Starter for ten: 10 moments from LFW so far

There’s barely a twelve-hour gap between the end of New York’s fashion week and the beginning of London’s. But the two are worlds apart – at least, if you were to go by the evidence of London’s first day. In a country whose future is currently shadowed by the terrifying prospects of a President Trump, New York provided Hunger Games-worthy spectacle (courtesy of Kanye), punkish bad girls (Alexander Wang) and state-of-the-nation Goth (plus Gaga, plus Hillary Clinton t-shirts) at Marc Jacobs.

 


Marc Jacobs closed the New-York Fashion Week. (photography by Elizabeth Pantheo for NOWFASHION)

 

On the face of it, London’s designers are operating in a far less clouded world. And what they were selling, for the most part, was something far simpler than New York’s apocalyptic angst: clothes. It’s far too early, from the cluster of low-key shows and presentations that constitute Day 1, to draw any overarching themes. So here, for now, are the ten things that stuck out across 24 hours in London, from fizzy Hong Kong decadence to streamlined Puritanism – and from politely traditional catwalk events to foam parties.

 


(photography by NOWFASHION)

 

WORLD OF INTERIORS

Jackie JS Lee had the honour (or onus, depending on how you look at it) of kicking the day off at the BFC’s Brewer Street venue. Her aesthetic is reliable – thoughtful, quiet, and softly involved. But yesterday’s show made a bigger splash. Riffing on the opulence of Victorian interiors, Lee’s cocooning shapes came with their edges lavished with tassels or slashed into swaying fringe, wreathing her monochrome garments with flourishes of sunshine yellow or poppy red. Surreally scaled-up tweeds, bristling with off-key clashes of colour, anchored the collection with a series of dramatic outerwear proposals.

Our full coverage of the J JS Lee Fall/Winter 2016 ready-to-wear show to (re)discover here.

 


(photography Courtesy or PR)

 

SCI-FI APRÉS SKI

Courtesy of Thom Browne’s Moncler, it feels like fashion’s probably already had its fill of streamlined winter sports references of late. But NewGen designer Sadie Williams, showing in an early morning presentation slot, steered things down a wittily retro route with lashings of lurex and patchworked Scottish plaids. Bold performance-wear blasts of red, white and blue collided with stiff ice-skater pleats, thickly padded skirts, glistening Barbarella metallics and homespun knits in a collection that looked beyond the slopes to a real-world winter wardrobe.

Our full coverage of the Sadie Williams Fall/Winter 2016 ready-to-wear show to (re)discover here.

 


(photography by Gio Staiano for NOWFASHION)

 

SOFT FOCUS

Over the space of 26 looks, Korean-born Eudon Choi made his case for winter 2016 with a confidently simple lineup of clean-cut silhouettes and to-the-point clashes. The flashpoint between sharpness and softness provided the overarching narrative, with finely-cut tailoring undone by fluid lapels, and dresses slashed through with interjections of contrast colour. There was a startling lightness about the whole collection, in fact, from the dusty palette of nudes and washed-out purples to the breezy geometric prints that Choi spattered throughout the show.

Our full coverage of the Eudon Choi Fall/Winter 2016 ready-to-wear show to (re)discover here.

 


(photogtaphy by Guillaume Roujas for NOWFASHION)

 

PERFECT PRINCESSES

Far from the frenzy of street style photographers and bemused tourists surrounding London’s main venue in Soho, Bora Aksu shut out the unexpected February sunshine and took his audience back to pre-Revolution Russia. Staged in a sombre Holborn church, the collection rampaged gleefully through a landscape of babushka dolls, jagged Constructivism and ornate Tsarist embellishment. Aksu banded skater skirts with plush shearling, and used plastic to give ruffled bonnets an unexpected Cardin twist. And the slow darkening of colour, from delicate blush pinks and nudes to doomed blood-reds and scarlets, underscored the fairy tale’s inevitable tragic ending.

Our full coverage of the Bora Aksu Fall/Winter 2016 ready-to-wear show to (re)discover here.

