LFW: Five of Our Favourite Collections
Aside from those that have had a mention in separate posts of their own (read about Central Saint Martins and JW Anderson here), London Fashion Week threw up a handful of other collections that made the grade for best in show. Here they are:
MATTY BOVAN FW18 show in London. Photo by Gio Staiano for NOWFASHION.
If you weren’t a believer beforehand, you will be now. If you thought tweed was uptight, think again. Matty Bovan, a former Fashion East alumni and championed by industry heavyweight Katie Grand, has some serious powers of persuasion and this was a brilliant collection. Where to start? The energy of the extravagant pieces, the energy of the whole collection, which managed to encapsulate everything that London has always wanted to be and once upon a time, was: exciting. To say this was a more refined, elevated, and grown-up offering might sound incorrect as a quick glance at the pictures will show you this was fun, fun, fun; gowns that bunched and pulled and swagged and draped and hoiked to pantomime-fabulous proportions, and helium balloon hats atop them to put him on equal footing with a young Giles Deacon. It was all off-kilter and it was all tremendous, a universal hit to begin the week.
GARETH PUGH FW18 show in London. Photo by Guillaume Roujas for NOWFASHION.
As descriptors go, it’s hard to top the one offered up by Gareth Pugh at his Autumn/Winter 2018 show: “demolition silhouette.” Boom! He wasn’t wrong. Lights down and a glow from the entrance of the catwalk, a powerful shadow stood strong and imposing – Jacquetta Wheeler, all big shoulders, cinched waist, and long, long legs for crumpled trousers anchored by clomping boots. With a film-noir-femme-noir sensibility, this was a great collection from Pugh that simultaneously remained faithful to his own fashion fantasy while letting others in, too. He hasn’t always done the most wearable, but this was (and desirable, too). A tight and controlled offering that will serve him well.
FASHION EAST FW18 show in London. Photo by Guillaume Roujas for NOWFASHION.
Fashion East – Symonds Pearmain
There was a special guest on the Fashion East roster this season: Symonds Pearmain, the super-exclusive brand from artist Anthony Symonds and stylist Max Pearmain – who are a great team if this was anything to go by. Where the rest of the Fashion East offerings felt ill-executed and too studenty, this stood out as fully formed and polished – aka where can we buy the bags already? This was their first catwalk show in London; they’ve been going for three seasons now but with a foot here and in Berlin, they’re keeping what they do controlled – sales are made by personal application and produced in small numbered pieces. One can’t help but think they may need to rethink that model following this.
DAVID KOMA FW18 show in London. Photo by Regis Colin Berthelier for NOWFASHION.
It was at the end of last year the announcement came that David Koma would be leaving the house of Mugler, a brand at which he began working alongside his own label four years prior. He was the perfect fit there, but the designer had already been carving out a solid reputation for his eponymous label here in London before he took that on. It was time to call it quits – and with a schedule that saw him yo-yoing back and forth across the channel often, it’s hardly surprising. And perhaps this had something to do with his new-found Eureka moment for this season’s collection? Backstage, the designer explained he woke up one day and decided he should start to enjoy making his collections. “I tried my best to enjoy the process, I just felt that way this season. I’ve been in business quite a while, you need to enjoy it,” he reasoned, indicating just how full on fashion can be. “I work so hard, I really need to start enjoying it.” And so, for him, this was a collection of new beginnings with the work of 19th century artist Edward Curtis as a reference point. But in terms of clothes, it was a beautifully sophisticated and sharp collection with slick folkloric motifs and gorgeous quill fringing, which made for the most incredible series of looks. Shots of lilac showed a softer side and silver-bead plumes fell and wafted across minidresses. It was sexy as Koma does, but with a renewed spirit. Taking some time out to enjoy life certainly seems to be working for the designer.
PETER PILOTTO FW18 show in London. Photo by Regis Colin Berthelier for NOWFASHION.
Among a three-course mini menu one Sunday night down in the sumptuous basement of Tramp on Jermyn Street, it was more than roasted squash and fennel being served. Peter Pilotto dished out Autumn/Winter 2018 – and it went down pretty nicely. For the past couple of seasons, it’s been a little wobbly, perhaps lost as a label among a sea of styles (streetwear and sportswear) that don’t intrinsically work with the Peter Pilotto woman, which is what they were out to address tonight. Luxe-lounge, boudoir decadence – that did the job for beautiful hippy dresses of cascading Sixties and Seventies flare, or quilted lounge suits fastened at the waist with cord. Not all the looks worked entirely, but there were enough that did to make this worthy of particular mention.
See the full FW18 collection of MATTY BOVAN here.
See the full FW18 collection of GARETH PUGH here.
See the full FW18 collection of FASHION EAST here.
See the full FW18 collection of DAVID KOMA here.
See the full FW18 collection of PETER PILOTTO here.