London Fashion Week Grows Up

London Fashion Week has always been famous for eclectic, avant-garde and so-called in-your-face styles, mostly due to the city’s creative freedom and freshly graduated design students from the likes of Central Saint Martins. The wild streak is still there, but this time it was often overshadowed by more grown up, more refined and even sometimes conservative fashion from designers including Erdem and Emilia Wickstead.

London Fashion Week Grows Up

My Personal Highlights

Edeline Lee left me wide-eyed and absolutely enthralled. I was reminded of how much I truly love fashion. And her own love and respect for the craft is unmistakable in her S/S ’18 presentation. I’ll admit it- a few joyous giggles escaped from my mouth. What a divine collection! 

Flowing, easy designs in exceptional fabrics was the rule at Emilia Wickstead. Sometimes the looks were daring with unexpected details here and there, but they were never too over the top. A lesson in movement and texture, there was also something for every Wickstead Woman with modest and see-through styles alike.

The Emporio Armani show featured just about the most stunning casting of models I’ve ever seen. As for the clothing, there were some odd (not in an alluring way) pieces but I choose to ignore them and focus on the stunning coats, blazers, dresses and suits that confidently made their way down the runway.

Erdem wowed the world by bringing the story of the time Duke Ellington met Queen Elizabeth II to life. Apparently they became acquainted in 1958 for the occasion of a royal performance and, inspired by the queen’s love for jazz, Ellington composed “Queen’s Suite” for the royal. This story was the inspiration for a collection filled with majestic vintage prints, rich fabrics and other delights.

MM6 Maison Margiela presented immaculate cuts and tailoring but nothing wore too seriously or too strong. Winners include a pair of jeans creating challenging optical illusions through texture and light and a denim poncho that looks as if it could be the softest, most comfortable garment in all of LFW. It’s luxury streetwear done right. The clothes feel street and have that edge, yet they draw on intelligent design and still feel refined. There’s nothing “mass” about it.

At Palmer Harding, cascading, asymmetric ensembles paraded down the runway on models with sculptural earrings, artfully undone hair and even a model with a “sleeve”- an arm entirely done up in tattoos. These subtle details strategically added to the presentation’s cool factor which, like the clothes, felt natural the entire time. Each look was expertly styled and the models looked completely at ease.

King of the Avant-Garde

I’m not a fan of Gareth Pugh’s often gothic and sometimes disturbing creations, however, this season is the exception when it comes to his designs (the video presentation is a totally different story). I hope to see the likes of Bjork sport these glossed and metallic, origami-like designs.