#LFW is over and Milan’s time has started. However for those of you who don’t have the time to drool over all of the shows and see whats new, whats hot, whats sexy and what is perhaps not, don’t stress cause MESS has the ultimate Round Up for you. From established iconic designers such as Burberry to the up and coming;
Wicksteads imagination was sparked by Wes Anderson’s melancholia approach to character choices. This retro quality takes you back to an era where women, most believe, to be better dressed.
This is honoured with expensive looking fabrics ( in beautiful colours from nude to shell to duck egg blue); wide-sleeved coats elegantly draped over shoulders, and midi length full skirts with volume at the back. The theme of unique sleeves is followed through with flared sleeved tops to another extreme of sleeveless tunics. The tunics also had an interesting back with peplums and box pleats. The crepe jumpsuits are notably becoming a Wickstead signature, this time cinched with square buckled fabric belts.
The Autumn/Winter feel is shown through the vintage rust and metallics, with a geometric diamond print on sheer silk added vibrancy to the tranquil line up. Especially when the geo print came partnered with a lipstick red roll new sweater.
Rocha’s aesthetic has become so refined and beautifully rendered that even in her short career (she graduated in 2010) you know it is her; “Tapestry and tulle, tweet and lace.”
This season collection was romantic and historic, with its red, white, pink and black, it was a little bit dark and raw. This was shown through an extensive and traversing collection that highlighted her created aesthetic.
Here we saw opulence in black velvet and chenille for dresses that enveloped their models in swathes to sexily expose landscapes of back, brocade playing out on suitably historic bodiced silhouettes (something she has quite managed to make her own).
Capes had a structured shape but softened with florals, rose petals which later popped out in folds and cuts of dresses in pink and red. Sleeves on coats were puckered into shape and that Victoriana-Tudor hybrid remained throughout.
But there was still that naive and playful charm to it all, a blend she does so well – and skipping out to take her bow at the end, seemed so easily to embody.
Saunder’s took pop architect Robert Venturi’s saying “Less is a bore” to another level. His latest collection was a tribute to living an optimistic and bigger life.
His latest is a complete transformation from his last collection. The Spring/Summer 2015 show was introspective and somewhat conceptual. Some would say that Saunders inconsistency as a negative but not me. I see it as his desire to not look back and become repetitive and reveal his true ability to shape shift trends. Saunders is a giving designer. This quality gives his collections an open vulnerability.
There was that trademark, tense duality between the formalist and the fetishist; the dresses with bracelet sleeves and high-funnel necklines had a restraint with a twisted lace-up, over-the-knee kinky boots. The op-art prints were varied and clashing, riffing on a modish Sixties swish. Saunders had been further inspired by the artists which he referenced at the beginning of his career: the pop art of Allen Jones and Bridget Reily.
The sound track to the show was George Michael’s Careless Whisper. “I love that song, it makes me happy,” he said backstage. “That’s what this collection is about. Optimism.”
Last season Kane’s collection was a dedication to his late professor, Louise Wilson and this season, it is was great sadness, he dedicates his show to his mother, Christine Kane, who sadly passed away just three days ago. How the designer is able to function, let alone stage another hit collection is testament to his and sister Tammy’s iron will.
Kane opened with a series of black smoking suits with labels of bright red and purple velvet. Silhouetted nude bodies were a recurring idea; those outlined in black and decorated in lace with risqué clinches. He has referred this as “lover’s lace” and it was inspired from a course of life drawing classes. He added “Everything I do essentially comes from drawing, it ultimately reflects how I feel. I wanted a feeling of attraction and sensuality in the collection, something sexual but not grotesque.”
As with all Kane shows, the body of ideas here was immense; from high-shine metallic chainmail dresses fused with floral Swiss lace hemlines, to wafting layered and ruffled silk frocks to Lurex sweaters partnered with glittery Tarmac trousers.
And this leading right back to the signature safety buckle clip; it popped up as fastenings on tailored coats and drapey halter neck dresses in crushed velvet.
Topshop’s vision of a woman is a little bit of all of us- a charming, mixed-up style dichotomy who quite fancies herself frolicking in the playful wilds of the English countryside in narrow, side-split shift dresses, printed with spriggy dandelion flowers.
Equally, once the country jaunt is over, she can’t wait to get back to London, primed for mischief and ready to shimmy her bare shoulders in a strapless cocktail dress while sipping champagne.
This afternoon’s Topshop Unique girl had an Eighties sensibility. There was certainly a brashness to her – the ornately embroidered, black velvet mini dresses and wide, glossy green vinyl flares worn with a gold Lurex jacket saw to that. But as much as this girl likes to party, she craves a homely sense of luxury from her everyday pieces (like all of us she sees the practical appeal of a capsule wardrobe). She chooses pinafore dresses worn with chubby, navy roll-neck knits and cute, block heel pumps.
