For some reason Day One of the five day fashion extravaganza that is London Fashion Week always gives the impression that you’re going to be eased in gently – the schedule doesn’t look as crammed as the other days (it’s less busy than the weekend but similar to Monday and Tuesday). In reality there are catwalk shows and presentations from 10 am through to 7 o’clock at night, and just getting in to some shows tests the most battle-hardened of the army of bloggers, press, buyers and photographers vying to get a glimpse of what we’ll be wearing next season. Luckily the choice of Somerset House as the main venue is perfect for counteracting the stress; I personally find the gorgeous building calming and there’s plenty of cafes and designer showrooms to hide away from the throngs of photographers, presenters and stylistas milling around outside. There’s even a Tony and Guy blow dry lounge and a Maybelline lash and makeup bar to get preened and pampered at when you’ve had enough of the fashion.
I personally love wandering around the Designer Showrooms, a veritable Pandora’s Box of brand new, emerging and seasoned talent selling their wide variety of wares. There’s even an opportunity to get up close and personal with some of the on-schedule designers with catwalk shows (not everyone gets a show, others do presentations). This year the digital revolution is featuring heavily in the LFW schedule, encouraging debate over the effect of ever improving technology on the industry. Luckily most of the shows are streamed live and due to the wonders of technology we have instant access to catwalk looks – a major benefit for everyone interested in fashion. To watch the shows live go to www.londonfashionweek/digitalschedule
Here’s my round up of Day One’s shows!
All hail the new king of the oversized and the off the shoulder look. The show started with classic suit jackets and slowly everyday pieces took on a whole new form. Pretty floral overcoats ended up over cotton shirts. with my favourite look being the black smock dress with a cocoa coloured underlayer with mismatched straps and an oversized pocket. From classic to deconstructed in minutes.
This London born Canadian designer has definitely propelled himself into the big time with this collection.”Architectronic” was original and daring, with a colour palette of black, taupe and white making for stand-out separates (his jacket with heavily embroidered shoulders was particularly strong). His graphic prints were also a triumph, with the dress below being my favourite look (it was even more beautiful up close in his designer showroom). The collection, inspired by engines, certainly had plenty of va va boom.
Recent Barbour collaborator and king of the parka Christopher certainly knows his outerwear. His collection started sober enough, with navy, black and white looks then the colour crept in – pinks and greys before a burst of multicoloured poncho with matching skirt (below) actually made me feel joyful about camping again. His bomber jackets are also highly covetable (he’s known for his creative reinterpretation of military fabrics). Even the walking sandals looked cool. His use of sheers with more heavy duty materials created designer hiking gear fit for an impromptu evening event in a high end Lake District Hotel.
The German London based sisters are known for their signature skater dress, which featured heavily in the new collection. It was all very rock chick, with metallics, cowboy boots of varying lengths and turquoise animal print taking centre stage. I was also impressed by their fringed leather jacket, this piece is on-trend right now and will take you seamlessly into next season (just shorten the length of your lower half separates).
Day Two sees Markus Lupfer, J. W Anderson, Whistles and House of Holland taking to the catwalk – check back here for the round up!