It’s that time of year again! With London Fashion Week having just wrapped up, we’ve been thinking about our favourite catwalk looks (and yes, wondering how we’re going to bring these autumn/winter trends into our spring/summer wardrobes). Known for putting emerging designers on the map, LFW has been celebrating innovation since its inception in 1983. Forever championing new ideas (it was the first major fashion week to go completely fur-free) and new talent, it always feels ahead of the curve. So take it from us; here’s what you’ll be wearing next season.
The ‘utility chic’ looks we’ll be seeing everywhere this summer no doubt inspired the reworked denim outfits that were all over the catwalk at LFW. Whether clean-cut and fitted or frayed and oversized, light-wash denim co-ords turned tailoring on its head. We especially loved the nipped-in waists and streamlined silhouettes seen at the Alexa Chung and House of Holland shows. Having said that, we’ll be adopting the cut and paste stylings of Natasha Zinko too; faux fur and denim? Talk about a match made in heaven.
Punk Spirit: Plaids & Protest Fashion
This year, fashion – and by extension, London Fashion Week – got political. Away from the catwalk, campaigners from the environmental action group Extinction Rebellion took to the streets, urging the industry to do more to reduce its impact on the environment.
Meanwhile, Vivienne Westwood – the grande dame of punk fashion – brought activism to the catwalk. In what felt like a return to her roots, she sent models (including actress and activist Rose McGowan) down the runway with something to say. Whether they were wearing clothes emblazoned with political slogans or performing speeches that criticised contemporary issues like Brexit, capitalism and climate change, the show seemed to be a political protest in itself.
And elsewhere, designers embraced the spirit of punk in all its tartan glory. Relative newcomer Roberta Einer worked the timeless check into her show by way of chic midi skirts and effortless oversized dresses; some of them were belted at the waist, whilst others had been embellished with fringing and sequins – some were simply worn loose. And over at Ashley Williams, timeless tartan was given a modern makeover thanks to some sleek, mismatched tailoring. Wherever you looked, the ‘anything goes’ ethos made famous by punk certainly held fast this year; get ready to break all the rules come autumn.
The 80s have been in vogue for a few seasons now, and the trend isn’t over. If you were thinking that 2019 was the year that you’d be able to do away with your sequins and ra-ra skirts, you’d be wrong; 80s cocktail dressing is here to stay. Last year, we all looked to Joan Collins in Dynasty; this year, we’ll be channelling Barbie instead. Whenever cocktail hour calls, we’ll be turning to the pint-sized icon and her 80s wardrobe for inspiration. Think jewel tones, sequins, feathers and high-low or drop hemlines. Forego last year’s boxy silhouettes in favour of something a little softer, and accessorise with a pair of long evening gloves whenever possible.
Volume was everywhere at LFW this year. From balloon sleeves to tiered ruffles and bubble hemlines, the more fabric any one item had, the better. Simone Rocha’s inspiration seemingly came from porcelain dolls; chintzy florals, sheer tulles and ruffles were commonplace throughout her show. And the old adage ‘more is more’ definitely came to mind over at Roksanda too. Her glorious, floor-sweeping gowns came complete with voluminous sleeves and drop hemlines, to create a silhouette that felt uncompromisingly modern.
Meanwhile, Molly Goddard did what she does best; tulle – and lots of it. As always, she played around with proportion to create a collection that’s at once frivolous and functional. Using meters of fabric and handcrafted techniques like smocking, her clothes are ‘equally suited to the pub [and] the red carpet,’ according to her LFW biography. Certainly, there’s a joie de vivre to her clothes – and to the ‘bigger = better’ trend more generally.
Perhaps an extension of our growing eco-consciousness, and the DIY trend that seems to encapsulate this mood, handicrafts were all over LFW. Crochet and mis-matched prints brought a homespun vibe to the catwalk. Ashish – whose show notes simply read ‘Nothing is as it Seems’ – delivered as per; sequins were arranged to look like crochet squares in a kitschy homage to hippie fashion. The Fashion East show featured crocheted dresses too. But it’s York-based designer Matty Bovan whose attitude is most attuned to this trend; eschewing mass production for the handcrafted, his collections always have an eclectic, almost salvaged look about them. Almost everything is crafted by hand in his studio (which Bovan set up in his late grandmother’s home); if that’s not homespun, we don’t know what is.