London Fashion Week often gets glanced over by the fashion world since it comes after the chaos and excitement of New York Fashion Week, and is in that unfortunate filler period before some of the most famous designers debut their collections in Milan and Paris. However, LFW still has plenty to offer readers and viewers alike, so here is a roundup of our top three shows from across the pond.
Dubbed by Vogue as “fashion’s top activist,” seasoned designer Vivienne Westwood delivered a conglomeration of her greatest hits at London Fashion Week to call attention to climate change. Westwood has redefined the meaning of a statement piece, employing a fusion of culture and politics that renders her work a political statement, rather than a mere trend. The designer has long been known to employ her creations as a vessel for raising awareness and generating change, as past collections have centered on climate change, Scottish independence and the environment. This year’s production returns to Mother Nature, calling on the audience to incite a “climate revolution,” to “save our oceans.”
But the political commentary is much more subtle this year than that of previous seasons; slogan tees and statement purses were this time reduced to single buttons, allowing the clothes to speak for themselves. The collection boasts a palette of deep purples, bright reds and soft greens that brought to life structured plaid suits, tailored jackets and free-flowing dresses. The collection also featured an array of outlandish pieces; a patchwork quilted poncho dress, a floor length mermaid gown bedazzled in silver sequins and a tee shirt that looked like a 3-year-old had colored it with crayons paired with a shredded skirt and crayon crazy tights. The wide variety of looks is sort of indicative of what the designer aims to achieve: to unite people of all different backgrounds and compositions under one critical cause.
— Jordan Stern
Burberry is known for providing classic, endearing and quality clothes each season as an established brand. However, this fashion week, the featured Fall/Winter line stepped out of the box a bit and gave the brand a much needed revamp that included an embrace of this season’s noteworthy and retro trends.
With the embrace of fur, florals and just the right amount of ’70s flare, Burberry managed to pay homage to the psychedelic era in a way that is different from what we saw from other designers at NYFW. How is it different? It may seem so simple when written, but it is a factor that was lacking in the rest of the shows. The pieces in this Burberry line were, in fact, wearable. Now, for a ready-to-wear collection everyone assumes the runway designs are indeed wearable for the average person, like you or me. However, that is often not the case. With designs that are often so intricate, embellished and over the top, many of the looks presented aren’t exactly wearable to a university class or even to a downtown Manhattan office.
But this collection takes a trip back down to reality. With shorter shift dresses, embossed with a subtle vibrancy of images and patterns, there was something for everyone. The shift dresses may be appropriate for work, but for those who like to go out after, there was no shortage of options there either — this is where some of my personal favorite pieces come in. I’m a sucker for a well-made and properly tailored coat, and this line had multiple options from the classic ankle-length peacoat, to a more edgy and belted fur coat in the color of fresh moss.
Burberry’s collection this fashion week proved that even the most clean-cut and classic of labels can groove with the trends of the season without sacrificing quality or identity.
— Mariam Sheikh
Alexander McQueen delivers more sparkle in nine minutes than I’ll ever see in my entire life. This collection made me, and the rest of the fashion world, feel like we were attending a sexy Victorian garden party. Oh, just imagine. Many of the pieces displayed prints of butterflies, flowers and women’s lips in the form of a sexy “pout.” The kind of pout you’d expect to see on the face of Lana Del Rey, as she sips her cherry cola.
There was nothing in this collection that wasn’t feminine. Chiffon had a big presence throughout the show, a material that is so light and airy it lends to notions of dreamlike whimsy. When it was used for some of the pastel pink dresses and paired with butterfly prints, I felt like I was watching fairies floating through the masses of us “ugly,” regular people.
I can’t deny the fact that the bodices for most of the dresses were very similar to that of a lingerie corset. Seven minutes into the show, one look provides the perfect example. The model steps out in a thin, black sheer dress. The top of the dress is in the shape of a corset, that’s dripping in diamonds. This beats out every single one of the Victoria’s Secret fantasy bras you’ve ever seen.
The show was unbelievably imaginative, inspiring and jaw-dropping. Alexander McQueen has truly outdone themselves and their competition. If I were to give it a letter grade: A+++ just about does it.
— Hannah Sparks