Central Saint Martins: The anticipated annual outing of Central Saint Martin’s Masters graduate collections featured a wonderful array of the avant-garde, the energetic and expertly crafted. Take the collection of Edwin Mohney whose collection included an inflated paddling pool or Rebecca Jeffs whose underwater-inspired collection featured opticals crafted from shells. On sublime form too were the architectural designs of Liam Johnson (pictured), whose collection featured gauzy skirts and sunhats with sturdy lampshade-like hems. Photography: Jason Lloyd-Evans
Osman: Osman Yousefzada staged a house party for his A/W 2018 presentation, complete with Turkish breakfast snacks and an interiors-inspired installation, boasting orange bamboo frame sofas, glass tables, plants, and a host of champagne bottles. Osman’s party-popping models danced the morning cobwebs away in lurex tunics, tinsel mini dresses, bright tailoring and metallic trench coats.
House of V: A newcomer this season, rising Hong-Kong based label House of V made its debut in London, as part of Fashion Hong Kong, an initiative created by the Hong Kong Trade Development Council to promote local fashion designers on a global level. With head designer Vickie Au at the helm, House of V features minimal and androgynous silhouettes with discrete details. For A/W 2018, Au took inspiration from renowned Polish-American architect Daniel Libeskind. This was noted in the symmetry and textures in her long line coats, undulating cuts and intriguing patterns. Contrasting colour blocks and the clever use of gradual stripes and geometry in shirts were standout.
Gareth Pugh: The London designer took power dressing to a new level for A/W 2018. Silhouettes came strong and powerful with exaggerated angular shoulders and cinched waists. This was a collection for women who aren’t afraid to fight back, and featured wide legged Wall Street tailoring in fierce leopard prints, patent leather and pinstripes. A collection that evoked the sensuality of Claude Montana, and a wardrobe for the resistant modern woman.
Richard Quinn: On a runway completely made out of floral wallpaper Richard Quinn presented his blooming A/W 2018 collection. Quinn’s floral prints, created in-house, covered flowing halter-neck dresses and oversized puffer jackets, motorbike helmets, thigh high boots and gowns made of metallic foil. The prints were also used to create matching headscarves, a nod to style of the Queen of England, who was present at the show. After the finale, the Queen of England awarded the designer The Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design. The award will be presented annually to a talented emerging British fashion designer who demonstrates value to strong sustainable policies and/or the community. Photography: Jason Lloyd-Evans
MM6: We’ve been foiled by Maison Margiela’s MM6. The brand’s presentation took place in a West-London pub, its interior covered in aluminium wrap. From sprayed straight denim cuts, disco pants and tinsel accessories, it was a wash of glitzy silver. Platform glitter boots and foil headscarves featured as accessories on models, who stood as metallic monoliths on sterling plinths. Not forgetting the event soundtrack only included songs with ‘silver’ in the name.
Roberts Wood: For the presentation of her A/W 2018 collection, Katie Roberts-Wood opted for a collaborative series of live events at her studio space at the Sarabande Foundation. Image making and creative direction collective Crowns and Owls; artist Marie Valognes and fashion and documentary photographer Bex Day were each given a full day and total creative freedom to interpret the collection. One that includes digitally weaved prints, voluminous garments made of the brand’s signature intricately constructed non-stitched textiles, cotton shirts and shorts with bow details and an asymmetrical pleated dress. The outcome of the three collaborations will be brought together in an exhibition at the Sarabande Foundation later this year in Spring. Photography: Aylin Bayhan
Kering x London College of Fashion Initiative: At the tail end of London Fashion Week, François-Henri Pinault, chairman and CEO of global luxury group Kering, joined Caroline Rush, CBE of the British Fashion Council, and Frances Corner, Head of the London College of Fashion to celebrate the launch of an important new initiative. MOOC – as it’s affectionately abbreviated – is the world’s first Massive Online Open Course in sustainability and luxury fashion, and was developed in tandem by the London College of Fashion and Kering. The course allows students and professionals to access pioneering knowledge and expertise within this rapidly developing field. ’A sustainable business is a smart business,’ said Pinault at the event. ’This platform will help us to find the answers and solutions we need to keep on innovating.’
Malone Souliers: Creative director, Mary Alice Malone, awes at the complexity of anatomy, ‘I’m fascinated with details, the miniscule’, she says. This interest was reflected in her footwear brand’s A/W 2018 collection, which featured complex and detailed silhouettes, like a cowboy boot reimagined with a stiletto heel. The brand’s presentation also showcased pieces from Souliers’ debut collaboration with French label Emanuel Ungaro. It featured court shoes with pleats, drapes and ruffles all in a flamboyant colour palette which is the maison is renowned for.
