London Fashion Week SS14: Trend Report
Take a first look at the new Spring / Summer 2014 trend predictions as seen at London Fashion Week. We braved the fashion hungry hordes, so you didn't have to...
Sportsluxe goes street
Luxe sportswear is fast becoming as ubiquitous with the S/S catwalks as leather is to A/W. As an increasing number of editorials embrace the ‘tomboy’ and androgynous looks and the creative classes cry out for cool workwear, the trend (particularly on the London and NY catwalks) has grown from strength to strength. Granted, there are designers who are synonymous with the trend already, so there was little surprise that the likes of House of Holland, Sister By Sibling and Nasir Mazhar showcased street-led, slogan-clad designs. What was more surprising and refreshing, however, was that traditionally more luxe and demi-couture designers also showed pieces that would not look out of place on a street-fashion starlet. From Richard Nicoll’s use of Lurex Merino to Christopher Kane’s oversized jumpers and Fyodor Golan’s slogan sweatshirts, the influence of street fashion pervaded the high end of the market. Interestingly, however, the opposite phenomenon simultaneously occurred, as normally street-heavy looks from Ashish and KTZ increasingly embraced the ‘luxe’ aspect of the sportswear aesthetic. Both designers showcased more mature, directional and intelligent looks, while still retaining their whimsy and street credibility.
Take it to the maxi
This is another trend that just won't quit. In a collection that the designer himself described as 'avant bland,' JW Anderson showcased his technical ability and artistry with sheer tier-ruffled maxi dresses, that were delicate in detail but rigid in structure. Elsewhere, more glamorous takes on the trend were shown; the sister design duo behind Felder Felder showed flowing maxi dresses in sheer white and printed blue chiffon and silk – quilted panels and PVC inserts added an interesting twist.
I want candy
This one is for the sweet toothed. The past couple of seasons have been no stranger to the candied pastel look, but this season, it seems almost every designer attached a penny sweet to their moodboard. From gentle to overt uses of the colour palette, everywhere you looked, feminine hues of mint, candy floss and gumball were present. But where were they best displayed? Mint, faded turquoise and in particular candy floss pink were used to great effect at J JS Lee, as the colours softened her uniquely stark, modernist tailoring. A special mention also goes to the mint overcoats and jackets seen at Peter Pilotto and Burberry Prorsum, which made the models look as if they were being hugged by a giant mint-chip cone. Overall, the collections had us craving cola cubes and Love Hearts; no mean feat for our generally black leather-clad fashion team.
The return of denim
This functional material has, in the recent race towards Sportsluxe, tended to fade into the background of the S/S collections; this season, however, denim has come back into play in new manifestations. Holly Fulton’s collection as a whole offered an interesting and beautiful departure from her signatures, and this was nowhere more apparent than in the crescent cut out denim t-shirt she sent down the runway. The crescent shaped accessories also contained the fabric, and it was used to great effect in her print dresses. We also enjoyed the sequined, frayed denim looks at Ashish, and frayed denim featured prominently in Marques' Almeida’s collection.
Whether it was sherbet, buttercup or lemon, there was a surprising amount of (the notoriously difficult to wear colour) yellow on the catwalks. Opening the SS14 proceedings, and a fan of the sunshine hue, was Turkish born Bora Aksu, who was showing for the tenth time at London Fashion Week. The collection was full of pretty frills and gathering, sheer pockets and hand crocheted fabrics. There were nipped-in waists and prim shaped dresses, shorts and capes in a pretty palette of bright zesty yellow alongside china blue and white. The prim vibe continued at Emilia Wickstead who showed beautifully tailored skirts with elegant folds and neat boxy cropped jackets to match. Fyodor Golan took a different tack, with cheeky standout pieces (a skirt and bandeau top) made of plastic acid yellow smiley faces. Or do like Lucas Nascimento did, and pair a flash of yellow (here as an unusual jutting neckline) to add fun to business-like grey.
Peekaboo and Sheer
There were some truly outstanding examples of peekaboo and sheer looks this season. Special mention must go to the oversized overcoats and leggings at KTZ, as well as the impossibly chic cloudy macs from Terra NY (displayed in the Designer Showrooms). Antipodium offered an interesting take on the trend, with its barely-metallic pleated skirts and dresses; and at J W Anderson, the technique was used to great effect on a variety of silhouettes, from billowing peasant dresses to minimal graphic crop tops. Finally, at both Bora Aksu and Thomas Tait, white graphic looks were transformed by the inclusion of sheer detailing.
Black and White Stripes
We coveted them at Ashish – shimmering and glittering on polo shirt dresses in the labels' signature sequins. We loved the styling idea of combining thick, in-your-face versions, with baby pink like at Jean-Pierre Braganza. And we adored the elegant tomboys at Richard Nicoll showing off fine graphic stripes with a slight sheen (a nice touch) in mini-dress form or as skirts paired with clean separates and sheer layers.
Mini-trend: Neon Lips
Team Skinny likes to appreciate the entire styling of runway looks, from head to toe. And this season, we couldn’t help but noticing the key makeup statement of choice was a neon lip. For subtler, pink manifestations look at J JS Lee and Fyodor Golan, and for full on orange lip inspiration, check out Tabernacle Twins who showed as part of Fashion Scout.
Mini-trend: Ethnic Jewellery
Although we're not particularly keen on the term 'ethnic' (a lazy way of describing something that is 'non-western'), large statement pieces of silver jewellery from other cultures, including Indian, Tibetan and African, were seen at KTZ, where they gradually became part of the garments themselves, and at Ashish (jewellery from Pebble London) where the pieces emphasised the magpie nature of the collection. Think layered oversized cuffs, huge pleated neckpieces, brooches and large crown-like headpieces.