Perhaps it’s something in the water, or the clash between modernity and tradition, or even the rich tapestry of cultures that London is rife with but the fact that there are endless possibilities leads to one of the most exciting fashion events in the fashion calendar. There’s a reason why London Fashion Week is my personal favourite in the calendar and it’s plain to see with the ten designers spotlighted here.
1. Mary Katrantzou
It seemed the news of Mary Katrantzou’s sold-out collaboration with Topshop would set the tone for the Greek designer’s most successful runway collection yet, as raucous plaudits rolled in for her Fall/Winter collection that carried on her fine tradition for print. Whilst re-imagining the peplum in 3D folds and imagery, Katrantzou solidified her place as London’s great next talent.
2. McQ by Alexander McQueen
McQ’s first showing on the catwalk seemed like a long overdue present given its six year history, but the wait proved to be worth every second as hungry fashion stylites were sated with rich detailing on lush creations. Floral appliques came alive on tulle and rich brocade as Sarah Burton showcased a vision of twisted glamour and romance, as it pounds through the McQueen vein.
For a lesson in feminine-masculine relations in fashion, here is Giles Deacon’s vision for Fall/Winter 2012. Stark crisp collars accompanied gauzy prints and well-tailored dresses, deftly treading gender lines. Inspired by a house on fire, these were must-have closet pieces, and as the final tulle dresses with beautifully burnt effect took the catwalk, you couldn’t help but want it all.
4. Marios Schwab
Marios Schwabs reveled in all thing classically feminine as femme fatales in wide brim hats and body skimming silhouettes strutted down the runway. Here was the celebration of subtle sexiness, where updated necklines and peek-a-boo fabric like lace and chiffon tantalized. It was intrinsically beautiful and stylish, right down to the T(-bar pointy toe shoes).
Erdem Moralioglu understands the ladylike DNA of his brand, but that didn’t stop him from pushing the envelop in his Fall/Winter 2012 collection. Witness the purple cocktail dress with a lace oversheen and a black rubber latex bustier – unconventional in its pairing yet befitting the traditional cocktail dress. The entire collection was as such – twisting convention on its head while acknowledging classic roots.
6. Peter Pilotto
If we were to take the phrase ‘fashion tribes’ at its most literal sense, we’re willing to bet Peter Pilotto would be the choice of the urban warrior. Here are criss cross and cut out designs swathed in glorious print, theatrical almost in their play of the eye. Perhaps a glimspe in to the future, could this be the bold new frontier?
7. Jonathan Saunders
While the collection may have looked perfectly straight out of the British women handbook – prim and proper with an infused air of preppiness, Jonathan Saunders’ collection circumvented the trend by adding rich textures and eye-catching patterns. We’re calling it an update on the modern Londoner’s look.
8. Simone Rocha
In the playpen of young designers that was London Fashion Week, it was the casual cool chicness of Simone Rocha that made us sit up and take notice. Pairing unusual textiles niftily – almost-reflective silver leather with a lace peplum top and mohair skirt, it was instant lust as we viewed the models strutting in what will surely come to be this generation’s go-to uniform. Couldn’t you just imagine it on Elizabeth Olsen?
9. House of Holland
As someone who thought Henry Holland a one-hit wonder, his Fall/Winter collection admittedly took me by surprise. The often overwhelming kitsch and whimsy synonymous with Holland was finetuned to surprisingly effective colourblocking, fun Chevron stripes, and a genius update on a British classic – the houndstooth checks. Could this be the gradual reveal of a more mature designer?
10. Michael van der Ham
It is his phenomenal use of fabric collaging, texturally brilliant, that caught our eye, but his smart styling of gold laced tops and sweaters with printed bottoms were what sealed this love affair. Burn this name into your memory because Michael van der Ham is definitely an upcoming young designer to watch.
Images courtesy of Style.com