London Fashion Week Spring/Summer 16

picturebyreinson@gmail.com1205 SS16JF London Cocktail PartyKristian Aadnevik Backstage 2

 

September is a pretty universal time for change; it marks the move from summer to autumn, it sees young people going back to school or uni, and most importantly of all (for those of us in the fashion industry, anyway), it’s also the time that the top designers showcase their Spring/Summer collections! This season, London Fashion Week ran from the 18th – 22nd September, and to say I attended a lot of shows, presentations and parties across these five jam-packed days would be an understatement! With that in mind, I’ve recapped my top London Fashion Week Womenswear SS16 highlights in the following blog, grouping them into the upcoming LFW SS16 top trends. Enjoy!

 

Ruffles, Romance and Flowers

Bora Aksu LFW SS16Yufash LFW SS16Toga SS16Kristian Aadnevik SS16

You may not think that romantic influences and floral motifs are the most original trends for spring, but trust me when I say that the 2016 update on these themes is anything but standard! Girlish elegance was taken to new heights this season at LFW SS16, with sheer panels galore, an abundance of giant, frilly ruffles, and delicate floral patterns making appearances on many of the catwalks. Designers leading the pack in this feminine romanticism included Erdem (whose prairie and Victorian inspired creations of lace, ruffles and ribbons were no less beautiful for being designed to appear “unravelled”), Bora Aksu (whose ethereal, lace-dominated collection was as colourful and beautiful as it was flirty and playful), Yufash (where Kadri Klampe showcased a captivating collection of romantic floaty dresses and skirts, with sheer panel detail, feminine hues and signature embellishment). Kristian Aadnevik (whose delicate lace collection was inspired by the wild beauty of roses and Roman goddesses), Asli Polat (whose collection of loose flowing shapes, floral embroidery, transparent fabrics, lace ruffles and pastels was a sophisticated interpretation of Midwestern US summer chic), Simone Rocha (who played with texture in a collection that featured feathery tulle, elegant lace, floral prints and an overriding motif of ropes), and Three Floor (whose flirty collection of tulle, sheers, flowery lace and mini frills were beautifully balanced by elegant cut-outs and sportswear materials).

Judy Wu SS16Toga 2Kristian Aadnevik Backstage 1

That’s not to say that all such offerings were dainty and delicate; plenty of designers added edge and points of difference to their romantic collections with surprising silhouettes, use of unexpectedly bright colours, and juxtaposing dark accents. My personal favourites include Marques Almeida’s denim ruffle looks with frayed edges; Mary Katrantzou’s contrast of dark, brooding floral patterns and frills with bright pops of colour; Holly Fulton’s surrealist-inspired collection of bold colours, crazy prints and unique yet feminine shapes; David Koma’s flirty collection of black, white and blush with embroidered flowers and transparent textures; Judy Wu’s soft and fluid yet powerful study of female strength; Christopher Bailey’s trans-seasonal dark and nude lace collection with military touches at Burberry; Gyo Yuni Kimchoe’s juxtaposition of frothy frills with vividly-coloured oriental-print silks; Joseph’s masculine take on romance; Toga’s sheer overlays and large ruffle appliques contrasted with bright satins and earthy tones; Peter Pilotto’s combination of blue pastels and ruffles with geometric shapes and black accents; JW Anderson’s mix of frills/femininity and an “intergalactic Olympics” aesthetic; and Preen by Thornton Bregazzi’s refined combination of ditsy florals, ruffled chiffon, stripes, black panels, asymmetry and cheeky cut-outs.

I also particularly enjoyed Hasan Hejazi’s more literal take on the romance theme, which saw sweetheart necklines, sheer tops, and heart motifs on skirts and dresses. Mary Benson showed a similarly literal representation of love with her SS16 collection – though her theme was in fact centred on love and heartbreak (as can be seen from the fact that the models’ faces were painted with tears). Highlights included the full length ruffle gown covered with scribbles, the 3D heart-strewn deep red jacket, the crying face dress, and the sunglasses with attached jewel tear-drops. Ryan Lo seemed to employ similar themes in a less literal sense, with a primarily pink-hued collection that featured ruffles and frill adornments of all sizes and even a heart-printed dress.

 

Statement Stripes and Graphic Prints

Leaf Xia LFW SS16Issa SS16 1Peter Jensen LFW SS16Issa SS16 2

In complete contrast to the soft, romantic trend, many designers at LFW SS16 chose to showcase statement stripes or strong, graphic prints in their collections, paving the way for a bright and boldly patterned summer. LFW pioneers of the stripe trend included House of Holland, J.JS Lee, Vlada Savic, Gareth Pugh, BCollide, Faustine Steinmetz, Jasper Conran, Richard Malone (Fashion East), and C.J. Yao, all of whom created beautifully diverse collections with stripes as their main focus. In terms of graphic prints, on the other hand, no one paved the way for the trend quite like Jonathan Saunders, who used a whole rainbow of colours in the collection that incorporated checks, punchy paisley prints, abstract florals and diagonal lines. Indeed, quirky graphic prints seemed to be popular for spring and summer, with several designers choosing to incorporate slightly more off-the-wall aspects into their collections. For example, Alexander Lewis brought science and maths into his latest collection with motifs of rainbows of light exiting a prism, stars, clouds and cuboid shapes, all of which that contrasted nicely with his use of stripes and more traditional, almost geographic wiggly lines. Yii also went with a youthfully-influenced theme in his largely pastel-coloured collection, which featured a mixture of cartoon prints (of human body parts, fish, other sea creatures, and ghosts), 3D knitted accoutrements (dead fish, baubles), impressionist shapes, and a print that looked suspiciously like geometric fried eggs! Ivana Pilja took the shape theme one step further, by sending models down the catwalk in avant-garde “monochromatic body origami” that had to be seen to be believed!

Thomas Tait went with a more grown-up version of quirky with his galactic-inspired collection, which featured DIY-like metal trappings, multi-coloured Swarovski crystal embellishment, and round metallic cut-outs. Miuniku also played with shapes in an impactful yet clean primary-coloured collection filled with circles, asymmetric panels, and juxtaposition, as did Leaf Xia (one of Fashion Scout’s Ones to Watch) in her collection of bold, primary coloured collage pieces, and Peter Jensen, in his collection of brightly coloured mod looks inspired by his friend and muse Shirley Kurata. Omer Asim took juxtaposition one step further with his beautiful SS16 collection, which offered a modern study on black and white, with clean lines and materials such as metal and wood creating “colour through texture”. Similarly, Budislava Kekovic showed a mainly black and white collection (with touches of grey) of geometric architecture and simple lines, which was predominantly inspired by Japanese culture. Issa’s offering, notably consisting also of mainly black and white, with only a few pieces featuring bright blue or yellow. The overriding theme throughout the collection was of graphic yet delicate prints featuring bold shapes and lush texture.

Edeline Lee, Min Wu, and Hunter Original all proved that graphic patterns look just as good in pastels, though. Lee’s use of softer colours contrasted nicely with her use of colour blocking and strong geometric shapes/lines, resulting in a feminine yet powerful collection of strikingly artistic looks. Wu’s was similarly creative, with loose but structured outfits in pale hues that featured airbrushed paint patterns, strong geometric lines, and sporty straps, to name a few highlights. Hunter Original created a festival-ready, pastel-toned collection of waterproof outfits which mixed patterns of geometric block shapes, ombre tones, and graphic, jungle camouflage prints.

