London Fashion Week Spring & Summer 2018
As we fell into autumn in the UK, North America and Europe, London once again put it's best foot forward and rolled out the red carpet to the fashion industry for Spring-Summer 2018. I personally like looking almost a year ahead to feel what may be coming and this season was no dissapointment with plenty of talent on display.
The first show on my list kicked off the new season in style with Teatum Jones injecting some power and passion into the minds of the audience with luxurient textiles woven into sweetly feminine forms. The collection opened with a strong note of Purple, a defining colour that adds a regal stoke of strength to a look. A colour that is easily adaptable to many skin tones, it's a clever way of making a statement and Teatum Jones have taken bold leaps into the design ether with it this season. To the left soft pleats in the sleeves of a blouse give a wing-like sense of volume and crisp pleats across the breadth of the skirt cut in asymetric slices add a further dimension to the movement of the outfit.
It's a beautiful piece to make an entrance to an event in and flatters the figure with it's fluid lines. This is something that can be found through much of the collection. A soft ribbon wrapped around the neck to form a choker adds an extra touch of evening-wear appropriate glamour. It's romantic with a little edge which is how much of the collection can be summed up. To the right above the slip dress is adapted to become a glamorous evening gown with a wide flowing skirt and embroidered lightly fitted bodice. With two simple broad straps across the shoulders it is one of the easiest pieces of statement elegance that you would find in the British collections in the next season.
A snap of colour arrives with pleats falling into loose lengths of an Orange skirt twinned with an open shouldered Purple blouse. Looking contemporary and inspired in it's design it has the unique feel that many designers are looking from in collections from the London Fashion Week show schedule. You don't have to be part of any defined style tribe to wear the duo's looks though, they aim to dress all women who's style sense chimes with their aesthetic. There's a feeling of experimentation while also enjoying style. The popular Light Blue vertical striped shirt, borrowed from the boys, gets a crafty re-think becoming a dress with many hues of Blues cut into complimenting/contrasting panels. Centre above the shirt is remodelled again in an off-the-shoulder style with out-sized features adding to the feel of nonchalance. A smart crisp statement of casual. Pinstripe patterning meets pen-flick ink blots. A soft Fern Green suit is softly cut on the figure with large buttons preventing it for being taken too seriously by mistake. Again the softness is apparent in both fabric and cut. To the right a sleeveless dress deconstructs the traditional structures and mixes pin striping hints with patterns that look like doodles. This is an arty summer dress that has a carefree feel and could be worn at a party or at a festival or on holiday on warm summer days.
Another loosely sculpted suit plays with pinstripe themes while sitting neatly on the waist neither masculine or feminine it's simple a fantastic piece of modern tailoring. Easy comfort wear to the right in a soft Blue long sleeved ribbed sweater matches with an artsy feel skirt to form a look that would suit casual occasions or drinks parties in the spring and summer. Looking even more relaxed and deep V-necked thin sweater plunges from the neck showing abstract design across the lower part of the piece. In a dappled light catching texture it is complimented by a narrow pleated skirt containing soft nuanced lozenge panels to give a textural mix.
Again the sense of carefree expression is all through this look and the wearer seems as though she should be walking barefoot. You could walk down a high street, through a beach party or across a festival thoroughfare in this and look completely at home. Sweetly transposing the panels to evening or occasion wear the feature shows how one simple emphasis within a garment's textile design or structure can be enough to set the tone perfectly for a special look. In soft Blush the first piece with thin strap sleeves re-works the earlier slip dress style into a beautiful dress that will look perfect singularly or with a jacket or wrap. It could easily be worn at more informal moments as well and is highly versatile. The dress further to the right with it's gathered hem pays with volume to gove the look more distinction and broader shoulder support balances the dimensions of the dress. Both suit the beach and a Black Tie party.
The collection moves into a soft Electric Blue-Lilac with a soft spirit of cool that infuses the collection. The panels appear in loose form dress centered by a circular looped eye. Without a thread feeding through it it serves as a device to weight the garment and also draws the eye across the shape to contemplate the space covered by the outfit. To the right a sheer shift dress flows down the figure over wide leg trousers fitted perfectly to the hips. It's an easy relaxed smart piece that again has the unmistakable hints of Teatum Jones' creative stamp. In an alternate phrase, mid-calf trousers and an open single button sheer shift will see you looking cool on the warmest of days. This would be a great look for drinks parties on hot nights. To the far right beauty in full flow envelops the model as she strides confidently forth in a light gown that would weave a magical spell on the red carpet or at special parties in the summer months. Again featuring the soft ink-like drawings it carries the feel of artistic experimentation with chic defined sophistaction.
