London Fashion Week Day 2

Saturday presented us with another kaleidoscope of colour and design with the likes of Jasper Conran, Sibling and House of Holland releasing their carefully crafted creations down a shimmering runway of camera flashes and watchful eyes. Again there were some brands that I was particularly looking forward to seeing, and others I was pleasantly surprised by. Impatiently refreshing pages and eagerly awaiting for the new collections to be uploaded onto the London Fashion Week website, I took a moment to review some of the Autumn/Winter collections from last year. Collections naturally differ from season to season as close attention needs to be paid to current trends or cuts and a range of appropriate fabrics and colours need to be selected for the time of year, however I really enjoy comparing them and taking note of any similarities or recurring features as I feel this is an important factor in creating a unique personality for the brand and encouraging faithful followers. Below are some examples of my favourite catwalks from Day 2.


One thing I really loved about this collection back in February was that I felt it stood out from the rest. With its elegant floor-length dresses and revealing yet classy fabric combinations, I felt it echoed 1920s film star glamour yet still contained that all important modern twist. The intricate stitching and detail on the dresses was spectacular and made each garment beautifully feminine and alluring.


Comparing these two boards from Autumn/Winter and Spring/Summer, one can really see the similarities between the designs and themes yet clear differences between colours and the use of fabrics. This, to me, is designing at its best and I think that Julien Macdonald has managed to balance all these opposing aspects perfectly. I love his Spring/Summer collection just as much as I did the previous one, and am once again delighted so see a hint of my beloved 'china white' theme creeping in! (far left)


This is a brand that contrasts completely with my preferred style and taste, though so does most of Cara Delevingne's wardrobe... the problem is I'm just not ghetto enough to pull any of it off! Despite it differing greatly from the clothes I choose to wear, there were many features in this collection that appealed to me in many ways. I felt that it had a slight Middle Eastern feel with fabric head coverings, and some of the patterns reminded me of a monochrome version of the dress of Bedouin tribeswomen, some of whom I had the pleasure of encountering during a trip to Tunisia. I felt that KTZ produced some really interesting and unique pieces in this collection and was intrigued to see what they would come up with for their next season.


I was pleasantly surprised when the first garment that appeared on the runway was a display of 'cameo brooch' galore. I love these vintage brooches and think that the craftsmanship that goes into these delicate carvings is extraordinary. This was soon followed by 'Greek amphora' designs, all topped off with monochrome conical 'paddy hats.' Again this splash of history and culture was fantastic, especially when altered and distorted with the use of modern elements and techniques. I loved that the cameo designs appeared almost skeletal when extended to cover trouser legs; I really adore and highly value intricate designs that alter and change when viewed from different distances. KTZ claims to specialise in contrasting elements such as modernity and the ancestral, the secular and the religious, anarchy and severity, and I believe that they have achieved this in a truly spectacular way in both catwalk collections.


Though founded in 2004, the London Fashion Week website has no archives of Marchesa's previous designs and I have no recollection of seeing their name at any London fashion shows in the past. They are based in New York, however, so it is possible that perhaps this year marked one of their first collections on London's runways*. I have to admit, I was quite blown away. Speaking as a girl who frequently grooms her unicorn and polishes her gossamer wings, the fairytale visions that glided onto the catwalk at Marchesa were absolutely breathtaking. Crowns of flowers, layers of tulle, waists and shoulders wrapped in folds of intricate lace, sleeves cascading in white billowing tufts, midnight wings on a blackened sky... ahh the imagination soars! Beautiful.


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