Impressively, several designers actually managed to combine the stripes and/or graphic print trends with other themes. For example, Roksanda managed to merge bold stripes and romanticism with her SS16 collection inspired by modern ballet, expertly offsetting floaty layers, ruffles, bell-shaped sleeves and dusky pinks with boldly coloured stripes, sharp tailoring and masculine details. JS Chin (another of Fashion Scout’s Ones To Watch) achieved a similar effect with his romantic “modernised oriental” collection featuring silk, stripes and floral prints. Anya Hindmarch also achieved a combination of trends, bridging the gap between stripes and graphic prints with her visually dynamic “kaleidoscope” collection of bold, geometric designs, which also featured the logos of familiar UK high street brands. Sabinna took a similar direction (minus the logos) with her collection packed with a combination of crisp white and blue stripes, and vibrant red polka-dot prints and geometric shapes. Jamie Wei Huang employed strong shapes in her SS16 collection too, which featured triangles, round edged rectangles and geometric prints, as well as a quirky devil’s face motif.

 

Vivid Colours and Excess

Pam Hogg SS16 2Angel Chen SS16Pam Hogg SS16 3Fyodor Golan SS16 1

Spring/Summer 2016 definitely doesn’t seem to be the season for wallflowers, as evidenced by the trend for bright, punchy colours and more-is-more outfits. Christopher Kane provided a prime example of this with his car-crash themed collection, which saw models walking the runway in multi-coloured “acid” creations that featured jagged cut-outs, paint sprays, geometric patchworks, plastic wires, fringing, and chaotic stitch work, to name but a few features! Pam Hogg also proved why she is known as the queen of excess with her selection of amazingly vibrant outfits that incorporated everything from geometric colour blocking, to metallic details and studs, to feathery tassels. The collection for Vivienne Westwood Red Label also lived up to expectation, with each model wearing a crazy mixture of colours, patterns and layers, all topped off with an oversized paper crown. Rather than just a standard catwalk though, Westwood also staged a fash-mob, with models walking the streets with placards that spread her Climate Revolution campaign. Despite this, it was arguably Ashish that caused the biggest fashion splash this season, with an astoundingly excessive collection of puffed tulle, glitter/sequin encrusted everything, rainbow beads, gigantic ruffles, and oversized denim, which was showcased by skateboarding female models and beheeled male models who held hands down the runway and sent Twitter into a frenzy thanks to their twerking and fabulous mini-dress wearing!

Phiney Pet’s collection was equally impactful, but in a far sweeter (and less in your face!) way; featuring a mixture of bright and pastel colours, standout looks included the mint tulle dress adorned with bows, the hand-painted cartoon leather jackets, and the dresses printed with Jammy Dodgers, Cherry Bakewells, and an assortment of other cakes/biscuits. Similarly sweet was Camilla Elphick’s SS16 collection, which featured fantastic candy coloured pumps with cartoon faces on the back and PEZ dispensers for heels. Fyodor Golan’s offering was just as kitsch, thanks to a collaboration with Transformers, which was made clear through their use of shiny metallics, bold colours and geometric prints (including an amazing robotic houndstooth), and actual artwork from Transformers on certain pieces – as well as replication of the logo as a giant green necklace. While Angel Chen also employed the tactic of clashing fabrics/prints and adding unique details, her point of difference was colour-blocking, with most outfits featuring only one or two main colours from her overall colour palette of pink, yellow, orange, blue, red, white and black.

Fyodor Golan SS16 2Camilla Elphick Shoe PresentationFyodor Golan GenericVin & Omi SS16

Many designers took the opportunity to show that, for them, anything goes for SS16. For instance, Ashley Williams’ looks were evocative of a little girl’s nightmare, with bug prints, ribbons, teddy bears, sleeping caps and fishnets; The Swedish School of Textiles’ emerging designers showcased everything from colour-blocking, sequins and emoji faces to billowing shapes, oversized camo and parachutes; Tata Naka’s South America inspired presentation was filled with earthy metallic colours, sun motifs and military medals; George Styler’s intricate knitwear featured heavy embellishment and portrayed images of wolves howling, roses, kittens and the Mona Lisa, all in shades of burnt orange, coral, red, neon pink and blue; Little Shilpa’s playful “Alice In Wonderland” themed collection featured a dizzying combination of giant themed headpieces, psychedelic patterns, denim and tartan knife pleats; Vin + Omi’s self-described “future eco-punk” style collection blurred the lines between art and fashion with the inclusion of sustainable wood veneer appliques, latex, Japanese flag motifs and sculpted wooden headdresses; Typical Freaks’ eccentric hand-painted pieces juxtaposed feather pastel prints with bold black shapes and sheer cut-outs; On/Off’s catwalk featured Perspex and twisted 3D padding adornments, romantic birds and delicate handwriting, and ombre colours and pleating; Ana Ljubinkovic’s multi-coloured naturalistic tapestry dresses and bodysuits featured embroidered swans, flowers, windmills, deer, and kittens; This Is The Uniform (Fashion East) combined themes of teenage fashion, the Wild West, and full-body fisnets; and Dilara Findikoglu’s rock chic looks incorporated a host of features, from shiny, blood red materials, corsets and graphic-printed t-shirts to embellishments of sewn-on patches, laces, and 3D beaded flowers/lobsters/hearts/shoes/eyes.

 

Retro Decades

Steven Tai 2Rohmir SS16Steven Tai SS16 1

Last season was all about taking influences from previous decades and turning them into something fresh and new. While not quite as many designers continued with this theme for LFW SS16, there were still several who produced stand-out collections by taking previous eras as their inspiration. The Topshop Unique show managed to effortlessly combine aspects of different decades, simultaneously offering 1930s garden-party chic, 80s power dressing tailoring, and 90s touches such as coloured leather and fluffy shoes. Vielma also seemed to take some inspiration from the 90s (satin slip dress and shiny tracksuit), though the overriding theme was American motel chic, which had a decidedly seventies vibe. Emilia Wickstead was another trendsetter in what I like to call the “mishmash of decades” style, with her presentation of a feminine yet bold meeting of 50s floral prints tea party silhouettes, 70s boots and beaded embroidery, 30s volume, and 60s geometric prints and sexy cutouts.

However, several designers chose to take inspiration from a singular decade. DAKS was clearly influenced in both print and silhouette by the elegant Art Deco period of the 1920s, as was Rohmir, whose catwalk was full of structured, straight dresses, Gatsby-esque embellishment, and a hint of oriental edge. Meanwhile, the likes of Emilio de la Morena, Steven Tai, and Keiko Nishiyama all turned to aspects of 1950s style for their inspiration; de la Morena with romantic silk, lace and floral renditions of classic Grace Kelly shapes; Tai with a saccharine, candy-coloured take on 50s school-girl sock-hop style (with a liberal dash of geekiness thrown in); and Nishiyama with 50s tea room florals and voluminous skirts. Continuing our sartorial tour through the decades, Orla Kiely chose to revamp the 60s and 70s in her collection of fun, psychedelic prints, billowing volume and prim pinafore shapes. Vinti Andrews played off of the 70s’ strong prints too, though hers were implemented amongst a more bohemian-vibed collection of slouchy shapes and floral embroidery. In a total juxtaposition, several designers chose to focus on the harder, more defined 80s and 90s aesthetics, with Joanne Stoker offering a modern, graphic take on 80s power heels, Paul Smith showing a simple, bright variation of 80s shapes, KTZ showing a dark “80s modern” aesthetic, and Le Kilt combining structured 80s blazers with a modernised 90s grunge vibe.

 

Holiday… Celebrate!

Sophia Webster SS16 1Ashley Isham SS16Sophia Webster SS16 2

With grey weather on the horizon for at least the next 6 months, several designers chose to give us something to really look forward to with holiday-inspired, beach-ready SS16 collections. Ong-Oaj Pairam was one of those designers, showcasing an amazing collection intended for a trip to the jungle. In tropical hues of white, yellow, green, pink and turquoise, floaty tops/dresses and wide-legged trousers conveyed a laid-back holiday vibe, while butterfly prints and appliqués brought certain pieces to life. Ashley Isham had everyone dreaming of a tropical holiday as well, with a collection packed full of florals, bold printed swimwear, and slinky dresses, all accessorised with jaunty Hawaiian lei. Felder Felder also took us to sunnier climes with their ode to Miami summer, which included multi-coloured foil, extreme miniskirts, thigh-high splits, and bright pink flamingo prints. Conversely, Danielle Romeril’s presentation had a more relaxed Californian vibe, with repeating palm-tree print, loose, floaty silhouettes, and a relaxed colour palette of white, grey, black, dusty pink and various shades of green.