Pam Hogg is one of the most experienced designers currently showing through London Fashion Week with three decades of work in and around the fashion industry. Often known as Dr Pam Hogg following her receipt of an honorary Doctorate for her contribution to Fashion she is a designer, a Pop Star and artist who works with equal energy and talent through several mediums.
Her work captures an understanding of the strength and beauty of women composed through the medium of innovative contemporary design. A long list of celebrity clients from Debbie Harry to Siouxie Sioux, Rhianna and Kylie have worn her clothes and she is part of a unique alumnus of the Ab Fab film and television series. Her attention to cut and tailoring are apparent and the opening look of the collection featuring a Sugar Pink body suit with mini skirt and bustier top incorporated set the tone for a collection that encompassed hints of sports wear as well as feminine tailoring. A play-suit in Green complete with bobble trim at the legs and 'cats eye' mask is another fun party piece with hints of burlesque. A light pleated peach dress sitting over close fitting sports trousers with a ruff collar adds a hint of vintage with a baby doll twist. A sports theme makes a coy twist on the feminine form and draws attention to the essential beauty of the figure through simplified lines that delineate the female form. A one-piece sports looking leotard also offers another way to show a well kept frame at it's best.
Sport provides a back-drop to much of the collection with full body suits showing bold colour blocks and Black and White monochrome tonality. They compose a series of statement urban-ware looks that could be seen on the street or at a party. The piece centre above is one garments coloured to look like underwear. Infinitely more practical to wear though on cooler evenings or late at night. Blush tone raincoats prepare the wearer for the April showers of next spring and don't for a minute underestimate the impact of these sweetly tailored pieces on the figure. Expertly cut and even including pockets for the wearer to warm their hands in or place their things, they have the down to earth streak of Pam Hogg practicality that her label is known and respected for. Moving the raincoat into a multi-coloured frame twinning it with a sheer White jacket the next look to the left is a brightly coloured celebration.
The next one piece look in Nude is a creative concept that combines a full playful bodysuit again with the design elements that are often used to adorn dresses. To the right a mini dress and sheer trousers work a new-age punk like look with free liberal reign to explore textile and sensation. A grand spectacle to close the show with a theatrical headpiece topping on a plumed body suit. Flights of fancy? Maybe but Pam Hogg's woman is a law unto herself.
DAKS stands for a very sophisticated version of international style that has it's spiritual home amongst the shoppers of New Bond Street and settles just as easily in the Board room as it does in a grand British country House. The DAKS woman or a woman wearing DAKS for a particular day is not feeling hugely experimental but knows that she wants to look polished and express her personality through her clothes.
With a back drop of rowing oars and references to the traditional collegiate styles of dress found in the ancient University cities of Oxford and Cambridge and beyond, DAKS look to be channelling recognisable traditionally British reference points for their international audience. The DAKS woman here has borrowed from the men's wardrobe in an echo of some Edwardian modes of dress and the first look above to the left shows a White blouse and silk tie paired with an ankle length White pleated skirt. She saunters along casually as does her trousered counterpart in the next look to the right dressed in a softly cut two piece trouser suit with a blouse and soft hand held purse tapering the look for a more relaxed feel.
An open necked White blouse, jacket and long skirt creates the day suit look in the most pared down style. This is DAKS at it's most casual while still retaining the crisp tailoring that it's respected for. Stripes are playfully deconstructed in a coat dress to the right with a lightness that will work well for the wearer in the summer months. Again a touch of Edwardiana from a century ago returns with the look furthest to the right as a shirt and tie are matched with an ankle length skirt. It does still pass as formal-wear at the casual end of the spectrum and has hints of unconvention within it featuring the back part of the skirt made in similar material to the front and cut with greater volume to gove a 50/50 visual effect.