Dorateymur: Set in the Lancaster Room of Somerset House, the illusion of a failing Manor House came to mind, with peeling paint on the walls and oil paintings held in golden frames. For its debut ready-to-wear and handbag collection, Turkish-born designer Dora Teymur opened the show with a turquoise leather trouser suit and matching heeled pumps. Think 1940s Hollywood glamour with a dangerous edge. Models walked slowly in a collection of leather and non-leather tailored pieces cut to enhance a feminine silhouette; completed with crushed black eyeshadow smeared across the eyes in bat wing shapes, with transparent jewellery provided by Patricia Von Musulin.
Richard Malone: For A/W 2018, Richard Malone took us back to the market stalls of his Irish hometown of Wexford. The designer was inspired by both his aunts, who used to run a market stall, and the public spaces in Zadie Smith’s novel White Teeth. Malone’s market goers wore vivid fringed carpet dresses, functional riding coats inspired by 14th century menswear and brightly coloured aprons. Headscarves evoked plastic rain caps and netted bags completed the modern market look. Photography: Jason Lloyd-Evans
Fashion East: On the roster of emerging talent for A/W 2018 were Asai, Charlotte Knowles (pictured), Supriya Lele and guest designers Symonds Permain. We featured Knowles’ graduate collection in our February 2018 Graduate issue, and we were enchanted by her overt lingerie-inspired design. For A/W 2018, Knowles evolved her aesthetic, with sheer tops and intricate bras, camouflage spandex and nylon, all topped off with a smattering of sequins.
Delpozo: Creative director Josep Font moved his A/W 2018 runway show to London, and fittingly, the former architect showcased his catwalk collection inside the headquarters of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). Font was inspired by unpublished imagery of lilies and lotus flowers from National Geographic, his idiosyncratically colourful collection was finished with leather belts which unfurled like flowers, shirts with pleated details which evoked graphic petals, and tropical floral prints. Photography: Jason Lloyd-Evans
Preen by Thornton Bregazzi: Justin Thornton and Thea Bregazzi took inspiration from a photography exhibition about the South Korean community of Haenyeo, where woman old and young dive into the deep to gather shellfish for their family. The result was a collection fit for the modern mermaid, complete with neoprene layers and coats, fish net bags and tights, and toggle-pull scuba hoods. The brand’s deep sea divers also favoured glitter, fronds of marabou and sequins —it’s not just shellfish they’ll be bringing up from the deep blue. Photography: Jason Lloyd-Evans
Toogood: For A/W 2018 sisters Faye and Erica Toogood took inspiration from the layers traditional of winter clothing. Consistently inspired by organic elements, natural forms and colours, the duo looked to the layers of sediment laid down by the earth and the idea of accumulated piles of human history deposited onto the land. Workwear is essential to Toogood’s aesthetic, and for autumn calico was hand-painted to resemble rusty brick dust, and cut into jackets and dungarees, oversized handmade buttons made from stoneware and porcelain were fastened to A-line sleeveless jackets, and iridescent parkas were crafted from a silk jacquard, created by the Japanese weaving mill Hosoo to resemble the contours of a map.
Ports 1961: For A/W 2018, Ports 1961 designer Natasa Cagalj took a close look at the modern woman’s wardrobe. The result culminated in blanket stitch scarves featuring ‘Made in England’ slogans, animal print capes, gilets and streamer detail skirts. The collection came sleek, graphic and oversized – a wardrobe we’re keen to make our own come winter.
Emilio de la Morena: The gender queer philosophy of Barbara Streisand’s 1983 musical Yentle and the aesthetic of Spanish Iberia, two worlds that probably won’t cross paths often. In the hands of Emilio de la Morena, it becomes a collection that brings together bell shaped skirts, corseted strapless dresses and sharp masculine tailoring. Chains of beads embellished the garments and ruffles ran through the collection like a red thread. They appeared on trouser hems and formed sleeves, collars and column dresses. The palette was predominantly ivory and black with splashes of the brand’s signature vibrant colours. Photography: Jason Lloyd-Evans
Xu Zhi: The brand’s A/W 2018 collection was inspired La Donna Della Finestra, an unfinished painting of Jane Morris by Dante Gabriel Rossetti. The figurative canvas, bordered by an unfinished landscape of orange paint was evoked in a pair of orange trousers and a jumper, with layers of fringe and tassel which riffed on 3D brushstrokes. The collection was made up of demure pleated dresses, tailored outerwear and cropped jackets, complete with fringing and glittering Swarovski crystal embellishments.
Sophia Webster: ‘I Don’t Need A Mango To Tango’, the A/W 2018 collection takes inspiration from Latin dance and Baz Luhrmann’s film Strictly Ballroom. The designer’s own experiences during her time in competitive ballroom dancing, such as the Rococo ceiling at Blackpool’s Tower ballroom offered further inspiration — not forgetting Webster’s impressive amount of trophies formed the backdrop in the displays. The designs of this season became an invitation for a night on the dance floor. There were colourful laced sandals, dramatic laser cut ruffles and glittering sequins. The crystal embellishments will definitely get you noticed by the judges.