Meanwhile, the models at Sophia Webster’s Mermaid Laundrette show seemed ready for the beach in their fantastic pastel-hued retro swimming costumes with matching swim caps. As ever, the clothes served primarily to complement the real stars of the show though: the bags and shoes! These featured Webster’s signature cheeky slogans (“Beach Babe”, “Naughty Cool”, “Don’t be Jelly”), pastel glitter, cartoon waves, 3D coral, tribal prints/shapes, and big pearls, to name but a few stand-outs. And speaking of stand-outs, who wouldn’t want a pair of those thigh-high netting shoes?! The Temperley London girls were ready for a beach retreat too, in bold, tropical prints, floaty maxi dresses/skirts and embroidered sundresses, all of which were accessorised with lace up string sandals and Panama hats in what was a perfect tribute to the Mediterranean lifestyle. Belstaff’s collection took inspiration from the sea as well, though the knits, jackets, trenches and outerwear in shades of blue, grey and neutrals were perhaps more suited to a potentially rainy “staycation” than exotic trip abroad!

 

Tailoring

1205 SS16 2Ccuoco SS16 1

Often considered solely a winter trend, tailoring has broken out of its box for SS16 to become a key focus in many collections! Several designers used their catwalks and presentations to clearly show that strong tailoring can also be innately feminine. We saw prime examples of this from Zeynep Kartal (whose playful outfits ranged from structured, short playsuits and mini dresses to full length, flowing lace gowns, all in a unifying a colour palette of white, navy, coral red and navy), Amanda Wakeley (whose slinky yet tailored pieces were effortless in their simple colour palette and relaxed femininity), Eudon Choi (whose dreamy collection in pale hues of pink, blue, grey, beige and white – offset with navy satin – blurred the line between masculine and feminine tailoring), Youjia Jin (whose collection of prim, buttoned-up tailoring was given a delicate edge with floral prints and soft ruffles/pleats), and Ccuoco (whose collection of sexy tailored pieces included plenty of flowing sheer materials, fitted leather, and structured silk in luxurious shades of deep red, creamy white, dark blue, black and nude).

Others chose to make structure their main focal point. Both Jean-Pierre Braganza and Barbara Casasola presented their reinvented take on the traditionally masculine tailored suit jacket in their collections, though Braganza’s catwalk also featured leather detailing and striking paint effects/graphic prints in blue, yellow and red that juxtaposed nicely with its base of black and white, while Casasola’s featured thin knits, strategic slivers of bare skin, and earthy tones of green, red, brown and grey. Daniela Barros stood out from the crowd by presenting an amazing collection of structured/folded shapes, frayed denim, shaggy fringe, and linen suits, all in muted, minimalistic colours. Paul Costelloe veered in the other direction with his vividly bright collection of colour-blocked outfits in bright orange, grass green, mint, aqua, lavender, sugary pink, blue and purple. Structure was the real star of the show, though, with ruffled hems, stand-up collars, varying necklines and voluminous sleeves adding points of difference to each outfit. Conversely, 1205 went back to basics, with a modest, draped collection in simple hues, which seemed to focus on texture and the crossover of outfit elements.

 

Ethologie by Jasper Garvida SS16Julien Macdonald SS16iMarko Mitanovski SS16Niro Wang SS16

Though they don’t necessarily fit into any of the above trends, other beautiful collections from London Fashion Week SS16 that I must mention include Apu Jan, Shao Yen, Phoebe English, Caitlin Price, Markus Lupfer, Charli Cohen, Julien Macdonald, Lulu Liu, TNBP, Versus Versace, Claire Barrow, Maya, PPQ, Marko Mitanovski, L’Amitie, Christopher Raeburn, Ethologie by Jasper Garvida, Osman, Giles, Manuel Facchini, Anita Hirlekar, Wilson PK, James Kelly, Pringle of Scotland, Rejina Pyo, Georgia Hardinge, Antonio Berardi, FAD, and Niro Wang.

That just about concludes my roundup of the top trends and highlights from LFW SS16. I hope you enjoyed hearing about the best of London Fashion Week Women’s SS16 as much as I enjoyed attending them… and I’ll see you all next season for AW16/17!

 

At the Camilla Elphick Party with Fashion Blogger Joey GunoPPQ Party AnticsIMG_5909Baglioni Hoyel Fashion week Event

PPQ After PartyPam Hogg SS16 1Generic PicAt Fyodor Golan with Fashion Stylist Indigo Goss

Liz Sargeant's LFW AW15 show tickets, all heaped up in a large pile!

London Fashion Week: Women’s AW15

General Somerset House Show Space2015-02-21 17.20.17Somerset HouseFelder Felder 1

 

 

Having had my appetite whet by the London Collections: Men Autumn/Winter 2015 fashion shows in January (which you can read all about in my previous blog post), when February rolled around, it wasn’t Valentines Day I was anticipating; it was the womenswear collections at London Fashion Week! Across the five hectic days of LFW from the 20th to the 24th of February, I attended many of the fabulous womenswear shows and presentations, excitedly noting all of the upcoming trends for the new Autumn/Winter season. If you couldn’t make it to London yourself, or want to re-live some of the designs and trends on display, here’s my summary of all the important things you need to know from London Fashion Week AW15.

 

More-is-More Glamour

Yufash 5Pam Hogg 1

For AW15, many designers seemed to be eschewing minimalism for its polar opposite: absolute excess! Adhering to the principle of “more is more”, these designers showcased highly detailed clothes that embodied pure opulence and really showed the luxurious but still adventurous side of fashion.

 

A stunning example of this was Simone Rocha, who took viewers on a visual journey with her take on sculpture. Beginning with a standout black gown embellished with 3D flower petals, the collection evolved in front of viewers’ eyes, going from gothic-inspired baroque print looks, voluminous outerwear and black lace pieces to nude ensembles with sheer, boldly patterned overlays, playful floral motifs/appliques, and bright red tapestry prints – then back again, finishing the show with dark and voluminous array of capes!

 

Turkish designer Bora Aksu took a similarly intricate take on the same theme of evolution with his collection of feminine clothing inspired by Oscar Wilde’s “The Nightingale and The Rose”. Throughout the show, the colour palette transitioned from rich royal blue through to gold, pink, lilac, black and back to blue again, all the while incorporating Aksu’s famous embroidery and a variation of textures, including delicate lacework, sheer fabric overlays, 3D embellishments and peekaboo grid patterns. Where Aksu took his inspiration from a book, Holly Fulton took hers from the television screen; specifically the TV melodrama “Tales of the Unexpected”. Though these references may differ wildly, the collections had similar overriding aspects: both featured a variety of textures, conveyed a ladylike aesthetic (with an edge), and employed an elegant colour palette. Fulton’s collection in particular seemed suited to a glamourous night on the town, with feathers, silk, crystals, lace, and sequins aplenty, yet it was kept ladylike with modest cuts and elegant shapes. Though the collection began in white and pastel shades of pink, grey and blue, stronger colours of black, red, purple, brown and green crept in as the show progressed, adding to the “off-kilter” effect that Fulton desired without being overpowering.

 

Erdem’s offering for AW15 surprised everyone, elevating the label’s traditional lace and florals into something far more dramatic and impactful. In a show that juxtaposed jewel tones of red, green, purple and pink with earthy browns, black and bold leopard print, we were treated to everything from delicate floral patterns on frayed raw silk and feathery oversized flower appliques, to bright, colour-blocked lace pieces and laser cut leather. Mary Katrantzou, who is well-known for her amazingly vibrant, architectural patterns, also surprised with her show; combining an opulent Victoriana influence with elements of slick modernism. The result was a collection full of clean lines and damask prints in luxurious shades of baby blue, yellow, pink and red, in fabrics ranging from fur to quilting – all topped off with geometric 3D foam belts!