A softly belted jacket gives high waisted definition to a ladies suit with classic details such as a shirt and tie adding points of formality. White is a key colour across this collection interspersed with stripes and print. The look is softened by a hand purse and converse White pumps. A double breasted jacket and lose cut trousers borrow from the men's smart/casual wardrobe and in crisp White this has the look of a sailing style outfit perhaps. Nevertheless the wearer looks confident and comfortable in the DAKS tailored House style and as with many pieces in the range, the look features pockets that give it a note of practicality. A striped day dress could easily continue on into the evening and is aligned to the figure by sets of vertical and horizontal stripes providing definition to the look. It's looks carefully tailored but is also overtly easy to wear as is a hallmark of DAKS style. To the right a belted White dress with bandeau neckline is a natural match for a striped blazer style jacket that looks back to the traditional collegiate styles of the UK in former generations. To the right a long White dress has a decidedly contemporary feel with peplum fringing at the waist signalling a divide between a blouse-style upper area with balloon style sleeves and a long line pleated straight skirt reaching the ankles.
Beautiful colour in soft damson accents an above ankle dress that sits flatteringly on the figure. With another peplum fringe being used to break up the line of the garment separating the upper blouse at the shoulders and the full length of the skirts of the dress the look has a chic air of simplicity about it. The fabric has a dappled effect that is gentle to see and flatters the complexion of the wearer. To the right the same design is beautifully crafted into a blouse and with wide leg White trousers forms a very easy to wear smart or casual look. It's a signature of the DAKS house style. A ruched crepe style dress in clay is a charming soft style garment to wear in the warmer days of summer. Like the preceding looks it would be perfect to wear for summer parties in the day or evening and is flattering and relaxed on the figure. It's a look that you will be able to keep cool in but also will shield you from any evening breezes. To the right delicate stripes across a taupe dress belted high at the waist give sophisticated definition to the round necked echos of vintage style. Gentle box pleats below the waist add volume to the length of the skirt and ensure easy comfort and confident style.
In the grand surrounding of Theatre Royal, one of the oldest sites for spectacle in the British capital Haizhen Wang showed a collection musing on the theme of human mistakes. Set against the studied perfection and ever so chicly slightly faded regal grandeur the collection set at a complimentary juxtaposition bringing the past face to face with the future. Human lives can seem like a theatrical comedy with mistakes and moments that perplex with hindsight and within a comedy of life Haizhen found apt inspiration.
The collection seems to focus on alternative ideas of construction and assimilation. The 'What if' thought is hanging in the air as we walked through the grand saloon of the theatre house. Above to the left vibrant Saffron forms the base of blouse broadening out to winged sleeves while across the front of the garment Grey patterned print cut into abstract shapes completes the shirt. Paired with trousers borrowing the pinstripes of the city this is a clash of fabrics demonstrating that harmonies can found within a styled look. To the right a dress and coat in monochrome Grey and Black makes a more understated appearance and suggests itself for a urban casual garment that's pretty versatile. To the right the faded light Blue of worn-in denim form the bases for a trio of looks that take a new approach to contemporary style and note, in the beautiful long dress to the right, an alternative take on formal wear. Standing side by side an urban warrior looks ready for life in the city while her neighbour appears to have found her own unique formula for updating the DNA of a ballgown.
A long Black dress paired with with ripped denim jeans and a hat decorated with teased-out denim twines is another example of a look that may at first seem casual but when you look a second time actually seems more like a new take on formal wear. To the right broad frilled collar sits at right angles across the neckline of a blouse and sleeves swell in generous use of fabric reminiscent of the clothes worn by early visitors to the theatre. The whip stitch apron in distressed denim brings a hint of the wild west life to the street seen of today's international cities and shows how versatile the fabric is. Upping the hints of girlish prettiness in the collection lace boarders appear across the next two looks to the right. The first a close up of a dress shown above to enable you to see more of the way that Haizhen plays with design elements to create daring and bold contrasts. It's a statement about energy, strength and desire.
To Haizhen to seems very apparent that the world right now is presenting many challenges and pressures to women. There are many shows of strength such as in the fencing mask outdoor sporting goggles and urban attitude. This is also sat alongside slogan placed amongst the clothing of 'Handle with care' and 'Fragile'. A Black dress with balloon sleeves and peplum styled ruching at the upper sleeve shoulder is teamed with a White under blouse showing hints of an enlarged ruff collar. Again playing the with antique and fast-forwarding it into the 21st century, this collection is highly dynamic. To the right and centre a blouse and skirt create new twists on these ideas with a double layered collar in loose fine pleats adding a nod of theatrical splendour and carefully cup enlarged sleeves sewn with crystal at the elbow adding a tonal contrast. The lose threads of mistakes and chaos show the unraveling of a beautiful narrative perhaps with threads strafing across the chest. The skirt by contrast takes a more typical A-line shape with flourishes of fringing detail. To the right the pin stripes and apron resemble a nurses traditional uniform of a little girls play dress while sharp cuts at the shoulders and a neat collar bring it into a more adult sphere. A simple soft trouser day suit with loose fit top and comfy trousers is a perfect comfortable carefree garment for this modern warrior to wear to relax.
