Never failing to surprise, London Fashion Week is known for its renegade spirit and refusal to conform. It may play host to a couple of the big boys (hello, Burberry), but it’s far more about new blood and innovation, making it – in our opinion – the most exciting fashion week of the lot.
We broke down the 9 key moments to make you feel like you were right there on the FROW, minus the sore feet and show exhaustion…
- Vivienne Westwood Staged A Protest
Not that we’d expect anything less, of course. The punk pioneer whose dedication to social and environmental causes is impressive, sent out models wielding placards during her S/S16 Red Label show. The message? Anti-fracking; a political hot topic massively splitting opinion right now. Not one to sit on the fence, Aunty Viv also drove a tank (legendary) to Prime Minister David Cameron’s house to cement her point further. Alongside #piggate, not the best week for him really.
2. It Found A New Home
To be precise, instead of the precarious cobblestones of Somerset House’s courtyard (a disaster for heels when there were paps around), LFW’s new bolthole is Soho’s rather gritty Brewer Street NCP carpark. Edgy.
3. Christopher Kane’s Collection Was Everything
And it reminded us of the show that catapulted him into the spotlight to begin with; the neon-drenched lace spectacle that was his Central Saint Martins graduate collection. Highlighter-bright acid tones, patchworked silk weaves and a satisfyingly swishy array of fringing meant no one left The Sky Garden without a smile. Bonus points for the bonkers use of coloured zip ties as chokers. If anyone can, Christopher can.
4. Novelty Ruled OK
Along with Vitamin Water and gossip, it’s the plethora of talking-point nonsense that energises us through the shows at LFW. It wasn’t in short supply, with a jaunt down the Great British high street providing the inspiration for designers this season. Starting at the laundrette, Sophia Webster had mermaids sticking their tails out of washing machines, whilst Anya Hindmarch paid a visit to John Lewis, Mothercare and Nationwide (her Boots boots were Instagram gold).
Lastly, where would any self-respecting Brit high street be without a fried chicken shop or two? KFC and fashion might not immediately spring to mind as likely bedfellows, but they got designer Katie Eary on board as part of their #PackMoreIntoLunch campaign, getting her to design, create and get ready for her fashion show in just one hour. Bold, but it paid off.
5. Burberry’s Monogrammed Backpack Was The One
Thought it couldn’t get better than Burberry’s personalised blanket scarves from last A/W? Think again, pal. Christopher Bailey, clever chap that he is, knows full well our desire for anything initialled (self-obsessed? Us?), so to sate his fans, sent out perfectly preppy rucksacks complete with monogramming. Very kind of them to have made an EW one especially for us, no?
In other news: Alison Moyet sang and there was an orchestra.
6. A Powerhouse Made A Comeback
And what a comeback it was! Emma Hill, previously at Mulberry and single-handedly responsible for its epic turnaround, launched her new handbag line, Hill & Friends, to much fanfare at Claridge’s. There was pink, there was leopard print and there were bellboys. More to the point, however – there were miniature ponies.
Hill was back and up to her old tricks, sending out a collection that was classic, bold, yet infused with the whimsical details that gained her such a following at Mulberry. Case in point; a smiley face lock that winks at you. Visit net-a-porter.com who are stocking the bags straight off the catwalk.
7. Minnie Mouse Stole The Show
Barbie may have been hogging what seems like all of the limelight of late (even Net-a-Porter.com tapped up @barbiestyle to join their buyers this LFW), but it’s Minnie we’ve got our eye on right now. She’s teamed up with Georgia May Jagger on a photography installation curated by the model to show her style through the years. Babs Vs Minnie? Our money’s on the mouse, actually.
8. They Proved They’re Every Bit The Global Players
Sure, there’s no Gucci or Louis Vuitton being shown in the Soho car park LFW now calls home, but what they lack in behemoths, they make up for in talent. Jonathan Saunders’ pastel kimonos, Mary Katrantzou’s intricate embroidery and Erdem’s breathtaking lace are all testament to the city’s creative – and commercial – reach.
*wipes tear from eye*
9. We Crossed Our Hearts
Via two cross-body messenger bags at J.W. Anderson, pretty plastic chains at Simone Rocha, peekaboo cutaways at Preen and leather harnesses at new brand on the block, 1205.