Words by Nicole Thomsen
September 23rd, 2016
Whatever uncertainties there may be in the United Kingdom in regards to Brexit, there’s no doubts surrounding the London based designers’ creativity. After a decidedly minimal New York Fashion Week (it’s what they do best), London brought the fun and the frivolous, resulting in an altogether bewitching and stimulating affair.
The English capital best displays what is happening in fashion at the moment. It’s no longer a case of needing to follow one enveloping theme, but rather, take cue from your eclectic grandmother by mixing things that could be considered a match sure to fail but when strung together with finesse and confidence it’s glorious. Sure, trends are still there but they’re becoming more personable and less Heathers-y.
Those combinations that we saw in London this week seem bizarre on paper but with a designer’s adeptness, they worked. Case in point, Simone Rocha’s collection which turned the First Communion dress on its religious head and made it covetable to those above the age of 8 in lace and sheer variations while being paired with festival-goers’ mainstay, wellington boots.
And the unexpected footwear didn’t stop there. Christopher Kane continued with his use of questionable accessories and styled his iconographically-clad models in Crocs to walk the runway in. Taking the fashionised term “ugly shoe” to an undesirable level, Crocs, also known as the most hated shoes, have been given a fashion makeover. Does it make them more wearable when paired with metallic pleated midi skirts and tulle dresses? No. Will we be seeing more of them? Most likely.
But while many designers were about the brash and Instagram-provoking looks, others nurtured more commercially viable collections. Erdem showed his affinity for history when combined with romanticism and released a ruffle-fuelled collection we have come to love and expect from the designer. Topshop Unique crafted a collection which centred around Eighties fashion (big now, even bigger for spring) but by deconstructing the pieces that defined a generation and giving them a more muted, almost minimal overhaul, they showed us that the decade we tried to forget actually had style. Forget the shoulder pads, the modern version of 80’s dressing is all about draped, fluid silhouettes and vinyl.
So, what can we take away from these collections? The ‘80s has replaced the ‘90s, Crocs are cool (?), ruffles are sticking around but the biggest statement of all is that style is personal. Simone Rocha may have a vision of romantic broderie anglaise dresses combined with utilitarian wellington boots, you may decide on ballet flats. On the catwalk, these combinations may look bizarre (to some) but that is the designer’s vision and personal style. They’ve given you the inspiration and the trend, now you decide how to style and wear it.
See our top looks from the best collections at London Fashion Week and garner some inspiration in the slideshow below.
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