 

A well-known icon of British eccentricity and OTT fashion moments, Vivienne Westwood displayed a beautifully luscious collection, but also used her Red Label show as a platform to raise important political and environmental issues. Having urged attendees to “Vote Green” at the start of the show, this theme was carried throughout with touches such as tiger/leopard print, slogans commenting on the state of society (Chaos, Get a life), dramatic, almost bloody makeup and statement jewellery (thick chokers, ropes of chains and bone shaped earrings). That is not to say that the collection was too serious or monotone though, as in typical style, Westwood showed a full spectrum of tailoring, outerwear, knitwear, kitschy accessories and show-stopping dresses in an array of bright patterns.

 

Ashish also used their collection to convey a message: one of empowerment, as they turned typical “call girl” stereotypes into high fashion excellence in their “Klute” inspired collection. The Ashish girl is certainly not one to blend in this season, with sequins aplenty, bold camo prints, glossy red thigh high boots, slinky lingerie pieces, bleached and studded denim, abundant fur trims, and jumpers literally emblazoned with SEX. One of Fashion East’s talents, Ed Marler, also put his stamp on “trashy” fashion, though in his case, it was inspired by London’s East End, and the icon that is Del Boy. Marler’s majestic wheeler-dealers, to paraphrase his own words, walked the line between taste and style in their shearling coats, silk dressing gown robes, lace-up trousers, luxe football stripes/scarves, cutout tracksuits, crested flat caps, standout dresses and leopard print details. It’s only his second showing at LFW, but he’s definitely one to watch!

 

Pam Hogg treated us to a more fantasy-inspired but equally risqué spectacle; starting her “demons and fairytales” inspired show with a lingerie-clad Little Red Riding Hood who was followed by dark villainesses, Ice Queens in metallics, Indian princesses in fringe and Lolita-like flower girls, all with an overarching glam rock edge. Equally theatrical (but less racy!) was Ashley Isham’s LFW presentation, which was characterised by flowing lines, excessive ornamentation and dramatic headwear. The outfits, which covered the full gamut of clothing types, from draped gowns to sumptuous knitwear, were pure opulence in jewel tones of red, green, blue, silver and gold. Despite details like shimmery cloaks, gemstone embellishment, pom-pom trims, and diagonal tassel fringing on the clothes, the stand-out pieces from the collection were the headpieces, which were curved and adorned with stand-out features like LED lights and long, waterfall-like tassels. In a beautiful, intimate show, Yufash “live you” displayed an equally seductive AW15 collection of dazzling cocktail dresses, evening gowns, structured coats and jumpsuits.

 

Retro Decades

Orla KielyDaks 2

The fashion time-warp trend also looks set to continue for AW15, with designers still taking inspiration from a broad spectrum of recent decades, from the 1960s to the 1990s.

 

Designers championing the sixties vibe were Jonathan Saunders, David Koma, DAKS, and J Moon from Fashion Scout’s Ones to Watch, although of course each put their own individual spin on the theme. Saunders played with the late sixties vibe and gave arguably the strongest modern update on the decade, employing psychedelic patterns, unapologetically bold colour combinations and strong, clean silhouettes. Koma took a vastly different approach, updating classic 60s silhouettes with interesting details such as scalloped cut-outs, PVC/leather trims, ruffles and shiny embellishments, but eschewing patterns for block colours (predominantly white, black, blue and orange). DAKS also took the colour blocking route in his motorcycle-themed collection, opting for red, nude, black and grey, with a dash of print thrown in for good measure. J Moon did colour blocking as well, with graphic, knitted ensembles that referenced the decade in a very subtle way.

 

Meanwhile, Orla Kiely seemed to combine the sixties and seventies, featuring silhouettes from both in her schoolgirl-inspired presentation. Set against the backdrop of a library, Kiely’s models looked preppy and smart in their boldly coloured, maths- and geometry-inspired patterns.

 

It was clear that the seventies seemed to be the most popular sartorial inspiration for AW15 though, with numerous designers referencing the different aspects of the decade. Burberry Prorsum combined patchwork and print in a collection that screamed seventies seduction and managed to incorporate fringing, teddy bear coats, and thigh high suede boots effortlessly. Matthew Williamson channeled boho chic, with a jewel-toned colour palette influenced by birthstones and effortless, floor sweeping looks accessorized with thick furs. Temperley London also went down the boho luxe route, with a glitz-infused collection that featured intricate tribal-esque patterns, loose but feminine shapes, and stunning embroidery. Felder Felder and Fashion East’s Mary Benson both chose to interpret the more glam rock seventies vibe, with Felder Felder using sparkle, laser cutouts, and vibrantly coloured fur to edge up more classic 70s patterns, and Benson mixing glitter platform heels, holographic appliques and an overall “gender bending” vibe inspired by 70s icons like Mark Bolan. Conversely, Asli Polat and Paul Smith chose to reinterpret more everyday seventies style. While both used a muted palette and traditional seventies checked patterns, Smith focused predominantly on masculine tailoring with a bright, mustard yellow accent hue, whereas Polat subtly channeled a mid-western Americana vibe, as well as collaborating with German teddy bear manufacturer Steiff to create huggably soft mohair and fur, both of which were used generously throughout the collection. The design duo at Peter Pilotto also incorporated an element of nostalgia in their 70s inspired collection, taking inspiration from old board games to create graphic prints in bold, almost neon colours that contrasted beautifully with their base colours of white, khaki, brown and black.

 

J.W. Anderson differentiated himself from other designers by choosing to reinterpret the often damned shapes of the eighties. Working with patent leather, corduroy, tassels, sequins and lurex in a host of bright colours, Anderson channeled Saturday Night Fever for the modern woman. Topshop Unique’s catwalk also featured a decidedly eighties vibe, though in a more subdued fashion than Anderson, and with more of a focus on the label’s traditional British heritage roots. This doesn’t mean that the Topshop Unique girl was boring in comparison though, with her wardrobe that ranged from luxurious everyday pieces and cuddly fur trimmed outerwear to sequined, dandelion print shift dresses and ostrich feather trimmed satin cocktail outfits.

 

Rounding off our tour through the decades, Shao Yen and Fashion East’s Caitlin Price both paid homage to the nineties. Yen’s presentation, titled “Flesh”, was an exploration of musculature and blood which centred largely on knitwear, with models sporting striking topknots in their hair and oversized accessories that brought it firmly into 90s territory. Price, meanwhile, played with the concept of a high fashion, south London Rude Girl, mixing satin and “princess-like” silhouettes with visible thongs, gelled baby hair, tracksuits and nineties crop tops.

 

Bold Colours

Charli Cohen 1Eudon Choi

Though the English weather tends to be dark and gloomy come autumn/winter-time, a subset of LFW designers proved that this year, your wardrobe doesn’t have to be. Indeed, get ready to provide your own sunshine with primary brights, stand-out colour blocking and all the clashing colours you could imagine!

 

With a name like “Rainbow Wheel”, you could guess that the Fyodor Golan show would be a bright affair; and it certainly lived up to expectations! Inspired by the beauty of modern life in urban surroundings, the collection featured building prints of skyscrapers and toy shops, flower-inspired shapes/embroidery, sequined sportswear, and a collaboration with My Little Pony that saw Ponies painted across chest pieces and embroidered onto dresses! The colour palette was similarly memorable, contrasting pale pink, ruby red, black, lilac, cobalt, and neon shades of green, orange and yellow. A veritable rainbow of bright colours was also on display at Roksanda Ilincic’s show, which featured structural silhouettes splashed with psychedelic wave prints in pink, orange, cobalt, purple and maroon. Despite the bright colours (often associated with summer), this was undoubtedly an autumn/winter collection, as was evidenced by the layers upon layers of clothing that each model wore. It also kept drama and texture at its core, with tactile fur coats, stoles and clutch bags, suede shoes, blanket-like dresses, and every outfit cinched in at the waist with a metallic disc belt.

