For as long as I can remember fashion has been more than just designing amazing clothes or even catwalk shows. To ensure a customer for life, brands have to sell a lifestyle, an attitude and overall an identity. Nothing expresses this more than the brands store which could be online or bricks and mortar. Take for instance Burberry and Gucci, both leading fashion brands with incredibly accessible, interactive and creative web stores however I still enjoy a good old fashioned shop, boutique, store whatever you call it; there is nothing better than walking through a store surrounded by all the things you love about that specific brand or concept. Perhaps this is why London has recently seen an influx of brand spanking new stores for us to explore!! From Celine to JCrew, Karl Largerfeld to Christopher Kane, London is brimming with amazing new spaces by the World’s leading names! With some just open and others to come, I think its necessary to don those new Nike’s (comfort first) and get shopping…..
After the 90’s sports luxe of New York and already a couple of season defining shows; all eyes moved to London where expectations were high. What were we given? A bevy of pastel clad beauties at Burberry, Ibizan goddesses from Topshop Unique, sexed up plant hormones (yes, really) at Christopher Kane; hippies, florals, metallics and of course Mr Tom Ford! Special mention for Simone Rocha who surprised everyone with a much more subversive tone – still a newcomer yet Rocha junior added to her success of last season to produce one of the most intriguing shows of the season!! Just like magic, London bought together the diverse, the individual and the creative alongside pure craftsmanship, skill and attention to detail; one of the finest LFW’s to date! Just take a look……
SS14 Looks from: David Koma, JW Anderson, Roksanda Ilincic and Burberry Prorsum
SS14 looks: Richard Nicole, Christopher Kane, Topshop Unique and Tom Ford
Men’s Collections London is quickly becoming one of the most influential Menswear weeks of the year! Burberry returned from Milan and newcomers such as JW Anderson created one of Men’s Collections most high profile weeks to date. On the catwalk, colour was one of the key trends from strong primary’s to summery pastels, sketched graphics seen at Christopher Kane were also popular and designers such as Jonathan Saunders continued to push boundaries with unique fabrics. However, it wasn’t just the catwalk that attracted attention, from Florence to London and Milan; the menswear street chic on show was unmissable. Tommy Ton amongst others, captured everything from dapper suits, to the chiselled models and the women literally rocking the ‘boy meets girl’ trend……Apparently Menswear really is where it’s at!
Burberry Prorsum SS14: Look 24, Look 15 and Look 49
Tommy Ton Street Style
Christopher Kane SS14: Look 6, Look 7 and Look 16
Tommy Ton Street Style
Jonathan Saunders SS14: Look 3, Look 11 and Look 19
Man of the moment JW Anderson must be eager to impress as he reveals his latest collaboration with Versus this week in New York. Taking over from Christopher Kane, Anderson has a lot to live up to; but I’m sure given his latest run of success he’ll do just fine! With Anderson winning the ‘Emerging Talent Award for Ready-to-Wear ‘at this years British Fashion Awards, Donatella obviously has her finger firmly on the fashion pulse – lets hope it’s reflected in the latest Versus collection….coming soon . . . .
JW Anderson Man About Town By Jamie Hawkesworth: JW Anderson Hero Magazine Issue 8 By Jack Borkett
And so to London, the excitement mounted! Never one to disappoint, LFW seems to get better every season and this week was no different. Christopher Kane showed no less than 60 looks – successfully capitalising on the extra budget he now has thanks to investment from the French luxury conglomerate PPR’s, Tom Ford returned to main stream fashion week and after an exciting NYFW it was up to London to keep the tempo going. With such a forward thinking line up there was no doubt London could rise to the challenge…..
David Koma AW13: Look 3, Look 14 and Look 17
The ‘Coming of Age’ – David Koma: A designer I have appreciated but never personally taken note of until now. Apparently this season the inspiration came from old vinyl records, but there was nothing old about this collection. The use of innovative, interesting textures and materials gave David Koma’s AW13 offering an intriguing subtlety that hasn’t been present in previous collections. I can imagine the cooler crowd warming to these pieces; think Alexa in Look 14 (above) with a pair of Chanel pumps? No? I’m sure Koma won’t need to look far to find some other A-Lister waiting in the wings…
The Fashion Powerhouse – Burberry Prorsum: Pre SS13 the last few seasons from Burberry have all merged into one, the colour pallet and cuts seemed to be duplicated and as attractive as they were, I felt the collections became a little predictable. SS13 however couldn’t go by un-noticed and was a rainbow of metallic beauties that I’m sure will adorn the front rows of fashion week but perhaps on a more commercial level not so much. That brings us to the latest offering, AW13 which in my opinion ticked all the Burberry boxes and then some! As soon as Karlie Kloss walked out in Look 6 sporting that rubber pencil skirt/shirt combo I knew we were in for a treat! Still as effortless and on-brand as ever, the collection highlight was the variety of animal prints on offer, often all mixed together. Evening-wear isn’t Burberry’s strong point so the metal belted pieces that came towards the end of the show, can be left in the sample room and the rest? That can be sent directly to me…please?
Matthew Williamson AW13: Look 1, Look 4 and Look 15
The Surprise – Matthew Williamson: When I think of Matthew Williamson I think bohemian, pattern, sexy, womanly, perhaps not words you would use to describe the AW13 show. From the off, Look 1 consisting of a sculptural coat with geometric inserts would have looked more at home on the Carvan catwalk -that was until the rest of the collection was revealed. The 70’s colour pallet and geometric patterns ran throughout with particular favourites, the striped dress and suit, the wrap skirt and fringed necklace added that bohemian edge to a strong new direction for Matthew Williamson.
As London drew to a close nearly as quickly as it started we were left with a more grown-up feel; brands seemed to have experimented subtly with textures and materials rather than full on looks. It may now be the shortest fashion week but it is still the sweetest!