Edgy and avant guard, this year’s London Fashion Week came and went like a flash storm unleashing what has been called the most exciting up-n-coming to the fashion playing field. Not that that’s a surprise. LFW has garnered a bit of a reputation for unveiling the upstarts and when your scene is known for it’s punk-rock street style (Hello, Vivian Westwood. Hello Mr. McQueen) it only makes sense for the hottest of the newby bunch to show-up. Let’s take a peek at a few more of the scene-stealing darlings calling from the runways of London, shall we?
Titled ‘A wolf in sheep’s clothing,’ Meadham Kirchoff collection referenced a sugary-sweet story of “anti-beauty contests and anti-popularity contests,” oh… and Ed Meadham and Ben Kirchhoff collection of vintage Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day cards. Saying the collection was girly, is an understatement.
"I am interested to push everything as far as possible," Meadham said. And push they did. Think a plethora of pink, red hearts and baby doll dresses adorning models with candy-floss hair, furiously applying lipstick and puffing powder on their over-done faces as they danced down the runway. If you’re thinking a parody of a little girl’s Princess Party – you’re not far off the mark.
But then we get to the stripper-inspired cutouts and it becomes a different party all together – one that had the audience members laughing and clapping… sheesh, even the ever-stoic Ms. Anna Wintour cracked a smile.
The collection, while slightly outshone by the whimsy of the show, was comprised of sweet knits with the aforementioned not-so-sweet cut-outs, brockade jackets, fluffy pom-pom embellished capes, leotards, skirts and a marabou feather can-can dress. There were rainbows, hearts and child-like appliqués galore… all tooth-achingly fussed together, ending with little girl ballerina’s tip toeing around a sugar plum cake. We’re not sure exactly where the ‘wolf’ came into play (Perhaps the voyeurism of the audience?) – but the nursey-rhym-ish ‘sheep’ were fluffily clear.
Back to the world of adult, we go, with a neutral palette-ed collection that was both sporty and utilitarian at the same time. Designer Jo Sykes stayed generally true to the Aquascutum aesthetic, though the shapes were a touch more relaxed. So what was new for the label?
Sykes had this to say of the collection, "The shapes were very simple and the colour palette neutral, so we played with textures: tweed, silk georgette, plastic, lace, leather. Key looks are the tough bonded linen trousers paired with silk tops, the tweed jackets and matching skirts.”
Plastic, you say? In the summer? Um… okay.
Calling her debut collection ‘Trust Me’ was, in this writer’s humble opinion, a fashion week coup as newby-designer Louise Gray showed one of the LFW’s most playful and creative collections. Combining a mish-mash of color, texture and prints, Gray describes her style thus: “Its how my mother taught me to dress. Everything matches if you like it."
This UK collection (strictly made in the UK) was inspired by a bevy of strong, independent women like Gypsy Rose Lee, Gala Dali and Poly Styrene – leading to a mix of patterns, from Navajo fabrics to torn chiffon, woven tweeds to sequins, embellished with an edgy and unfinished edging.
Gray had this to say about her collection: “There was silk, screen printing, velvet devoré, foil. But I was trying to simplify it more. It's for a girl and a woman. It's more about a mentality."
Some of the looks came off a bit garish, but in a world where cookie cutter style is so rampant… isn’t that just this side of refreshing?
One thing that may not be so refreshing, come summer, is the aforementioned use of plastic in not one… but several collection, including Richard Nicoll’s who used the futuristic ‘fabric’ like it was going out of style. (Um… hmmm.)
Basing his collection on a 1960’s Simplicity sewing pattern for ladies nighties and the equally 60’s era French film Inferno, the plastic in question was tricked out in pink, clear and powdery-blue – pretty much promising a sweat-inducing sun-stroke. Thankfully, the collection wasn’t all plastic.
In fact, the runway saw quite the opposite with the much more relaxed smock-tops over fluttery skirts and tres feminized, blurry floral-printed and flowy separates. If you’re into the flattering pajama game… Nicoll’s is your man.