London Fashion Week AW15 Day 2

Quite a few of my friends and family often ask me questions about why the fashion displayed on the catwalks always seems to be so 'weird.' One of the most important things to remember about fashion week is that the primary goal of the designer catwalks is to convey a message; a very clear example of a particular style or feature or future trend. The reason why the collections can sometimes seem odd or outrageous is because they are at their most raw and expressive, but these ideas are then muted, altered and softened as they are filtered down to high street stores. It is crucial that we have in the fashion industry a platform from which to showcase creativity in its purest form. For me, this creativity can be as abstract as the brand wills it to be as long as there is a strong message at its core; that's what is important and that's what we, as fashion followers, seek to decipher.

Jasper Conran's runway was wreathed in Autumnal glory; soft suedes, felts, velvets and shearling combined with a palette of dark greens, browns and small touches of golden yellow all came together to create a really warm, comforting feel. Patterns included small repetitive floral motifs, zigzags, stripes, and some lovely sheer fabric with an overlay of velvet plaid. The colour scheme was again similar to Daks in the sense that many of the pieces were one-tone garments with the entire outfit in one shade including coloured tights to match. This was a really beautiful and visually appealing catwalk show with plenty of great trends to look forward to!

JULIEN MACDONALD AW15 (photos from Harper's Bazaar UK)
Julien Macdonald is a designer that I always look forward to seeing at fashion week. He really stands out with his very unique, stunningly crafted and ultra-glamorous red carpet dresses. His collection this year featured a stronger framework than we're used to seeing from Julien Macdonald; we saw glimpses of latex, metallic fringes, and thicker fabrics with front zips down the length of dresses which created sharper edges as opposed to being softened with tulle or finished with lace as is his usual style. There were some beautiful garments with black lace overlaying emerald greens, midnight blues and hot pinks, though again this gave more substance and structure to the garments; his previous catwalks boasted more entire pieces out of lace. I feel that this collection has helped the brand to evolve a delicate somewhat pliable silhouette into a stronger, more powerful one, yet it is still just as mesmerisingly elegant.

HOLLY FULTON AW15 (photos from Harper's Bazaar UK)
This catwalk was pretty exciting with plenty of interesting fabric/texture combinations (which seems to be a recurring trend on many of the catwalks), such as latex coats with jewelled or fur cuffs and collars. There were also some lovely box pleats, recurring patterns, sculptured tulle elements, heavy jewelled earrings and plenty of embellishments everywhere. This was a very full-on catwalk and definitely one which requires watching several times as there was just so much going on!

Here was another catwalk with an abundance of overlaying contrasting fabrics; latex with fur seems to be a favourite, but Lucas Nascimento also added a busy floral knit and an interesting metallic thread pattern which looked like a cross between tinsel and velcro! Wide trouser-legs, spaghetti strap jumpsuits and long, loose coats with large lapels were among the key cuts of the collection with dark blues, blacks, purples and rusty reds making up the palette.

SIMONE ROCHA AW15 (photos from Vogue UK)
This was one of my favourite catwalks so far. I absolutely adore jacquard and brocade and Simone Rocha's collection had handfuls of it! A predominantly monochrome palette ran throughout with touches of red and rusty gold. There were some embellished tulle features, floral elements, some houndstooth pieces and small additions of fur. Tailored coats with large stiff collars were wrapped around silky jumpsuits and necks were adorned with strings of pearls. This was a really sumptuous catwalk with some very clear proposed trends; let's just hope they make it to the high street!

HOUSE OF HOLLAND AW15 (photos from Vogue UK)
House of Holland sent its models down a conveyor belt catwalk this year - how exciting! The collection boasted bold colouring: hot pinks, reds, purples, aquamarines and yellows were all strong and often meshed together in a patchwork of tartan or, yet again, within contrasting fabrics. The models had sweet black handkerchief ties around their necks coupled with long narrow-pleated skirts or wide-leg trousers and cropped quilted jackets or huge 'wooly mammoth' coats. Key patterns consisted of houndstooth, plaid and some zigzag elements.

I couldn't possibly publish this blog post without mentioning Gareth Pugh. His 'display' was completely incomparable to the average catwalk. This is a designer who really strongly believes in the importance of a move from traditional runways and an emergence of conceptual fashion. His catwalk began with a large video screen depicting a model sitting on a throne, cutting her hair then smearing red paint over her body. Models then began to come out onto the runway wearing garments in a multitude of varying fabrics which were all entirely, completely black. I identified many military influences in the collection; the models all had a large red cross on a white background painted on their faces and this together with chains hanging down from their faces like helmet straps, bodices shaped like shields protruding almost to a point at front and meeting sharply at the bottom seemed to me very reminiscent of the knights templar. There were also headpieces which appeared to be silhouettes of Greek hoplite helmets, a busby hat like those worn by the British home guard, and a large red flag carried by the last model to leave the catwalk. It was an absolutely outstanding performance and my descriptions really do this collection no justice; this is definitely something you need to watch and experience for yourself!

Watch the Gareth Pugh AW15 catwalk here:
All photos are from the London Fashion Week website unless stated otherwise

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