Neon, denim, and black for summer: London Fashion Week SS15 Preview
We look into the crystal ball that is London Fashion Week and predict the trends you'll be wearing in Spring / Summer 2015.
Neon & Brights
Classic rave tunes. Not normally something you would connect with a fashion writeup, but this season they proved crucial as inspiration for a whole host of designers as ‘I once loved Nu Rave’ hues of neon engulfed the catwalks. Nowhere was this more apparent than at Fyodor Golan (where neon hues were artfully paired with iridescent and textured fabrics). We at The Skinny are particularly obsessed with pastel pink ‘Rave Fontana’ dress, complete with highlighter stripes and an ostrich feather back. Yes, you read that correctly.
Elsewhere, highlighter hues and brights were seen at Fashion East (including very cool highlighter eyeshadow looks) Christopher Raeburn & Ashish. Special mention to Sophia Webster, whose accessories and presentation location screamed ‘it’s 3am in a warehouse right now’. If you think it can’t be sophisticated think again – Lucas Nascimento artfully juxtaposed bright orange knitwear with burnt orange bottoms for a modern, subdued take on the look. Get your glowsticks out.
The Central Saint Martins graduate and NEWGEN sponsored designer Faustine Steinmetz's collection was a definite stand out. Using a presentation format for her debut LFW showcase, models stood on revolving podiums and lounged on plinths; this meant we could get an up-close-and-personal look at Steinmetz's exquisite collection. On display were jean and jacket combos constructed from recycled denim yarns: hand-dyed, hand-spun and hand-woven with unravelling threads, traditional pleating and stitching techniques – creating an almost couture-like level of craftsmanship and look (as well as the stunningly intricate garments, we have to note the collaboration with jewellery label Niomo, who produced witty pieces in silver cast from security tags).
"Sophie Webster's accessories and presentation location screamed ‘it’s 3am in a warehouse right now’"
For those not quite as daring with their denim, Joseph showed 90s grunge inspired, oversized dresses in blue and indigo, with jackets sewn around the waist as an unexpected detail. What we weren't expecting to see was Burberry Prorsum getting in on the act! As well as their signature trench made out of the humble material, they also showed tight fitting, bias cut dark denim jackets – some with peplum details, others with shearling trim and patchwork details. These were paired with delicate skirts and trainers. This trend was also seen at Toga, Marques' Almeida and E Tautz.
The suit was given a new lease of life this season – welcome news for any office fashionista. J JS Lee had something for everyone, from white & navy combo looks to subdued neon separates and (the crowning moment) a navy suit and shirt combo with neon panelling. Fans of skirt suits could opt for Bora Aksu’s crochet structured jacket and skirt combo. For a truly modern look, Teatum Jones’ entire collection would sit well in the boardroom, though their structured culotte/jacket look would arguably turn the most heads. Finally, Mary Katrantzou showcased a variety of fashion forward but office friendly looks. Wear any of the first three looks and you are guaranteed to ace that presentation.
Black for Summer
A trend close to our (black, black) hearts was the use of black for spring / summer seasons. Eudon Choi produced a collection that could be easily introduced into an everyday wardrobe. Not deviating too far from his usual statement minimalism but with a hint of Little House on the Prairie (that's right, stay with us people), he took inspiration from fine artist Georgia O'Keeffe – heavily referencing his menswear beginnings, with double breasted boxy jackets and suits in black. Feminine touches were in the form of pastel hued ditzy florals, made into three piece suits with contrasting black details (arms, buttons, etc).
Black was seen in wide leg shorts, full length dresses, waistcoats and trench coats. Jean Pierre Braganza's collection Architectonic was filled with black – there were monochrome highlights, a sprinkling of crystal embellishments and a contrast between fitted pieces and those with fluid lines and draping. The use of black silk, on all kinds of pieces from shorts to jumpsuits, helped soften quite a masculine feeling created by the cuts and colour palette. Key pieces included a panelled black jumpsuit, a black halterneck dress and a black boxy shaped mini dress with flowing train and crystal copper jewel embellishments. Queen of clean, perfect minimalism and luxe tailoring, J JS Lee, showcased black on black stripes and square details (matt and gloss) on her trademark boxy shirts and drop-waist midi length dresses.
Amongst many others going over to the dark side, Tom Ford used black in a very 70s glam rock collection – think sheers, mini skirts with thigh high splits, sequin nipple covers... and Taka Naka went for clear lines and conceptual silhouettes, based on the simplicity of modern architecture.
Traditional Patterns – Gingham & Stripes
Gingham was a trend also seen in volume at New York Fashion Week, with the fabric shown at Altuzarra, Diane von Furstenberg, Oscar de la Renta and others. In London however, the classic fabric was given a twist. At Ashish it was reworked in either lime green, yellow or burnt orange with white all in sequin form. Richard Nicholl used it for his jumpsuits, loose fitting shirts, shorts and blazers. Which looked surprisingly fresh and new alongside holographic, shimmering metallic and pastel pieces. We loved the gingham waistcoat paired with white sports dress and holographic mini-backpack.
Stripes are a trend that just won't quit. Topshop Unique drew inspiration from the faded, retro grandeur of British seaside towns, with V-necks, zip up polo tops, bowler bags and cropped jackets with flippy skirts and high-waisted slim line trousers – all stripy. Ryan Lo's stripes were knitted into sugary pink and blue dresses complete with sequinned octopuses and sparkly starfish headpieces, in a collection that also felt seaside but this time more Ariel the mermaid than retro Brighton.
The nautical theme continued at JW Anderson, where there was a mix of 'brave' and 'safe' pieces. For example, conservatively cut short sleeved coat dresses were paired with wide, waist cinching belts and oversized, floppy fisherman hats or gloves in leather (that all looked like waterproofs). Pieces of rope were strung through buttonholes on waistcoats and blue and white skirt suits had cropped jackets and midriffs exposed. Strange but good.
Preen by Thornton Bregazzi mixed nautical and tribal stripes. There were asymmetrical hemlines, heavily banded sports luxe wear in primary colours (we loved the cricket jumper) striped long-sleeved polos, and bright primary colour zip details on minimal scuba-style jackets. More beaded and tasselled bodycon dresses created a tribal feeling towards the end but skillfully continued the style of the Breton-striped garments seen earlier in the show.
The spirit of fun is alive and well in London. It just feels a little... well, different. The urban-youthful looks of key designers took on a distinctly adult approach in execution. H by Hakaan Yildrim translated his playful bee theme into infinitely wearable jumpers, skirts & outerwear. The emphasis was on geometry and structure – with everything from cylindrical shapes to hexagonal motif skirts & outerwear that, while playful, had a serious undertone to it. Faustine Steinmetz made us rethink the beauty of denim.
Richard Nicoll showed us how to incorporate new technology into garments in a way which makes them sophisticated, not tokenistic. Ashish, who is showing maturity with each passing season, presented a more subdued look with some highly wearable sequin jean and snakeskin separates that felt distinctly sports-luxe while still being fun. It’s encouraging to know that we can still have fun and head to the bank (that’s what ‘grown ups’ do, right?).