 

Minju Kim, who showed as part of Fashion Scout’s Ones to Watch, continued this trend of using bold blocks of colour in her “Hero’s Eyes” collection that was based on superheroes with magical powers, but had a distinctly princessy edge too. Similarly to Golan, she contrasted pastels (blue, yellow, pink) with more vivid colours such as red, black, and white, though in her case these were primarily paneled in bold, geometric shapes or used in cartoon prints. Rather uniquely, she also topped off several of her outfits with hot pink/bright blue acrylic “crowns” reminiscent of Wonder Woman. Like Kim, Charli Cohen’s “Fight Club” collection balanced girlishness and fierce inner strength, in this case through colour-blocked sportswear pieces such as bra tops, leggings, oversized t-shirts, bodysuits and trackpants. Though her colour palette was slightly more limited, the cobalt, fuchsia, navy and dark pink stood out beautifully against the traditionally expected colours of black, grey and silver.

 

Hong Kong-born Minki Cheng also used black and other dark colours to provide a contrasting backdrop for bold colour accents; specifically, neon shades of green, red, pink, blue and white. Inspired by the neon lights and signs characteristic of his hometown, Cheng created bold, cartoonish shapes from glowing silicon, adding further interest to his looks through futuristic silhouettes, geometric patterns and cut-out knitwear. Geometric shapes were also prevalent in Eudon Choi’s collection, specifically in the form of circles and colour blocked rectangles. In a show heavily focused on outerwear and inspired by the Japanese architectural movement, Choi contrasted bases of black, navy and brown with bright white, yellow, teal, shocking pink and red.

 

In the final show of LFW, H by Hakaan Yildirim also used contrast to great effect, with a strong colour palette that juxtaposed black, white and beige with red, green and blush pink. The aesthetics of the outfits themselves were a further juxtaposition, with the label’s trademark femininity (seen in the lace up corsets, fur coats, figure-hugging dresses and statement head scarves) tempered by a masculine edge (seen in several looser cuts, tailored trousers, and boxy suit jackets). For added impact, several looks were actually one colour top-to-toe, proving that a single bold colour can shout just as loudly as several contrasting ones. Amanda Wakeley followed a similar track in her AW15 collection, which continued the brand’s diversification into daywear. The collection overall embodied pared-back luxury, while the most noticeable pieces were the single-colour ensembles (in red, orange, white, black and navy) and those with interesting details such as pops of colour or fringe detailing. With the strictest colour palette of the week, Osman Yousefzada went one step further and limited himself to only red, white and black. Rather than leaving the collection flat, this allowed the red to resonate all the more, and also permitted Yousefzada’s creativity to shine through in his innovative textures (sculpted crepe, spongy leather-like synthetics, and plastic treated velvet to name but a few) and fantastic patterns such as cobweb lace and marble.

 

Darkly Dramatic

JPB 3

In striking juxtaposition to the bright bold colours displayed by some, several designers chose to focus on the darker side of fashion, balancing this more sombre colour scheme by infusing their collections with statement-making high drama.

 

Gareth Pugh, the established master of dark drama, didn’t disappoint with his patriotic, ten-year anniversary return to London Fashion Week. Pulling reference from across the UK, Pugh displayed a military and revolution-inspired collection of “modern armour”, where each model graced the catwalk with a bold St. George’s cross painted across her face, in stark contrast to her all-black outfit. That is not to say the clothes were boring though, with particular points of interest including leather breastplates/shin-guard boots, duvet-like padded dresses, ceremonial-style hats dripping with chains, and hand-cut black drinking straws attached to outfits in order to create unique texture and movement. Inspired primarily by the magical realm of Narnia and the battle between good and evil, Zeynep Kartal’s LFW collection also had a bit of a military edge, thanks to touches such as chainmail-effect bodices, lace up knee-high boots and cape silhouettes. The main focus of the collection was creating drama though, with Kartal using sequins, feather trim, silk paneling, sheer fabric, and embroidery in contrasting dark and light colourways.

 

Taking a similarly theatrical approach to AW15, Sadie Clayton combined her signature aesthetics of copper and sculpture with elements of witchcraft and an exploration of her own spirituality. The culmination of her efforts was a powerful, other-worldly collection of dark garments that replicated the texture and composition of crystals/stones through considered combinations of glitter tulle, leather, wire-trimmed knitwear, and hammered copper sheeting. Emilio De La Morena also embraced metallics for the new season, though his metals of choice were muted gold, silver and bronze, rather than copper, and these were combined with deep greens, royal blues, moody purples, cherry reds, and an underlying base colour of black. The collection was decidedly eveningwear-focused and consisted largely of draped yet structured dresses that combined velvet, brocade, mesh, and mosaicked sheer panels.

 

In somewhat of a departure from his usual aesthetic, for AW15 Julien Macdonald went down a more gothic –inspired route, infusing his catwalk with PVC, textural black pieces, flesh-baring cutouts, skintight dress silhouettes, and embellishments aplenty. Of course though, it wouldn’t be Julien Macdonald without a bit of glamour, which came through in jewel tones of red, green, purple, blue and silver, as well as feminine touches of sequins and lace. This balance of romantic femininity and dark edginess was also perfected by Phoebe English in her AW15 presentation, though in somewhat of a more raw, ethereal fashion. English’s fisherwoman-esque models were wrapped in sweeps of shrimp netting, froths of gothic tulle and sheer organza, all of which juxtaposed beautifully with more mannish aspects such as wide-legged trousers and latex sleeve garters. Moreover, a pared-back colour palette of only black, white and a little bit of pale pink allowed all of English’s fantastic detail work and construction to take centre stage.

 

Meanwhile, both Jean-Pierre Braganza and Pringle of Scotland proved that dark drama isn’t solely for night-time outfits; it has its place in daytime casual looks as well. Braganza’s “Excelsiora” collection took inspiration from strong women and heroism, with sharp tailoring, symmetrical structures, deep colours, bold stripes, fighter jet prints, and aviator jackets combining to truly embody the female fighting spirit in sartorial form. Pringle’s focal point was, as ever, knitwear in all its forms, from chic and chunky to sleek and slinky. The collection was a study in texture, combining the aforementioned range of knits with beading, slithers of mink, fringing, and wavy jacquard. Extra-long scarves topped off the majority of these classically autumnal yet decidedly dark looks, proving that come autumn 2015, we’ll be able to stay stylish and warm!

 

Artistic Influences

Edeline Lee 1Sophia Webster 5

It is often said that fashion and art overlap significantly, and for their autumn/winter 2015 offerings, certain designers took this as literal inspiration, creating collections that blurred the line between the two.

 

Christopher Kane showed a prime example with his collection, which featured bright, “lovers lace” renderings of nudes from Kane’s own life-drawing classes, intertwined to form artistic patterns. Other highlights included electric shock- inspired patterns on sheer dresses, reflective dresses with considered cut-outs, velvet smoking suits, and other playful combinations of texture and colour that subtly hinted at Kane’s theme of a sensuality and tasteful sexuality.

 

The “Cocktails and a Murder” collection by Tata Naka was similarly artistic, with some of the outfits even featuring contemporary portrait works printed onto them (the face printed jacket in particular was a standout!). Tata Naka presented a playful yet sophisticated array of clothes, mixing ladylike silhouettes with graphic prints of dragons, leaves, poppies, geometric blocks, and the aforementioned facial portraits – often juxtaposing several of these in one outfit! A distinctly Asian influence could also be seen in several outfits whose traditional Japanese silhouettes had been given a 21st century update, as well as in the models’ styling.

