Day one of Fashion Week and there’s something missing. The usual circus frenzy seems a little subdued this year. The craziest I’ve seen so far is a dead bird as a headband, and surely that’s standard practice by now. As my day unravelled it seemed the shows were sending out the same restrained vibe. Has London changed pace? With a conservative government comes a conservative look? Surely not.
The key message to start off LFW from Paul Costelloe was outerwear as midwear. The all important trench as a dress was seen in stones and blushes. And why not? With all the underwear as outerwear we have luckily (or not so luckily) witnessed of late, it makes sense. Everything about his womenswear urged femininity with a subtle nod to the all American housewife. From frills to satins to pleats, and lots of them! Volume could be found in bell shape skirts and unstructured babydoll silhouettes, offering a mature take on the Lypsy. There were even feminine tones running through into Costello’s menswear with full pastel lilac tailoring…. Yes you did read that right! To be fair it offered the much needed excitement after an elegant but predictable show.
Tailoring could also be found at Krystof Strozyna, where this show proved as a homage to his talent as a pattern cutter. A special mention has to be made to that double fronted suit jacket. Of course the tailored jacket had to stay for Spring/Summer with androgyny still being a key player but who’d have thought you could reinvent it simply by cutting a small block out of the lapel? Well, Krystof certainly did, and now I want, I need, I must have.
Like many of the shows you can imagine them filtering into high street but this one is ready to jump from catwalk to shop floor simultaneously. Almost as if there was a trend checklist, Krystof ticked all the boxes; pastels, colour blocking, flouro trims, flares and fabric mixing were all on point. We may not have seen anything new here, but what we did see was a beautifully made collection which is immediately wearable.
8pm is when the It girls and boys of London come out to play, or so you would think judging by Ashley Isham’s catwalk. Like a who’s who of the young and fabulous the Isham crowd reined in all sorts from footballers wives to Tara Palmer Tomkinson. A special appearance of Jodie Harsh on the decks was enough to remind me that London Fashion Week is something to get crazily excited about. The show had that WOW factor opening with some remarkable headpieces. I am undecided whether I was sat amid a crazily religious hen party or a tribal coming of age party, either way they gave the models a powerful demeanour… and I loved it! With an established clientele this collection works well because Ashley did what Ashley does best.
Empire lines in metallics and satin jersey were prevalent but with a short shift silhouette in the second part of the show. The beautifully draped and embroidered dresses used seaming to indicate underwear and corsetry themes. Colour blocking could also be seen throughout this collection using saturated yellows and greens. This is one for the prevailing woman that wants to be more Greek goddess than androgynous power suit.
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