 


(photography by Guillaume Roujas for NOWFASHION)

 

AFTER DARK DECO

Following in the successful footsteps of Anya Hindmarch, Charlotte Olympia became the latest accessories name to make the leap to the runway this season, staging a magnificently noir-ish event at Camden’s Roundhouse. Quite literally noir-ish, too: the collection’s seductive column dresses, retro swimwear and slouchy boudoir tailoring all came in a single shade of slinky black. They provided the obvious backdrop to Charlotte Dellal’s high-octane footwear and accessories, which came drenched in glam rock references this season – from crushed velvet platforms to glitter boots and leopard-skin thigh-highs.

Our full coverage of the Charlotte Olympia Fall/Winter 2016 ready-to-wear show to (re)discover here.

 


(photography by Gio Staiano for NOWFASHION)

 

EASTERN PROMISE

Thanks to the unstoppable rise of Simone Rocha, London’s fashion scene has been no stranger to evocative Eastern references of late. But where Rocha’s language comes shot through with urban It-girl cool, Fashion East alumnus Ryan Lo offers an alternative bathed in all-out sweetness and froth. A sugar-rush swathe of candy pinks and lilacs, raspberries and clotted creams provided the edible palette for Lo’s rope-tied dressing-gown jackets, glossy satin pyjamas, whimsical lobster and butterfly knits and squishy faux furs.

Our full coverage of the Ryan Lo Fall/Winter 2016 ready-to-wear show to (re)discover here.

 


(photography by Gio Staiano for NOWFASHION)

 

HECTIC ECLECTIC

Former Fashion Fringe winners Fyodor Golan never quite seem to know where they’re headed from season to season – period drama? Sci-fi modernism? Avant-garde techno-wear? That can be frustrating to watch at times – but also endlessly entertaining. And of late they seem to be easing into a more settled place, combining saturated Manga colours with layered textures. In the mix this season there were Fifties pin-up girls, metallic parkas, wildly-ruffled denim, supersized patchwork embellishments and retro polka dots. Eclectic? That didn’t even begin to cover it.

Our full coverage of the Fyodor Golan Fall/Winter 2016 ready-to-wear show to (re)discover here.

 


(photography by NOWFASHION)

 

ABSTRACT MODERNISM

One To Watch is a dangerously overused term, in fashion. But Marta Jakubowski has had the label applied to her work too many times for it not to stick. A recent graduate from the Royal College of Art, Polish-born Jakubowski shrouded her presentation in a sea of foam – which, instead of setting the scene for a blast of clubland hedonism, became a serene underlay to a collection of stripped-back linear robes in black, white and red, accented with fine-line detail and sliced open into vaguely grunge-y layers.

Our full coverage of the Marta Jakubowski Fall/Winter 2016 ready-to-wear show to (re)discover here.

 


(photography by Régis Colin-Berthelier for NOWFASHION)

 

POMP AND CIRCUMSTANCE

Over at Fashion Scout’s off-schedule venue in Covent Garden, Portuguese designer David Ferreira (a St. Martins graduate who made his debut at New York’s VFiles last season) showed why he deserved to win this season’s Merit Award. Ferreira’s perkily over-the-top collection took stately historical reference points – sweeping trains, exaggerated proportions, princess-y ruffs and dramatic gowns – and sent them up with Gaultier-ish bras, wildly inflated bubble shapes and a zingy palette of vivid fuchsias and reds. 

 


(Courtesy of PR)

 

NEW WAVE TAILORING

On/Off’s late evening event was far less of a show in the ordinary sense than a “happening” – in the most Warhol sense of the word. While the audience jostled behind two lines of neon pink tape, three designers sent out their wares in an unbroken lineup, looping round the room before staging a final group run-through which quickly disintegrated into a free-for-all dash to the bar. But somewhere in the midst of the chaos, Robert Wun’s sophisticated ombré fabrics and dramatic outerwear layers provided an unexpectedly grown-up pause point.

 

 

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