 

Seemingly a sartorial take on school-time art lessons, Preen by Thornton Bregazzi’s show had a distinctly arts and crafts feel, mixed in with a significant dose of seventies influence. The collection displayed a juxtaposition of softness and strength, spanning from multicoloured, geometric tartans to lace and ditzy floral prints, all in autumnal colourways of black, grey, blue, red, yellow and orange. Asymmetric frills, 3D floral appliques and lattice lace detailing further added to the feeling of childlike whimsy, yet the clean silhouettes and pared-back styling of the collection kept it overall inherently wearable.

 

Edeline Lee’s “Pop-up Art Cut-out” line, meanwhile, was a true hybrid of art and fashion, full of striking patterns and colours reminiscent of mid-century pop art. Aimed at “dressing the artistic woman”, the clothes were confident and playful, with interesting cuts and textures kept elegant by clean tailoring, colour blocking and an amazing attention to detail. Taking Lee’s pop influence and more refined playfulness to the next level, Sophia Webster’s “Freak Like Me” collection of statement footwear and bags was a veritable extravaganza! The space circus themed show was not only a riot of colour, pattern, glitter and sequins, but also featured a truly astounding array of wearable art accessories, with bags and shoes adorned with speech bubbles that featured tongue-in-cheek slogans, a lust-worthy Coca Cola collaboration, stunning metallic butterfly detail shoes, and wicked leopard-print knee-high lace-up boots, to name but a few.

 

Xiao Li also seemed to take inspiration from pop-art in her AW15 presentation, which had further overriding themes of “mass consumerism” and “genetically modified foods”. Sticking to an autumnal colour scheme of black, orange, maroon, brown and blue, Li plastered her loose-fitting shapes with bold, oversized prints of everyday paraphernalia such as tomatoes skewered on forks, giant perfume bottles, and stencil cut outs of classic trench coats/jackets/jeans.

 

Faustine Steinmetz not only showed an artistically inspired collection, but also displayed it in a very artistic way: having models pose in circular vistas, as if on display in a museum. To paraphrase Steinmetz herself, it was as though the models themselves were the pictures. In terms of the clothes, she remained true to her roots as a sustainable designer, handcrafting each piece of the collection, from the paint-stroke hair accessories and textured, brushed wool pieces to the textural, silicone painted jeans and painted faux-denim pieces. Similarly, Kim Stevenson, one of Fashion Scout’s Ones to Watch, maintained her focus on sustainability and ethical design, taking a traditional, textiles-based approach to make truly unique designs layered with texture, colour and intricate detail.

 

Autumnal Flora and Fauna

Angel Chen 2Jasper Conran 5

Come autumn-time in 2015, it also seems that we’ll also be taking our sartorial inspiration from nature: specifically, all different types of flora and fauna. Think thick faux furs, dark, forest-inspired colours, and autumnal flower prints.

 

Apu Jan’s collection, entitled “Deep into the Woods”, literally took inspiration from an imaginary enchanted forest landscape. Branches and antlers adorned the models’ hair, while thick knits and intricate, tree, animal and fairy prints in delicate colours evoked a feeling of wrapping up for a walk through frosty, bare-branched woods. Angel Chen, another of Fashion Scout’s Ones to Watch, seemed to take inspiration from a mystical woodland as well for her “Bunny with Short Legs” collection. Playing with bold colours, childishly thrown together styling, a Boy Scout theme, and twig-adorned accessories, Chen captured the whimsy and romanticism of a childhood jaunt in the woods.

 

Emerging designer C.J. Yao took direct inspiration from flora and fauna too, with an outdoorsy, all-weather, almost hiking appropriate offering in a similarly autumnal colour palette of deep blue, brown, grey, burgundy and a myriad of greens. Indeed, several of her structured, easily layered garments featured details such as bold leaf prints, or faux fur/shearling trim, which brought a lush, feminine feel to an otherwise slightly androgynous collection. Jasper Conran’s show was also influenced by an autumn forest and its inhabitants, with models even walking down a catwalk carpeted with fallen leaves. Conran took colour (more so than pattern) inspiration from woodland in an elegant collection dominated by earthy shades of green, black, brown, plum, mustard and navy, and subtly played with animal-like textures through use of fabrics such as cashmere, knitwear, suede, velvet, and fur.

 

Little Shilpa stood out with her wild, animalistic and earthy “Feral Nation” presentation. Her handcrafted animal headpieces were the stars of the show, from the silver glitter parrot headpiece to the golden gazelle horns, but that is not to say that the clothes in the collection weren’t impactful too. Made of neoprene, plastic and parachute silk in camouflage colours and patterns, and often supplemented with liberal amounts of sequins and coloured feathers, the overall impression for viewers was of warrior women at one with the nature around them. Meanwhile, Belstaff created a correspondingly rugged collection which took inspiration from female adventure. The Belstaff explorer was protected from nature by natural, animal fibres/fabrics such as fur, shearling, woven wool, mohair and leather, and stayed within a natural colour scheme of white, brown, grey and khaki.

 

Lucas Nascimento’s AW15 collection, meanwhile, eschewed fauna for a purely flora theme, with bold, large-scale autumn florals in varying colour combinations of black, white, burnt orange, deep purple, royal blue and forest green adorning the majority of his clothes. Antonio Berardi brought glamour to a similarly botanical theme with his show, which was inspired by a tree growing on the construction site of the Frank Gehry-conceived Louis Vuitton Foundation in Paris. Juxtaposing beautiful floral and leaf-print jacquards in vibrant (almost neon) colours with architectural structures and masterful draping, Berardi managed to have real fun with his colour and pattern combinations, as well as effortlessly blurring the line between day and eveningwear.

 

Michael van der Ham, meanwhile, applied his signature ethereal touch to a subtle floral theme. His AW15 dresses were a mid-winter dream in chiffon and tulle, with bold, floral embroidery and delicate flower-patterned fabric mixed to create a tactile and elegant collection that covered nature’s spectrum of colours, ranging from inky, dark hues to pastel shades of peach/blue/grey, and even a few bold pops of orange, red and lime!

 

That about summarises my highlights from LFW AW15; I hope you enjoyed this recap as much as I enjoyed the shows, and that you remember to check back for my SS16 recap!

 

Vauxhall Fashion ScoutSophia Webster 3

Liz Sargeant Styling is a luxury fashion, celebrity and personal styling consultancy based in London; offering a bespoke approach to women’s, men’s, bridal and VIP fashion styling needs.

Debenhams Press Lounge at LCM

London Collections: Men AW15

For most people, the New Year is exciting simply for the prospect of a fresh start with a clean slate. For those of us affiliated with fashion, however, the dawning of a New Year means only one thing: the start of the Autumn/Winter Fashion Week schedule! Starting us off this January from Friday 9th to Monday 12th were the British and international fashion designers, who displayed their latest collections at London Collections: Men Autumn/Winter 2015.

Overall, more than a hundred incredible designers showcased their work on the catwalk and in showrooms across London, and I was lucky enough to receive invites to a significant number of shows, presentations and events. So, for anyone who didn’t manage to make it themselves, here’s my round-up of some of the fantastic shows I attended, and some of the overreaching, key menswear trends.

 

British Heritage

Private White

Private White at London Collections: Men invite

As the son of Laura Ashley, Private White’s Creative Director Nick Ashley has fashion in his blood, so it’s no surprise that his latest collection for this classic British heritage brand was a real success. Though the atmosphere at the show may have been very laid back, the clothes were anything but, with sharp, gentlemanly tailoring in rich autumnal colours and an underlying military edge (in keeping with the brand’s own military inspired history). For anyone looking to layer up come autumn time in quintessentially British, quirky, yet still practical garments, Private White should be their one-stop-shop.

 

Universal Works

Universal Works at London Collections: Men E-vite

In terms of theatrics, it was hard to beat Universal Works, who collaborated with Billy Craigan-Toon, a Nottingham Trent Fine Art graduate, to showcase their AW15 collection in a choreographed performance titled “Pass”. Set to the beat of a drum and with St Georges Church as a backdrop, the performance had models standing in a circle to showcase a number of innovative outerwear garments in traditional greys, blues, browns and blacks. Perfect for the modern male who wants functional, fitted clothing to fit in with his lifestyle, the clothes still managed to remain true to the distinctly British vibe of the brand as well.

