started off with the familiar black stripes on white that are so reminiscent of John Lewis, the British high street department store, then she moved on to covering the building society Nationwide with their iconic logo on her clean white bags and emblazoned on coats and a swimsuit. Next was the turn of Mothercare, on what have got to be the most coveted bags for new mothers (I so want one!!!) and then her shift turned to the stationary and bookstore WHSmith, only she took on its main logo from the 1970’s. The final nod to the British high street was her take on the iconic pharmacy brand Boots. Overall, Anya has managed to take us back to our childhood by focusing on iconic brands as we knew them in our formative years, awhile at the same time showing her reverence to all things British. the colours are bold, clean and strong, the clothing sparse but beautifully made and the bags are as covetable as previous seasons. Overall she’s brought out a stomper of a collection.
high street offerings
River Island’s Design Forum – Zoe Jordan
So it is that Zoe Jordan is the latest designer to collaborate with the high street on their Designer Forum and it’s an exciting one. Zoe, a nominee for the British Fashion Council, Vogue Fashion Fund award in 2013, is an acclaimed British fashion designer who’s just dropped an 11 piece capsule collection with the brand that’s out in stores today. Made of ombre tones and sharp clean lines this is a wonderful collection worth checking out. Here’s hoping she goes far in the fashion world.
The best of London street style
London has always been known for it’s cool and kooky street style, and what better time to see Londoners in their finest that fashion week? Here are the best images of street style from LFW spring/summer 2016. And be prepared this gallery is extensive!
Backstage and behind the scenes images
Who doesn’t love behind-the-scenes images from the designers. To see the models laughing and smiling, the gowns in high-detail close-up and some really brilliant photography. Here are some of the best backstage photos from London Fashion Week. Each image is captioned with the designer if you want to know more. Enjoy!
burberry prorsum spring/summer 2016
There was something new and unusual going on at the Burberry show for spring/summer 2016. For one, the clothes were quite plain and bare compared to previous seasons’ offerings and the usual riot of colour Christopher Bailey gives us. Instead we were treated to lots of black and white and oodles of lace, but behind the monochrome look there was a sophistication to the clothes. They were exquisitely created as usual, but an edge too as leather biker jackets had gold piping, peekaboo lace dresses, white slip dresses in all shapes and sizes and their iconic trench coat reimagined into something more subtle than usual. Overall it was a little disconcerting, but once you got used to it you understand the pared-down aesthetic. This collection was simpler, more causal and less of a spectacle, but still incredibly beautiful.
Celeb spotting at LFW
Want to know what famous people were spotted out and about for LFW? You need go no further as I’ve compiled a nice long list for you here of all the famous faces spotted over the last five days and where they showed up. Some are clearly enjoying all the fashionable parties and shows as they pop up time and time again. I’m looking at you Alexa!
best parties at LFW
Love and Miu Miu party, Monday 21st September – In what has got to be one of the most star-studded parties of the week, it was all about Love magazine and Miu Miu. The party’s theme was Tokyo decadence, courtesy of long-term collaborators Miu Miu and Love magazine. Filled to the rafters with celebs like Harry Styles, Lily Allen, Alexa Chung, Cara and Poppy Delevingne with both their parents present, Karen Elson and the milliner Stephen Jones were present.
Louis Vuitton Series 3 Exhibition, 21st September – On the third day of fashion week, the glitterati descended on one of the hottest parties in London all week at the Strand, the third in a series of exhibitions for the brand. An absolutely star-studded bash, guests were invited to choose one of the iconic handbags and pose against a backdrop for the exhibition with the man himself, Nicholas Ghesquiere.
Vogue Fashion Week Party, 19th September 2015 – When Vogue throws a party to kick off London fashion week, you do your best to be there. Hosted at the Winfield House, the Regent’s Park residence of Matthew Barzun, US ambassador to the UK, and his wife Brooke it was the official kick-off to five days of madness at LFW. Everyone influential in fashion was here from designers like Christopher Kane, Erdem Moralıoğlu and Victoria Beckham to Alexandra Schulman, fashionistas like Poppy Delevingne and Alice Dellal and even John Kerry himself. It was all a very grown-up affair.