London Fashion Week: Spring / Summer 2013

It's that time again! We get a glimpse into the future of fashion and find out what we'll be wearing in Spring/Summer 2013...

Feature by Alexandra Fiddes & Emma Segal | 05 Oct 2012


The catwalk may have been awash with sorbets and nudes, but not exclusively. One colour which accented (and sometimes anchored) key looks was cobalt blue, an electric, rich colour normally associated with A/W seasons. There were several ways to wear the trend; from oversized cocoon jackets at Thomas Tait, to silm cut suits at Antonio Berrardi. The key way to wear it this summer, though, was undoubtedly in embellished dress and trouser form (we’ve been lusting over THOSE Fyodor Golan trousers ever since we first saw them come down the runway!)


The award for most fun micro-trend this season has to go to GHETTO! Nasir Mazhar adorned grime MCs with slogans and velour tracksuits. KTZ produced trainer wedges, caps and ‘bling’ jewellery (the latter could also be found at Mark Fast). Sister by Sibling showed an embellished netted body that wouldn’t look out of place in a rap video, and House of Holland and Ashish’s slogan tees screamed RUN DMC. If you’re too scared to fully commit to the look, take a leaf out of the books of Meadham Kirchoff, Holly Fulton or Louise Gray, who focused on embellishment and supersized accessories (hats, bowler bags and jewellery) to 'funk up' a look.


The return to translucent and light fabrics this season impacted hugely on outerwear. Silhouettes in general became sleeker, coats lighter, and sporty jackets/parkas almost weightless. Maria Grachvogel, Unconditional and Daks all had archetypal examples of this new kind of outerwear. Holly Fulton even went one step further, using open and unbuttoned shirts as jackets.  Even more robust coats and jackets (such as those shown at Marques' Almeida, Margaret Howell and Christopher Raeburn) were made of lighter, less restricting fabrics, which allowed for movement and flow.


In past seasons, monochrome bases have acted as a landing point from which to showcase a key colour, accessory or silhouette. This time around, however, the simple black-and-white combo stood out as a look in its own right. Christian Blanken, Topshop, and Jean Pierre Braganza showcased some of the most stylishly executed monochrome looks. To contrast, Louise Gray’s chopped-up, textured monochrome looks took the trend to the next level, and made the look accessible to those wanting a little more from their monochrome. And a special mention goes to Adam Andrascik, whose minimal black and white look was indicative of just how simple it can be to make a statement in two ostensibly plain colours.


With metallics, iridescents and plastic spotted on many a model on the LFW catwalks, it appears that this coming Spring/Summer we'll be blasting off into space! Usually the domain of the Autumn/Winter season and the Christmas party, shining and glittering pieces were re-worked in different ways to make them feel fresh and ultra modern. Burberry's finale featured trenches in Quality Street wrapper shades (yum), while Scottish-born designer Jonathan Saunders paired metallic leather pencil skirts with plain nude and black mesh tops, with a sexy, paired down result. Other designers produced collections that were more 'out there' and extremely otherworldly. Craig Lawrence created pieces in his trademark spider-web fine knits. This time however, garments were in tones of silver and pewter, layered, overlapped and with fibre optic spikes and fringes giving a very alien feel.


Sheer, gauzy organza panels cropped up in many of the London collections. Topshop Unique showed lean, relaxed minimal dresses in a colour palette of cream and midnight blue, with sheer panels at the neck, midriff and below the knee. Australian designer Dion Lee paired organza with stiff cotton giving a sporty feel to his collection while, in contrast, Temperley London's elegant, feminine show included the use of sheer stripes across full skirts. Christopher Kane continued this feminine feel with floral motifs embroidered over sheer skirts and prom length dresses.


A subtle trend that appeared across many of the shoes at LFW, with designers using traditional patterns as inspiration for their decorative details. These ranged from Wiliam Morris style complex, swirling floral embellishments at KTZ, which were brought right up to date in laser cut lace and leather bomber jackets, dresses and jumpsuits; to blue and white 'willow pattern' motifs on yellow or the aforementioned cobalt, at Fyodor Golan that were blown up and distorted by the use of mosaic techniques.


Jumpsuits and dungarees! Oh my! This admittedly difficult to wear trend featured in collections by House of Holland – bright, short and festival style dungarees, or full length in silk, orange sorbet at Moschino Cheap and Chic. Jumpsuits cropped up at KTZ, Maria Grachvogel and Jean Pierre Braganza. If you must wear this trend, keep your silhouettes loose and relaxed and if you try dungarees (please) were a simple blouse underneath (otherwise you'll look like a reject from Dexy's Midnight Runners)


Maria Grachvogel, Holly Fulton, Erdem, Christopher Kane amongst others, produced collections in teeth tingling, powdery colours; blush pink, lemon yellow, pale apple green and turquiose, all very reminiscent of Love Hearts sweeties. Grachvogel interspersed these colours into her mainly white and grey collection of loose trousers, backless dresses and floaty jumpsuits, whereas Edinburgh-born Holly Fulton chose to use sugary hues across her collection of signature geometric and architectural prints, this time alongside oversized floral motifs and more surface pattern than in her previous work. The resulting offering was captivating and incredibly beautiful.