London Fashion Week Highlights

London – The fashion pack may have already moved onto Milan but there is a lot to
celebrate from the fashion seen during London Fashion Week, where the
designers seemed to embrace the free spirit of the city’s new hub in the
centre of Soho to produce collections filled with 90s references, delicate
floral prints, colours galore from sugary pastels to eye-watering acid
brights, as well as a new romanticism from demure ruffles to Victorian
elegance.

The new LFW location in the heart of Soho in a car park was a heated
talking point throughout the week: there was love for the central location,
well that was until the traffic jams and the masses of people hanging out
on tiny street corners, as well as an embarrassment that London was
showcasing itself in a car park, even if its Art Deco and a listed
building, apparently it’s the third-oldest multistorey car park to feature
ramps, which the fashionistas with sky-high heels weren’t too impressed
with.

Whether you loved or hated the new official show space, one thing
everyone could agree on that the shake-up was definitely needed, the
fashion seems more alive and the crop of young emerging talent is better
than ever and has put London back on the map for being the creative and
cooler sister of the other fashion weeks.

The emerging talent was at the forefront this LFW with the girls coming
out on top, with Molly Goddard aka the smock princess, wowing with her
voluminous style and humour, with her models standing in a production line
dutifully making sandwiches while wearing her trademark tulle dresses,
while Clio Peppiatt showcased her tongue-in-cheek humour with a
presentation featuring futuristic Barbie doll models wearing prints
featuring ray guns and stars.

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Quirky and bold wasn’t just for the young talent, Anya Hindmarch paid
homage to the high street, using the logos from John Lewis, Mothercare,
Nationwide and the WHSmith’s Seventies emblem to emboss across her handbags
and ready-to-wear pieces framed in a super-reflective kaleidoscope-style
catwalk.

Location, location, location seemed to be high on designers checklists
this year, Henry Holland brought sand and his neo-safari collection to the
Collins Music Hall, Erdem delivered his Victorian elegance in the King’s
Cross theatre with its section of railway track embedded in the stage,
while Christopher Kane showcased his acid brights in the beautiful Sky
Garden, which has 360 degree views across the City of London. Preen staged
its show in the circular atrium of City Hall on London’s south bank, while
Julien Macdonald opted for the UK’s largest meat market to present his
glamorous collection.

LFW SS16 highlights

This season also marked the return of ex-Mulberry creative director Emma
Hill back to the LFW schedule, launching her new label Hill & Friends with
a pink and sugary show at her old stomping ground Claridges. The
accessories designer showcase her debut collection to select editors over
breakfast and had the bellboys parade the handbags on silver platters while
the Muppets’ Life’s a Happy Song played in the background. The collection
itself wasn’t groundbreaking, the styles actually just looked like updates
of the ones she designed in her Mulberry days, the difference probably is
the price, the collection starts at 495 pounds, with most under 1,000
pounds.

Standout collections once again came from: Burberry Prorsum, which
showcased a casual, youthful feel with a dramatic edge due to the addition
of the cape; JW Anderson went with Eighties vibes with his pop art squiggle
prints that evoked Keith Haring’s iconic motifs; and Roksanda brought out
her signature bell sleeves and delivered her own style of romanticism with
vibrant yellow dresses constructed out of mille-feuille layerings of
organza silk.

It wouldn’t be fashion week without a party or two and the hottest
ticket had to be Donatella Versace’s Versus celebration following the
brand’s catwalk show. The night featured live performances from the Howling
Bells, The Strypes and a special DJ set from Issac Ferry, as well as
Versus-branded bottled cocktails and wrapped up miniature burgers, and a
huge crowd outside.

Images: London Fashion Week SS16

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