 

Several

Several at London Collections: Men

Several’s pared-back, elegant, nautical themed collection and presentation was a breath of fresh (salty!) air! Inspired by Chris Killip’s ‘Skinningrove’ series of photographs, the collection combined North Yorkshire youth culture (including trainers, skinny fit trousers and stylish scarves) with a more rugged traditional fishing type of style (such as thick, wool jumpers and practical jackets), culminating in a wonderfully modern, versatile and well-tailored take on classic seafarer style.

 

Thomas Pink

Thomas Pink at London Collections: Men

Staying true to its signature preppy style, Thomas Pink presented us with a visual treat that perfectly mixed bright colours and snappy tailoring. Although the brand is most widely renowned for their fitted shirts, this collection proved that they can do so much more, showcasing noteworthy pattern/colour combinations, sharp jackets, bold jumpers and brilliantly eclectic accessories. On the whole, the collection was perfect for a confident, slightly eccentric modern gentleman looking to add an element of intrigue to their style.

 

John Lobb

John Lobb at London Collections: Men evite

Bespoke boot and shoemaker John Lobb chose to present the Autumn/Winter 2015 collection in a truly immersive way, with an installation of specially commissioned nature films providing a beautiful backdrop for the collection itself. Showing everything from casual boots to formal footwear, in materials from suede to polished leather and colours from aubergine to forest green, John Lobb proved once again that its shoes are true investment pieces that will last a lifetime.

 

Turnbull & Asser

Turnbull & Asser at London Collections: Men

Renowned shirt makers Turnbull & Asser have dressed world leaders, politicians, royalty, film stars and even 007 himself. As you would expect from such a high-quality, bespoke clothier, their AW15 collection – titled “Deadly Dandies, Tea and Treachery” – was basically English gentleman style personified, with an array of impeccably tailored pieces, inventive, flamboyant styling and eccentric accessories such as delicately patterned pocket squares and neck ties.

 

Chester Barrie

Chester Barrie at London Collections: Men invite

The Chester Barrie presentation in particular was cleverly put together to be highly interesting, with interactive models and corresponding mannequins showing off each outfit, a DJ set, and a live movie to give attendees a greater insight into the brand. The clothes were similarly well thought-out, with a mixture of tonal tailored casual and formalwear combinations impeccably cut and made from modern, light-weight materials.

 

Gieves & Hawkes

A Savile Row institution, Gieves & Hawkes presented a contemporary twist on traditional city style at iconic auctioneers Christies, with looks ranging from luxurious velvet jackets and fur trimmed coats to elegant dinner suits and turtleneck jumpers. Using a dark, seductive colour palette and sumptuous materials that, combined, evoked thoughts of the twilight transition from work to hedonistic play in London, Grieves & Hawkes proved why they deserve their reputation as Savile Row’s flagship gentleman’s outfitter.

 

E-Tautz

E-Tautz at London Collections: Men invite

High quality materials and construction coupled with simple cuts were central to the E-Tautz catwalk show, which showcased designs elegant in their simplicity – featuring traditionally high waistlines and a relaxed fit at the shoulders. Savile Row Golden Boy Patrick Grant drew parallels between the 1930s and 2010s through his use of oversized outfits, sophisticated shapes, and modernised English gentleman style, all in sophisticated colour palettes of green, grey and black.

 

 

All- Weather Fashion

Barbour

Barbout at London Collections: Men

Iconic country lifestyle brand Barbour played to their strengths for their first ever outing at LC:M with a rustic yet elegant AW15 collection that employed largely traditional (and waterproof) fabrics such as tweed and wax cotton in both staple pieces and also in more innovative, contemporary ones. Influenced by their recent collaboration with White Mountaineering, the brand stuck to their traditional influences in terms of colour, functionality and practicality, but also added an element of adventure with a new take on camouflage and a handful of contemporary details mixed throughout the collection

 

CP Company

CP Company at London Collections: Men evite

Known for taking sportswear to the next level, CP Company displayed their latest utility sports jackets in one of the more unique ways I saw: by draping them over mic stands! This allowed the coats themselves to take centre stage, and it’s safe to say that they did indeed steal the show! There were heavy duty goggles incorporated into hoods, detachable thermal linings in electric colours, innovative light-weight fabrics, and a subtle military theme which was omnipresent at many of the LC:M shows. Combined, it cemented CP Company’s position as innovation leaders in the sportswear market.

 

 

Bold Contemporary

Lee Roach

Lee Roach at London Collections: Men

You know you’re a rising star in the fashion world when celebrities like Tinie Tempah attend your shows! Remaining true to his signature of “reduction and repetition”, Lee’s Asian-influenced AW15 collection, which was shown through the medium of a “fully interactive design, art and sound project”, featured contemporary clothing that managed to be both daring and refined, by employing a central colour palette of black and white that was nicely offset with blocks of silver, orange and yellow.

 

Hentsch Man

Hentsch Man's showing at the London Collections: Men, with 6 models wearing the AW15 collection set against a bright red background

The creative brainchild of Alexia Hentsch – the trained graphic designer with Swiss and Brazilian heritage – Hentsch Man showed off a collection inspired by Americana and 90s grunge, with a variety of bold prints and patterns as well as more traditional knitted jumpers, wool coats and slim jeans. Not for the feint of heart, the colour palette included electric blues, bold reds and evergreens, yet the collection still managed to be inherently wearable for a broad range of customers.

 

Ada+Nik

Ada + Nik at London Collections: Men

Titled “Noir Desir”, it is not surprising that Ada+Nik’s AW15 collection was among the darker and more enthralling of those presented. Taking influence from 70s punk silhouettes in order to create ultra-modern outerwear, the collection was designed and manufactured with sustainability in mind; using natural fabrics, bi-product leather and working to reduce waste and increase energy consciousness in their production process. Thanks to endorsements from Miley Cyrus, Jack Whitehall and more, Ada+Nik’s rise looks set to continue going forward, with new stockists in Japan and Hong Kong set to pick up designs in 2015.

 

Baartmans and Siegel

Self-described “modern traditionalists” Baartmans and Siegel put on a relatively understated show compared to the majority of others, but by no means does that mean it was boring! Set against a vivid backdrop at Victoria House, the collection was relaxed and unpretentious with a sporty edge, defined by bold, horizontal stripes and geometric patterning in a predominantly black and blue colour scheme.

 

Huntergather

Huntergather at London Collections: Men

Huntergather is a creative community based around the collective talents of a number of writers, designers, photographers, stylists and architects. Their work involves hunting and gathering the very best images, written pieces, clothes, design and furniture to create a range of edited material, including fashion collections. Set against a minimalist backdrop that allowed focus on the clothes alone, the AW15 collection included redesigned classics – brogues, pea coats and blazers – alongside contemporary printed suits, all with a distinctly 70s vibe.

 

James Long

James Long at London Collections: Men

Recent winner of the Fashion Forward Award for his instantly recognisable aesthetic, James Long worked closely with stylist Luke Day to present one of the highlights of London Collections. His “luxury streetwear” show exhibited a spectacular blend of denim, lace, leather, shearling and print (among other materials) in outfits that left a lasting impression.

 

 

Scandinavian Design

Soulland

Soulland at London Collections: Men

Another new entry to the LC:M schedule, Scandinavian artisans Soulland arrived with a bang, standing their models in front of green screens which revealed a beautiful backdrop when viewed through a camera. Design highlights include their printed shirts and trousers, which were coupled perfectly with their more subtly designed wool coats and leather jackets.

 

CMMN SWDN

Also representing Scandinavian design this year was CMMN SWDN, comprised of designers Saif Bakir and Emma Hedlund, who met while studying in London and worked with Kanye West before starting their own label. They returned to London this year with their progressive design and bold use of sharply contrasting colour schemes in an effortlessly youthful, tailored collection.

