STYLE // London Fashion Week S/S 16

Tuesday, 29 September 2015

As a Brit who spends a lot of time in the capital, London Fashion Week is always the highlight of the month for me. I don't think there's anything that makes me feel more patriotic than British fashion does. There is so much history and heritage here, yet at the same time we're known for being a little eccentric in ways. So many important style icons of the past and present are British, as well as designers such as Vivienne Westwood who was a crucial driving force for punk fashion (a style that is truly an iconic part of London). We're also home to so many fantastic universities and facilities for anyone who wishes to pursue a higher education in Fashion Design and other related subjects. The British fashion industry is truly a credit to us and, as a graduate currently hunting for my first job, I couldn't be more excited about someday being a part of that.

This season saw London Fashion Week move from Somerset House to it's new home at Brewer St Car Park. Gareth Pugh showed a Spring/Summer 2016 collection based on the gentrification of Soho - A subject that's really topical right now, since places of cultural significance (like legendary drag club Madame Jojos and 'street of the music' Tin Pan Alley) are being torn down to make room for luxury flats and even more bloody branches of Pret A Manger. While I didn't get tickets for any of the shows, there were still great free events on around Soho. I went to Soho during the week to an inspiring talk with print-based fashion designer Zandra Rhodes. They were also streaming shows at Golden Square, but it was unfortunately a little too rainy for it that day. Thankfully I was able to catch up with all of the catwalks online instead. Here are some of my London favourites:

Ashish (above image) presented a Spring/Summer 16 collection filled with skater girls and a scattering of sequins - Quite literally, there were models both whizzing around on skateboards and throwing handfuls of sequins on the catwalk! Of course you'd never expect an Ashish show to be short of sparkle, since he's one designer who essentially worships the sequin through his glitzy designs. This season saw him take a slightly more sparse approach which appeared to look a lot like someone had spilled a whole load of sequins on the clothes. Raw edge denim, bucket hats and slip dresses were featured heavily. Two looks showed a glittering denim jumpsuit that was essentially a jeans/sari hybrid. London DJ Larry B walked out in a nude slip dress, illustrated with a vagina and a pair of boobs (complete with sequinned nipples, of course) in a bold celebration of transgender people. I was particularly fond of the adorable yet inspired beauty look for this show, which consisted of fully sequinned eyelids and a multicoloured scattering of sequins on top of the head too. It fitted in so nicely with the spilled sequins concept. My favourite look from the show would have to be the raw-edge denim co-ord with embroidered red heart cut-outs, and I can definitely see this embellishment idea coming through the high street next season (so keep your eyes peeled to see if I'm correct!)

Simone Rocha does pretty so well, and her most recent collection shown at London just totally reiterates that. She is a young designer who just seems to be going from strength to strength each season - She is absolutely killing it right now! This time around she showed us some ultra-feminine full skirted dresses, pretty in pink and white with intricately knotted macramé straps. Bead embellishments were featured on nude tights, necklines and oversized bows. Rope like grid patterns on transparent fabrics created a juxtaposition between bondage and softer girly influences. This pretty textile gave added sex appeal to a slinky black dress. But my absolute favourite look from this collection would definitely have to be the sugary sweet pastel pink sundress, with delicate crocheted ropes crossing the bodice. I am also very much in love with those rosy tinted snakeskin pumps worn with the outfit.

Topshop Unique's latest offering was a love letter to eccentric British style. The muse was definitely feminine yet somewhat androgynous in her dress sense. Pinstripes, cigarette pants and collared shirts seemed like a nod to British style icon and 'It' girl, Alexa Chung (who was actually sat on the front row). Whilst the knitted Cricket vests, leopard print coats and floaty yet disheveled tea dresses emphasised that whimsical and quintessentially British feel. Knotted thin leather belts and big statement earrings were shown as the accessory of choice for next season's Topshop girl, whilst Bright red lipstick reinforced its status as an iconic beauty essential. My favourite look is the black silky smoking jacket, contrasted with white trousers in the same ditsy strawberry print, fluffy shoes and a striking red clutch bag - I would just love to wear this whole outfit exactly as it is!

Christopher Kane served up some art school cool. Painted prints, abstract cut outs and garments compiled entirely of layered shapes gave it a very disorderly feel. Multicoloured cable ties were a stand out accessory, worn unconventionally as chokers and hairbands. The combination of messy embroidery and heavy fringing added to the chaos, yet it was still just as polished as any other Christopher Kane collection. There were very commercial and wearable pieces you could imagine some of the High Street shops taking note from. I was a big fan of the black leather biker jacket and skirt co-ord printed with glossy splodges of paint. Though my favourite look is 100% the one with the dishevelled looking beige jumper, because yellow snakeskin trousers were something I never knew I needed until now - Thank you Mr Kane for further fueling my python obsession.

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