From sparkly minidresses and colourful wigs to classic silhouettes and snug knits, the recently concluded London Fashion Week had plenty of incredible looks on offer. James Gabrillo picks 12 of the best.
Best look: Burberry
Inside a tent in London’s Kensington Gardens, Christopher Bailey presented his new collection for Burberry. As folk rocker Jake Bugg crooned live on stage, one retro look came after another. There were shiny minidresses, elongated 1970s-style collars and glossy trench coats. The standout was a bright and beaming dress, sequinned to perfection and featuring colossal pink floral prints.
Most fashion-forward: J W Anderson
“The excitement of today is the freedom of the individual to make his own choice and the vast range of possibilities from which he may choose.” These words of wisdom from the late interior decorator David Hicks were handwritten on the audience’s benches inside Anderson’s show. The designer’s latest line was definitely made for mavericks: satin shirts with exaggerated collars were paired with A-line skirts that featured curvy, colourful hemlines.
Trust Ashish Gupta to put on a show full of joy. The Indian designer put out monochromatic looks – from coats and trenches to dresses and separates – all of which sparkled and glittered on the catwalk. The garments were topped off, literally, by puffy multi-hued wigs.
Most promising: Richard Malone
The 23-year-old designer Richard Malone graduated from Central Saint Martins just two years ago, where his graduate collection was immediately bought and stocked by Brown Thomas Dublin, Ireland’s leading luxury department store. For his big London Fashion Week debut, Malone served some seriously spectacular stripes that appeared in everything from voluminous tops to flown dresses. Look out for this one.
Best accessory: Sibling
When you think you’ve seen everything in fashion, the often kooky (but always chic) label Sibling – a collaboration between designers Joe Bates, Sid Bryan and Cozette McCreery – dressed their models with sparkly, stupendous headphones whose cords were left hanging up in the air.
Best throwback: Roksanda Ilincic
Serbian designer Roksanda Ilincic’s collection exuded old-school cool: chiffon dresses, slinky silk blouses and velvet jumpsuits that all had a 1940s feel. The frilly collars were the most adorable feature from this week’s shows.
Best prints: Temperley London
Who says flower power is only for the spring shows? We’re big fans of Alice Temperley’s abstract florals, particularly the pixelated ones resembling a hip cross-stitch pattern. With their refreshingly big smiles, Temperley’s girls looked effortlessly confident.
Cosiest: Holly Fulton
For a dose of snug luxury, turn to Scottish designer Holly Fulton’s knitwear that feature beguiling graphic embellishment and hand-rendered, digitally-manipulated prints inspired by art deco lines and Bauhaus shapes. The sequin detailing in several garments was a true highlight.
Best collection: 1205
Following stints at the Savile Row tailors Hardy Amies and Kilgour, Paula Gerbase launched her own womenswear line, plainly called 1205. Her clothes stand out for their stunning simplicity, focusing on deftly cut, low-key pieces that stand out from the loud and lurid. “I’m bored of all the noise,” Gerbase said in a recent interview.
Best coat: Mulberry
An eye-catching floral piece on a versatile black cape with a fur collar, designed by Seville-born Johnny Coca in his first collection as Mulberry’s new creative director.
Best contrast: Antonio Berardi and A F Vandervorst
We found the contrast between the grooming of Antonio Berardi’s models with those of A F Vandervorst interesting. Berardi’s women looked polished and pristine — their pulled back hairdos and simple make-up complementing the incredibly detailed lacework on the designer’s clothing. Vandervorst’s, on the other hand, looked all-out messy, with dishevelled hair and patchy eye make-up — quite appropriate with the grungy and gothic garments that appeared on the runway.
Best trend: Menswear as womenswear
Edgy takes on androgyny turned up on the catwalks of Gareth Pugh, Margaret Howell and Paul Smith. Pugh’s women were all about the lush and the lavish, with their overcoats and billowing trousers. Howell’s were heavily influenced by classic heritage craftsmanship, with their crisp shirts, bow ties, blazers and tartan prints. Meanwhile, Smith’s ladies looked like the future of tailoring, with their boxy silhouettes, appliquéd paisley prints and subtle standout details like gold buttons and shawl fur collars. How does Smith, at age 69, continue to be one of the industry’s most important trendsetters? Remarkably, by looking back: “It’s about digging deep,” he told reporters after the show. “Going back to those things I always did.”