With plenty of attitude and a sharp sense of street style Fyodor Golan embraced the catwalk again this season with looks that walked with the best of urban and beach magic. The pulses of youth and life where everywhere in this collection and experimentation with style didn't in any way hinder the expertise of the tailoring. A White jacket and Tan leather-coloured dress make a simple conventional pairing with White mid-calf boots. It's a neat casual look that is matched by a sleeveless Blue dress button down next to it. Versatile and understated they contrast with the next outfit that uses a combination of fabrics in the composition of a jumpsuit and also features trailing bow ribbons descending from the shoulders at the back of the garment. A bustier top with adjoined long sleeves in Pink and Black matches to a below knee skirt again in contrasting textiles with sports lined stripes at the side. Here Fyodor Golan shows that the intention to make a sportswear statement and on the whole the collection oscillates between these two moods of smart-casual and styled up sports gear. A playful loose sweater with cutaway flower at it's centre across the chest sits over a draped lipped skirt swirling like the folds of a flower. With the fabric bouncing as the model walks it looks like an adaptation of the puffball skirt, beloved in the 1950's and 1980's.
The technical experimentation with fabric is an area that Fyodor Golan clearly enjoy and the sheer Chocolate coloured dress above to the left is made with a mesh style fabric that shines with an iridescence of fiery copper. Split at the left thigh it offers an interesting evening-wear option. Another cut away floral design sits at the heart of a luxe vest top in Black with a soft Candy Pink skirt made of the folds of a flower wrapped around the hips. It's a statement piece that would look good at parties. To the right the beach and poolside are calling with a Silver metallic jacket twinned with a swimsuit under-layer. Sports themes come through strongly again as a stripes swirl around the length of a dress leading into a dramatic cut-away split at the hem. This sleeveless garment makes a challenge to conventional style norms. A Silver tracksuit in light sheer metalics looks ably constructed to shield the wearer from chill spring breezes as well as expanding on the sporty themes. A sweatshirt that features the same signature sport-stripe theme sits over grey metallic shorts and finished with a baseball cap and sliders is an easy-wear summer look. With cuffs unbuttoned and one side of the shirt tucked in this is an off-duty piece that doesn't take itself too seriously.
As the collection progresses and moves towards more looks that would be appropriate for evening wear, colours become more emphatic and also softer. A Lilac tracksuit with ruched waist and off the shoulder nonchalance is sewn with loop stitches down the lengths of the leg and comprises whip stitch detail at the side of the jacket. The two tone effect of a Lilac dress with spotted tie-dye and Ice Blue wide leg open-sided trousers looks like a flowing casual statement of cool luxury that would make a beautiful contemporary evening wear piece or even work well on the Red Carpet. The flowing lines speak of summer coolness. To the centre above featherlight ruffles in White look like duck-down in their softness and and trailing ties give the hint of a formal train and the dress is a fresh take on the evening wear look.
To the right the luminescence of tie-dye colour bands in rainbow-like form appear in an outer-slip over a Black peplum skirted dress. The jewellery through this collection comprises of large paper-style earrings crushed and folded below the ear lobes. A flowing robe style shirt also in the same soft rainbow-haze colours is matched with Black and rainbow-haze shorts. A Blue chord at the neck nods to a practical draw-string feature and also matches with the slider sandals worn by the model. A party dress completes this series of looks with degrede colour descending through the dress to a peplum fringed hem and the shimmer of sequins at the shoulder in a contrast fabric. It's a fun summer piece you could wear to a barbecue or be confident to make a statement in at Red Carpet events in front of the cameras. Fyodor Golan showed that they are still bold and playful and that wherever their imagination takes them it's followed all the while by their sharp tailoring sensibilities.
