Take Five Great Shows at London Fashion Week
What London now lacks in the bigger and more established names, it makes up for in those on the ascent. Here, five great shows that made an impact for all the right reasons.
Simone Rocha Ready To Wear Fall Winter 2017 Fashion Show in London
Simone Rocha has rapidly built an empire since her CSM days, and as it's grown, so too has she and the evolution of her brand of romanticism which is so recognisably her own. Those trench coats, those dresses, those florals, that dainty-and-sweet but solid silhouette. It’s a whimsy that's more sophisticated than some of the other labels out there that specialise in femininity, and it's a winning formula even though you know what you're going to get before the first look even steps out onto the catwalk. But that's not a problem and in fact, against today's fashion landscape which feels ever so slightly stuck in a rut, makes for a great and important point of difference: what we find here is that each time the make becomes even more sophisticated and distilled. This was a beautiful collection with a stellar series of luxe trench coats to begin and lovely tea dresses throughout. Rocha combined the delicate with the protected - military references to be found alongside plentiful embroidered florals.
Toga Fashion Show Ready to Wear Collection Fall Winter 2017 in London
Thank goodness for Yasuko Furuta's London affection. The designer behind Japanese label Toga brings a Paris kind of cool edge to the capital's schedule - and creates clothes that follow a beat all of their own. Cut-and-paste to collage effect with ornamental decoration and dramatic cuts, unexpected holes and slits, Furuta keeps your wardrobe on its toes; and with this collection delivered. The sparkly brooch explosions brought a sass and feminine touch to "destroyed" forms (for the above design reasons), there was heavy emphasis on arms and sleeves for gloves - or something pretending to be - to make you rethink exactly what and how a garment works. Elevated daywear, this had texture and depth and plenty of night time shine.
David Koma Fashion Show Ready to Wear Collection Fall Winter 2017 in London
The question for Mr Koma is: how does he fit it all in? When he's not being Creative Director at Mugler (where he's also doing a great job), he's really nailing it when it comes to his own-name collections, which have become better and better with each and every season. This time round he said it was time to return to his Georgian roots. "A couple of months ago, I went back to Georgia and thought it felt like the right season to reference this," he said backstage after the show. "In particular there is this dress, the Chokra Georgian warrior dress, and I'm obsessed with it." He set out to modernise this - a traditional medieval uniform - and so added his layer of precision cut and technique to create an extensive collection which introduced outerwear and layering, something new for him. It was a great move and showed that he’s a designer who can go beyond a great dress. Of course there were these in there too – the end a series of flashing green, blue and orange numbers all lean and lithe to the body. With these it felt like he had ticked the box for those that know him for that, they are to some degree his core; but the rest felt like a strong move on and expansion of the David Koma wardrobe. And while there was a uniform and military inspiration at play, don’t be fooled into thinking that was a shiny take on camouflage you were seeing. “It was actually a floral macramé and when we embroidered it with crystals and put it in the right context it looked like camouflage,” explained Koma. Now you know.
Mary Katrantzou Fashion Show Ready to Wear Collection Fall Winter 2017 in London
“It started by looking at kingdoms, then magic kingdoms and then Fantasia, a film which I first saw when I was 10,” explained Mary Katrantzou of her collection this season. “I was so inspired by how they used music to animate it. I contacted Disney and said I want to work with you, I feel really inspired by the mood; it wasn’t really about the characters but the synergy of the music.” Cue her signature paradise vistas contextualised via Forties film noir silhouettes. This was a controlled collection but no less rich for it. Another CSM alumni, since she left its halls all those years ago she has refined her aesthetic –pulling out key elements and recreating them in new ways, be they more wearable such as the coats; be they youthful, such as the skater dresses; be they graceful and with a Valentino whimsy, such as the gowns towards the end; or be they the lampshade skirts of the collection, dresses that dripped with beads that jangled as they depicted these magical kingdoms.
Christopher Kane Fashion Show Ready to Wear Collection Fall Winter 2017 in London
The interesting thing about a Christopher Kane collection is there are always so many micro collections running through them – harking back to his previous greatest hits. So even though he’ll introduce a new idea, or many, you always feel you’re in familiar territory, which in fashion terms is comforting. You want that. The new strand of thinking for autumn/winter 2017 came by way of origami-fold dresses, the designer said he wanted to express a “tougher femininity” this season. They weren’t the standouts of the collection, but their iridescence did continue into pailette-adorned cardigans, disco pleating and billowy dresses of easy-to-wear shapes that blossomed with sequin blooms and more supersized shine. These reminded one of his earliest collections. But with nostalgia came the new, too – the tri-pocket cardigans were a very cool and innovative design idea here. And expect the trophy cardigan to make a return soon. There were many here.