Ashley Williams: Titled, ‘Don’t Know, Don’t Care’ the collection, presented at Ambika p3 against a Stonehenge-inspired set, featured racy tiger stripes, animal prints and tie-dye denim splashed on cropped jackets, coats and jumpsuits. Elsewhere, ruffled monochrome dresses enhanced feminine shapes. One particular party look featured a skin-tight black mesh dress with the word ‘sex’ printed all over. It embodied a shameless risqué aesthetic.
Faustine Steinmetz: Faustine Steinmetz, the London designer who gained attention with her distressed denim garments presented a collection that had developed further into textile treatment. The collection played with a series of archetypes typical to the Parisian way of dressing. From trench coats to silk shirts, cable jumpers and of course the jeans. It wouldn’t be a Steinmetz collection if each garment hadn’t been treated with one of the brand’s signature techniques. Jeans were made of hand-felted denim and the Japanese Shibori dying technique was used to creat patterns in silk. Photography: Jason Lloyd-Evans
Pringle of Scotland: In the heart of London’s Soho, Pringle of Scotland welcomed us into a verdant highland-inspired setting. Historic techniques, such as mohair brushed with thistles and 70s leopard prints were reintroduced into a collection that blended heritage with modernity. The palette was inspired by colours found in Scottish agate — a stone that was also used by jewellery designer Gala Colivet-Dennison, who created a selection of graphic brooches inspired by the stone’s shape.
David Koma: ‘A new beginning’ was how David Koma described his first season after leaving his position at the helm of Mugler. A beginning that started in St. George’s church, where the designer tapped into his Georgian heritage. This season, his inspiration came from the work of American photographer and ethnologist Edward S Curtis, who captured the Native American community in the late nineteenth century. We saw sixties silhouettes that featured tribal inspired decorations, whilst other designs featured feather and fringe embellishments. Tailored leather coats were adorned with sheepskin. The shapes of the collection had a sporty undertone which were playfully combined with elaborate beadwork of plexiglass discs topped with round metal beads. Photography: Jason Lloyd-Evans
Isa Arfen: Isa Arfen’s first fashion show opened with Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody, performed by the Melodians Steel Orchestra. The starting point for Serafina Sama’s collection was Joel D. Levinson’s photography series of 1970s flea markets in California. The diversity and friendliness captured in the images reminded Sama of London’s Portobello Market, which she passes en route to her studio. Varied like a market itself, the collection includes 80s velvet cocktail dresses, tartan tops and Victorian sleeves. The designer’s first show also marked the debut of Isa Arfen jeans, in this case, a straight-leg pair made from Japanese denim. There was a strong focus on outerwear, from bottle green fuzzy faux furs to wrap-belt coats made of soft camel wool. Topped off with colourful enlarged berets and Bauhaus’ Anni Albers-inspired jewellery. Photography: Jason Lloyd-Evans
Palmer//Harding: ‘A lot of the A/W 2018 collection was about finding accidental expressions, exaggerating things and keeping pieces in a state of change,’ said Levi Palmer backstage after the Palmer//Harding show. For Palmer and his design partner Matthew Harding this meant trapeze shape pinstripe shirts with straps, trenchcoats with ruching ties and wide legged trousers with sporty stripes, paired with pointed mules, stompy over the knee boots and chunky ribbon-inspired jewellery, created in collaboration with Husam el Odeh. ‘We understand who our woman is,’ Palmer added. ‘It’s important to continually develop our design language.’ Photography: Jason Lloyd-Evans
Markus Lupfer: The designer presented an eclectic collection made up of punchy plaids, his signature pop art motifs, floral prints and cartoonish faux fur. There were bomber jackets, sequined pencil skirts, tartan ponchos and metallic tailoring, all topped off with stilettos with ribbon ties, bright fur panels, 3D floral belts and long dangling diamante earrings.
Phoebe English: Guests gathered at the Crypt on the Green in Clerkenwell for the designer’s A/W 2018 presentation. English’s meditative designs have gained a loyal following since the designer launched her brand in 2014 – they are pieces that transcend trends and have wardrobe longevity. For A/W 2018 English was preoccupied with absence, and details came in things which had been cut away or were missing. Presented in black and white, the collection included a knee length dress with a cobwebby overlay in knitted black elastic, cropped velvet trousers with ruffled hems and black satin dresses with angular creases and cut outs.
Rejina Pyo: The burgeoning designer held her second fully-fledged catwalk show in the mid 19th-century Burlington Arcade in Mayfair. Pyo was inspired by the idea of coming of age, and her collection acted as a modern update of vintage-inspired pieces. Subdued colours, including sepia and brown nodded to the patina of old photographs, and pieces included billowing plaid skirts, trenchcoats with ruched waistlines, duffle coats and mannish oversized shirts. Architectural rectangular bags evoked the shapes of jewellery or hat boxes, both modern yet nostalgic.
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