It was clear from the out-set that sweet prettiness was the order of the day for Ryan Lo's Spring-Summer 2018 collection, but never at any point did it become too saccharine. Wavering between doll-like prettiness and a tribute to the bijoux chic of Audrey Hepburn he dressed his muse in a series of party dresses that you can party in or attend formal nights out at grand theatres or special events. Above to the left a Black dropped waist peplum hemmed dress is created in the most delicate fabric that carries a floral imprint. A tiny lace fringe at the collar is matched by a similar trim at the hem adding a touch of gothic beauty along with the sheer Black lace gloves that reach to the elbow. A small purse tucked under the arm shows the suitability for formal wear and the softly puffed sleeves and curled fabric rose at the chest emphasise the feel of romance. To the right a suit is composed of trousers, a ruff collar shirt and a tied belted jacket almost in men's traditional dressing gown style.
A bridal look debuts early in the collection to show that Lo isn't afraid to play with convention, with feminine puff mid-arm sleeves set off with a gentleman's tall hat. A veil sits proudly pulled back over the head and top hat of the wearer as the model meets the gaze of her audience. Creating a train behind her she walks. Peplum fringing at the hem adds a sweet romantic hint and a long necklace reaching towards the tummy is a beautiful accessory. Tied loosely at the waist with a circle of flowers that also appear around the collar this simplified charming style to the centre features a wrap skirt accented by a rosette petalled flower at the hip. Worn like it's neighbour with a softly fluted skirt sitting under a tunic blouse it can be easily worn with or without a jacket. The flower at the shoulder adding a small sense of movement and romantic poise.
A double hat sits at an angle above a boucle knit jacket and pattern print skirt turning the whole look into a more avant garde statement. Soft pleats in the above the knee skirt have the hints of Summer play creating a contrast with a boucle skirt. Similarly to the right a fun playful skirt and light summer T-shirt make a soft luxury combination. With abstract flowers across the surface of the skirt and in a bordered box it's a simple summer look. Long elbowed gloves give a note of formality but they fall down the arms in silent rebellion. A floral neckline and soft bow in the hair keep the look neat and sweet.
A mock Gothic mood enters with applique florals and descends the length of the figure from neckline to floor. Bordered at the high waist the dress is lightly fitted to the figure, the sleeveless informality off-set by long elbow-length gloves. A knee length dress with feathers fringing the hem and at the neckline is a perfect 'noir' mood Black dress. Complete with gloves running up above the elbow and a large ribbon it's another feature piece that expounds the feelings of prettiness and delicate mood. Fluttering in the breeze as the wearer walks, a White dress above to the right offers a full length demure option for clients and would suit a wide variety of clients those who may be looking for pieces to wear in a maternity wardrobe maybe.
Translating the soft feathers to a long sleeved sweater a new perspective on a smart/casual piece is born with the loose cut skirt returning with it's hints of metallic in the fabric. It's a look that could be worn in many places from a day job to drinks parties and nights with friends. A belted raincoat shields from the elements with style continuing the theme of rippling hints glitter through the collection. Style and rain proofed in one it has go-anywhere appeal. A double layered dress centre above again uses peplum fringes at the skirt's upper hem and is softly belted at the waist to create definition to the figure. A ruff style collar around the neckline adds a hint of theatre and the past with tulle under layers at the sleeves and the arms creating a light weight but yet layered look with trousers underneath. To the right a fairytale full length evening dress with layers of peplum fringes from neckline to hem is a contemporary take on a classical dream piece to cherish in the wardrobe. Hear also Lo introduces an interesting hair piece that covers the eyes as she walks. Iced Sugar Plum Pink is a sweetheart colour choice that adds to the romantic feel. To the right a more daring sheer dress cut closer to the figure in soft lilac featuring soft floral hints. Merging the notion of the slip dress and the evening dress in on it's a light carefree piece that would look very interesting on the Red Carpet.
Another similarly tiered gown in a slightly darker shade of pink brings the style to the catwalk again in a slightly more nuanced translation. Just as perfect for a formal wear occasion. To the right a more cylindrical design greets the eyes of the audience with peplum fringes again swirling at the knees, waist and collar. An out-sized bow recalls the simplistic prettiness of dresses from another era and to our eyes today like several of the following looks, it can appear somewhat childlike. Lo does also perhaps to capture the younger end of the client market as the following looks have the 1950's and 1960's classic young girls party wear shape to them but in their layers of tulle and finely sewn details they have a retro look for a classic party piece today. To the right a ruffled extravaganza hints at an alternative to the traditional wedding dress with lashings of humour and plenty of frou frou.