With my pom pom earrings in, it was off to the last day of London Fashion Week SS13, and oh what a five days it has been! I think everyone is definitely feeling the early mornings, extremely late nights, back-to-back shows and dangerously random blend of cocktails, but boy has it been worth it when you see the wonderfully established mixed with the inspiring emergence of talent that we are producing. A natural high if ever I felt one.
First presentation of the day was at Vauxhall Fashion Scout, which in my eyes, has been the place to be. Most of the designers I have seen here have been absolutely incredible and will definitely be placed on the ‘Ones to Watch’ list to join the likes of Louise Gray, Meadham Kirchhoff and Erdem who have now made it. I feel the work here has been more dynamic, interesting and breaking down creative boundaries; more so than over at Somerset House where investors, the need to please and buyers have made some dilute their designs to the point of cordial.
Former VFS Merit Award Winners, Leutton Postle showed just why they were chosen with a collection that was everything and so much more. It reminded me of the Absolutely Fabulous episode, ‘Morocco’ with its fashionista in Marrakech influences and lego flower sunglasses (‘fab’!) Vibrant colours, the contrast in the use of different textures and techniques; heritage fabric with quilting, weaving, knitwear, 1970′s and the added sparkle. Cobalt blue sheer wide leg trousers, pink glittery tasselled sandals, mullet-shaped ‘magic’ carpet skirts, apron front dresses, multi-coloured beads embroidered within diamond printed crochet, neon lips and delicate fringing; absolutely amazing! Despite the slightly disorganised show, it made up my extremely indecisive mind to where I am holidaying next year!
Nova Chiu had textile and colour in abundance (loving the use of brights today!) and made me feel like I was at Elysian hippy-music Festival again. Tie-dye seems to be back in vogue with House of Holland also using the technique, along with abstract digital-printed flowers, draping, a gorgeous hot pink printed blazer (Mary Katrantzou style) open to the naval and my most desired piece from the show; the Sesame Street-yellow bottom ruffle hula coat. Come blistering sunshine or an unusual British summer heatwave, I need that coat in my life.
Jena Theo’s ‘Hell’s Angel’ showing in the Portico Rooms at Somerset House had influences taken from arthropoda, architecture and the relationship explored between women and nature. The delicate prints, butterfly motifs, double layered skirts over harems and Temperley-style embellishment, showed these effects beautifully. A 2013 spin on the Jean-Paul Gautier ‘Madonna’ bra showed again how the 90’s were most definitely back and the cutaway white Chelsea platforms boots used throughout were perfect as a contrast- new boot shape alert. On the way out I spotted this fabulous Holly Fulton SS13 skater dress made from pink plastic and turquoise straw flowers!
Sabina Bryntesson was an incredibly slick show with the collection kept very simple by the use of only one block colour at a time and the emphasis on shape. The black, witchy conical caps, crisp white shirts under jersey, navy pleated skirts, lemon tent dresses , grey capes and extremely wide structured shoulders seemed to reference the ‘Wickerman’ with its folky soundtrack and slow moving pace of the presentation.
And so it was, the last show of the day and of LFW SS13; Fashion Fringe. The waiting (and sitting right under the freezing air conditioning system inside!) was well worth it. With the FROW occupied by founder Colin McDowell, Fashion Fringe Chair Christopher Bailey, Hilary Alexander and er, TOWIE’s Lydia Bright, the show presented three contenders for the prestigious award where past winners have included Basso & Brooke and Corrie Nielsen. With McDowell and Bailey conversing backstage after the catwalk, show band Bastille played an acoustic set whilst Emily and I predicted that the first designer, Haizhen Wang would win- and we guessed right! The impressive use of structure, masculine femininity, Japanese amor, historical context with a 3D digital printer used in creating the collection; you could see Spanish architect, Santiago Calatrava sited in his influences. I look forward to seeing what the next ‘Wang’ can produce in the near future.
And there it is, five incredible days from the heart of London. Look out for our key trend report spotted at SS13 coming soon on FashionBite. Until February people…
Sian @ FashionBite xx
Images provided by Gareth Gregg Photography