 

Street Style

Slam Jam/ Martine Rose Launch

Martine Rose at London Collections: Men

This exclusive capsule collection was organised by Milan fashion agency Slam Jam, who proudly presented the team up of Martine Rose and US based DJ and art collective #BEENTRILL#. Their team up allowed their collective street aesthetic and love of street culture to work in unison to create a unique 15 piece collection of zipper trousers, bomber jackets and leathers inspired by the sights and sounds of the streets.

 

Katie Eary

Bright, boyish and insouciant, Katie Eary’s street style designs brightened up the day! The whimsical, vibrantly coloured clothing included jumpers, shirts, sports trousers and trainers, all patterned with glossy, colourful depictions of organs and matching graphic face paint. Eary’s offering was fun, tongue-in-cheek approach to menswear dressing, for the man who likes to have fun with his clothes.

 

That about summarises the highlights of my London Collections: Men experience… check back soon for a recap of the womenswear collections too!

 

Liz Sargeant Styling is a luxury fashion, celebrity and personal styling consultancy based in London; offering a bespoke approach to women’s, men’s, bridal and VIP fashion styling needs.

An image of the red carpet and signs at the 2015 Golden Globes

Golden Globes Best Dressed

With Britain suffering some very cold and blustery conditions, this year’s Golden Globes were a welcome distraction from our weather woes!

Instead of worrying about how to stay stylish AND warm in freezing temperatures, we spent our time at the LS Styling HQ watching a procession of stunning couture outfits saunter down the red carpet, and in doing so came to a surprising conclusion: the best of the best outfits seemed to come in pairs!

By this, we mean that there seemed to be several key Golden Globes style trends, and that at least two ladies managed to effortlessly pull off each!

Keeping that in mind, our top picks from the night are:

 

1. Textured Silver Sparklers

Julianne Moore managed to prove that the style adage “less is more” is totally untrue in a beautiful Givenchy gown. Combining all-over silver sequins, feathers and subtle ombré, she really embodied the vibe of a true silver screen starlet. Meanwhile, Fifty Shades of grey actress Dakota Johnson also wowed in a sequinned silver Chanel dress with a slit up the front that perfectly showcased her strappy silver sandals. Both women let their dresses do the talking, with understated jewellery and simple silver clutches.

 

2. Fantasies in Pale Pink

Perhaps more famous for her “Cry Face” during the awards, which quickly became a popular viral meme, Chrissy Teigen (aka John Legend’s wife) also achieved red carpet success in an intricately beaded pale pink Zuhair Murad stunner of a gown. Equally whimsical was actress Anna Kendrick’s blush pink Monique Lhuillier ball gown, which was accented with a dark pink belt and matching sequinned detailing. Both dresses, although fundamentally different in shape and design, had a pretty, dreamy, and fantasy-like quality that left a real impression.

 

3. Floral Princess Gowns

Lupita Nyong’o continued to showcase her talent for immaculate awards show dressing in a flirty Giambattista Valli ensemble. Featuring a purple bodice feathered with 3D floral appliqués and a complementary floral motif that floated down the skirt, the dress did all the talking as Lupita opted for simple makeup and accessories. Salma Hayek also made the floral trend her own in a brocade white Alexander McQueen frock with a subtle floral print. Accessorising with roses in her hair, diamond earrings, and a waist-cinching silver belt, Salma looked almost bridal – but definitely amazing!

 

4. Ladies in Red

It certainly seems that celebrities no longer care if their dresses match the carpet, as the most popular dress colour of the night was undoubtedly red – so much so that it was difficult to pick our top two! However, “Girls” and “Peter Pan Live” beauty Allison Williams clearly stood out from the crowd, looking effortlessly chic in a strapless red Armani Privé layered creation with diamond-encrusted detail. Our other winner was worn by “Orange is the New Black” actress Taylor Schilling, who made a hot red, halter neck, full-skirted Ralph Lauren gown look effortless and elegant.

 

5. Edgy, Embellished Choices

Perhaps our favourite look of the night was courtesy of actress Emma Stone, who eschewed the traditional gown for a slick Lanvin jumpsuit. Her tousled hair nicely offset the sharp lines of the tuxedo trousers and pointed court shoes, leaving her rhinestone-embellished bodice and oversized waist-bow to steal the show. Though not quite as adventurous as Emma, “Bridesmaids” actress Ellie Kemper also rocked an edgy embellished look in an Aztec-patterned silver Naeem Khan dress.

 

And that about rounds off our Golden Globes best-dressed list! If you would you like our help finding a stunning evening-wear outfit of your own, let us know by phoning 07890 664110, emailing liz@lizsargeantstyling.com, or contacting us through Facebook or Twitter.

 

Image credit: Joe Shlabotnik via Photopin CC

A Dress to Impress

With all the drama of the office party and Xmas day family politics put to rest, it’s time to switch the panic button to New Year’s Eve and that all important “what do I wear?!” question on so many womens’ lips…

If, like many, you’re struggling to find that all important sparkly number, don’t stress as the LS Styling team have done all the leg work for you.

Whatever your age, budget, body shape and style preference, we’ve a few festive frocks to give you a little party dress inspiration. Take a sneaky peek at our top 10 and see which takes your sparkle…!

 

1/Dance like a disco queen in this midnight blue silk blend prom dress (Jaeger, £75, www.jaeger.co.uk)

jaeger SILK-BLEND PROM DRESS

 

2/Sparkle like a princess in this black textured shift dress. (Reiss, £159, www.reiss.com)

Reiss Delphine 159

 

3/ Show off those perfectly poised pins in this ‘Lori Lee’ duck egg blue dress. (Coast, £125, www.coast-stores.com).

Coast LORI LEE SHORT DRESS 125

 

4/ Make an entrance in this statement red and black jacquard dress. (& Other Stories, £100, www.stories.com).

&OS Jacquard_Dress 100

 

5/ Be adventurous and add a little lace to this years LBD. (Joseph, £360, www.joseph-fashion.com)

Joseph Lace Dilys Dress 360

 

6/ Stand out from the crowd and be a sexy siren in this show stopping sequinned bandage dress. (Hervé Léger, £1,865 www.net-a-porter.com)

Herve Leger

 

7/ Mirror mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all? (Topshop, £200, www.topshop.com)

LIMITED EDITION TS MIRROR EMBELLISHED SLIP DRESS

 

8/ Be regel and dazzle in style in an emerald green wrap dress. (Temperley London, £1,195, www.temperleylondon.com)

temp Long Faye Wrap Dress

 

9/ Be daring and strike a pose in this bow sleeve mini dress. (Alexander McQueen, £1,495, www.alexandermcqueen.com).

Alex Mcq

10/ Dress to impress in this classy beaded cocktail number. (Karen Millen, £215, www.karenmillen.com)

KM

An image of new yellow, green and blue Manolo Blahnik shoes on top of a rail of colourful assorted clothes

A Fresh New You!

Welcome to LS Styling!

I’m excited to announce the launch of the brand new Liz Sargeant Styling website and accompanying social media channels.

Over the coming months, I’ll be using the website, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram and LinkedIn to bring you all the latest news, tips and information about fashion and style, as well as keeping you updated on my own work within the personal styling, fashion styling and image consultancy arenas.

If, like many of us, you’re struggling to find that perfect outfit in time for Christmas or New Year, or would like help with personal styling, a wardrobe detox, dressing for any special occasion, or a seasonal wardrobe revamp, get in touch with us today by filling in our contact form, emailing liz@lizsargeantstyling.com, or calling 07890 664 110.

For more in-depth information about any of our services, you can also check out our Services and Testimonials pages.

Liz Sargeant Styling is a luxury personal styling and image consultancy based in London that offers personalised women’s, men’s, bridal and VIP dressing services.