So what will be next season’s hit winter coat on the high street? Expect it to be shearling, with weighty fluffy cuffs, and it’s worth noting that the hemlines here were abbreviated, aimed squarely at Topshop’s coquettish customer.
Singer Clare Maguire once again took to the Burberry Prorsum catwalk this afternoon (she sang at the menswear show back in January) – as did the second chapter of Christopher Bailey’s tale of studious and exotic bohemia.
So it was a continuation of pattern, patchwork and print (that was also, in fact, the title of the collection): heavily fringed ponchos (that seemed even to take precedence over the trench this season); mosaic-encrusted crop tops on whimsical folk dresses; gorgeous leg-lengthening suede patchwork boots; multi-fringed trench coats (entirely dripping in tan strands); little natty waistcoats atop vintage-y dresses; and quilted floral jackets, and of course more trenches in any and all of the combinations above. There really was one for every taste.
Colours were deeper and darker, heartfelt and romantic: teal, maroon, olive and a darkened magenta. Pom-poms nestled at wrists worn as bracelets and ankle boots boasted bursts of fringing at their heel. Empire lines ruled, quilting brought a crafty touch and there was leopard print to be found too.
This was a free and liberated collection that shifted itself into the Sixties and the Summer of Love more than anything else, and so these were Burberry’s flower children.
Seconds by Human League opened the JW Anderson show this afternoon and it took just that for the designer to challenge our expectations. He has become synonymous with his own, brand of modern, cerebral luxury, but today was a ballsy, treading the fine line between great and bad taste.
We should have guessed what was coming from the grey and red striped carpet underfoot – it was an ode to Eighties office interiors. Then came the woman who was stalking that boardroom; she wore outsized, Working Girl silhouettes, but the Eighties shapes was nixed with the help of Anderson’s light touch, and his love for long-line silhouettes. It was a slam-dunk lesson in making nostalgia feel relevant and elegant. A chunky elephant corduroy trouser, worn with lamé and a fringed skirt is quite a challenge for any designer, but Anderson combined #throwingback with moving forward into one, revitalizing package.
Anderson spoke on the subject of nostalgia: “We’re living in a generation and a moment in fashion where you see a lot of nostalgia and that’s because, fundamentally, we are living in a moment where no one knows where they are going and everyone is trying to work out whether they fit.” Anderson is the master of the artful equation that is creativity plus risk and this season he didn’t fail to surprise and to challenge.
SUCH is the effect of social media that it got Alberta Ferretti wondering what the equivalent of a selfie would have been way back when. She found her answer in portraits from the Renaissance – because they depicted strong women with character and personality. And so this became her starting point – a wander through history but with a streak of modernity in there too.
So dresses – lots of them – were all very pretty and historic, riffing on that folksy princess Valentino vibe, ruffles and frills and flouncy collars. The girls walked out from a projected sun-risen forest, the same vermillion and rich shades stretching out onto their gowns, embroidery and embellishment undoubtedly opulent though Ferretti herself would put emphasis on the material’s exclusivity and technicality over anything else.
There were Guy Fawkes girls in black velvet jackets and regal ruby decoration; there were shapely sheer sleeves on blouses beneath demure pinafores and there were cosy Red Riding Hood capes to further emphasise that fairytale point.
“For me, it’s important to dream. If you dream it, it will happen,” reasoned Ferretti backstage.
Chalayan wanted to do “Storytelling through clothes – but not in a literal way”. His tale of choice? Murder on The Orient Express, the film.
He zoned in on the night and the moment when the murder happened, which all added up to the idea of suspense. But there was nothing menacing about the collection – though the models took to the catwalk in a formation that meant certain audience members came almost face to face with them as they approached head on.
The suspense transpired and to begin, it was all his precision pieces, rigorously cut jackets and wide-leg trousers and coats, then into dungarees and leather unzipping boiler suits.
It was all too easy to say and think that these were typically irreverent Chalayan. He, after all, is known for taking one thing and turning it into something else. But here, the idea was about partitions, being behind screens, that sense of tension. And the overall effect didn’t look as bizarre as it might sound, executed in such exact and elegant precision as it was.
Perfectly polished and carefully constructed, today’s David Koma show presented an elevated offering from a designer who knows his girl as well as any of the big brands. Nude fabric teamed with leather proved sexier than the cut-outs and sheer swathes seen elsewhere this week, and worked well with short but demure Sixties silhouettes. Blue leather and graphic orange macramé lace provided flashes of colour alongside futuristic hologramatic embellishment that was suitably out of this world. Possibly derived from his work at Mugler, a thoughtful progression befitting a major house was evident here, and red-carpet starlets used to stepping out in Vaccarello or Balmain could do worse than come knocking at Koma’s door. And they better be fast. This tightly edited collection will have many toned and honed admirers, of that you can be sure.