I nearly got what I call “Instagram Thumb” whilst watching this collection, it’s by far my favourite collection so far at LFW SS 2016. It was a complete colour fest, but the inspiration behind the acid (not his usual neon) colours wasn’t quite as happy or as upbeat as one would expect. Kane told of his difficult year since the death of his mother before his Autumn/Winter show in February, as well as the stress of opening a new London store and appointing a new CEO. He likened the colour palette and working on the collection to art therapy. From the second look, a cut out spray painted dress with strapped blue and yellow trainers, the excitement started to build about what was about to come. The car paint sprayed fabric was especially striking paired with black pieces, which boasted cut outs and could hold their own. But the colour! There were even coloured cable ties, printed with the name of the designer which were used as necklaces and bracelets, as well as anklets which were cut off the models after the show. The oil spill like globules on black and white leather were sublime. The sheer gauzy skirt, top and dresses with plastic coloured trim looked fantastic with the patterned leather. The trim was then applied to more black crepe silk cut out pieces (if you feel like being slightly more sedate). Then came a transparent pocket on a skirt before some in your face dresses with acetone strips and then the lace, which looked particularly good with a perspex pocket. Knitwear was adorned with a chaotic stitch which reflected the theme of the collection – crash and repair. Yellow snakeskin print showed up on cropped trousers, as trim on a jacket and on shoes and bags before morphing into monochrome/grey for some more subdued yet equally beautiful pieces. The rainbow coloured cable ties were then incorporated into the pieces, gathering in skirts and dresses, before we were given a lesson in fringing that worked particularly well in blue diagonally cutting across a simple low cut black dress. The final few looks showcased a patchwork mesh design which appeared on the neckline of dresses and as a top before emerging in its full glory as a dress in its own right. It also looked pretty spectacular with the fringing. I think I need to have a lie down in a darkened room. Magnificent.
Burberry always show a big collection featuring fiftyish pieces and some menswear; SS 2016 was accompanied by Alison Moyet and a full orchestra, setting a darker, romantic tone which differed from past seasons. Sheer and lace featured heavily underneath classic Burberry trenches, duffel coats and backpacks, with chained crossover mules and black cut out ankle boots. Coats were embellished with military style details and insignias, which also showed up on sandals. Duffel coats were worn over delicate clashing lace. Dresses boasted elaborate panelling, with a strong lean towards sheer – 90s slip dresses reminiscent of Kate Moss (who was in the Frow, of course). Men embraced their feminine sides in lace shirts and elaborate laser cut coats. The cape featured again following the success of the monogrammed blankets in AW 2015, this time pleated and black. The floor length dresses with lace sleeves/shoulders and a v shaped waist detail were definitely a highlight. An extension of the Resort 2016 collection which featured feminine silhouettes, an abundance of lace and A line dresses, it would have been tricky to tell if this was Autumn/Winter or Spring/Summer, but such is the power of the brand, it didn’t really matter.
For the past few seasons Giles Deacon’s shows have been a real visual treat as well as a lesson in historical costume design, it’s always one of the most theatrical shows. This season we got history with a modern twist – patterned leggings, fitted jumpsuits and very trendy sandals with a bauble detail made sure that the collection wasn’t all stuck in the past. the first few pieces featured berry prints and a nod towards the natural world. Then came a variety of gowns with many different types of ruffling and tiering, worn by a plethora of supermodels and It girls past and present – Eva Herzagovia, Poppy Delevigne and Erin O’Connor to name but a few. This was the most powerful catwalk yet. Then came a more elaborate floral/parrot print which looked great as a jumpsuit and a frock coat, which translated into intricate embroidery featuring monkeys on a champagne coloured silk off the shoulder gown worn by Eva and the billowy ruched gown and corset which followed. The foxglove embroidered print on a dress coat over organza was simply stunning. They also appeared protruding from a floor length off the shoulder gown worn with a feathered hat which begged for attention. The sleeves which flared below the shoulder were also a high point. One gown featured a print which when you looked closely enough, you realised was a silhouette of the ball stilettos worn by all the models. The finale involved Elizabethan collar prints, pearls and some pretty amazing pleating which appeared to be laser cut. Erin O’Connor and Karen Elson looked like wicked queens, or black swans in their elaborate gowns, with jagged necklines. It certainly was dark and sexy.
Peter Pilotto and his design partner Christopher de Vos take their inspiration from their travels, this season it was the Greek island of Patmos, where you’ll find an abundance of blue skies and brightly coloured walls. It was all extremely feminine (the androgynous look has definitely been absent from this seasons runways) with midi length high-waisted safari skirts split up to the thigh and a circular/triangular detail on shoulders, pockets and splits. Shoulders were on show again with cut out sleeves and draped shoulder straps aplenty. Key fabrics were striped cotton poplin and a lot of tiered and frilled Chantilly lace. Ultra feminine midi dresses with kick splits played with layers of colour – cornflower blues, lemon yellows, creams and whites. The bell sleeves and ruffles were slightly gypsy-esque, which contrasted against the almost executive shaped skirts. Then mini white bows crept in on skirts. Culottes also made an appearance (will they ever die)? Then an almost neon pop art like detail appeared on waistbands which also featured on the very gorgeous sandals. I particularly liked the geometric shapes scattered across a lace sheer jacket with a ruffle hem, and an off the shoulder top with the yellow and blue trim. Dresses towards the end incorporated elements of everything we had seen – a pop art like print with the ever present lace, tied bows in white, the squiggles on the waistline and double shoulder straps, wider ones resting gently on the tops of the arms. Can I call it ultra-feminine gypsy luxe? Yes, I think I will.
Day 5 sees the colour fest that is Ashish, denim dynamos Marques’Almeida, bag lady extraordinaire Anya Hindmarch and the elegant outdoor King Christopher Raeburn.