From Richard Quinn’s Statement Sleeves To Fyodor Golan’s Fishnet: Translate the Trends With Our London Fashion Week SS19 Report
Which looks wowed, why they matter, and how to wear them
Words Madeline Reid
Feature image Malorie Shmyr
There was much to celebrate this London Fashion Week. Pop diva turned serious fashion icon Victoria Beckham returned to the British capital after a decade in New York for her 10th anniversary collection, with a bold and seductive confidence as her collection branched into evening wear. Mary Katrantzou also commemorated her decennial collection by reinventing some of her most successful designs using newly discovered techniques. Elsewhere, Riccardo Tisci’s highly anticipated debut at Burberry checked every box with a massive 133 looks from sportswear to suiting.
Yet there were also rumblings of discontent, with many of the newer designer labels using their showspace as a platform to protest important issues. Indian-born designer Ashish’s dramatic display of free love felt timely, falling only a few weeks after his native country’s Supreme Court ruling to decriminalise homosexuality. Male and female models stomped down the runway to throbbing dance beats, their bodies adorned with his signature sequins.
Meanwhile, NEWGEN designer Marta Jakubowski redefined the status quo of working mothers in fashion as one of her models Valerie Garcia, who gave birth to her second child in June, opened her suit jacket to reveal functional breast pumps. All eyes were on British designer Richard Quinn after his Royal front row last season, but some may have been distracted by the gaggle of school children who also attended the event alongside the expected fashion moguls, who Quinn invited in protest against government cuts to art education in UK schools.
THE FUTURE IS ACID
Vivid pinks, highlighter yellows and acid green illuminated LFW for SS19. Henry Holland’s selection of vibrant fuchsia and tangerine was offset against deep navy, loose-cut suiting and flat sandals for a relaxed take on the daring trend. Meanwhile Erdem updated his typical floral floor length dreamscape with suitably zesty shades of coral and lemon, but still kept to his Victoriana signature with overlaid flocked florals and ruffled necklines. But it was Jasper Conran’s colour-blocked looks that caught our eye for next spring, displaying classic shirts and utilitarian silhouettes updated with this season’s highlighter hues.
From soft peach to vivid tangerine, orange was everywhere at LFW. Eudon Choi’s flaming trench coat shone in the neutral-heavy collection inspired by the Manik Bagh palace of Indore, India, that focused heavily on structural silhouettes, while the soft shimmer of Ashish’s clementine sequins paired with wet-look hair and glistening skin gave the shade a playful feel.
While we are used to seeing the “trickle down” effect from high-end designers (cue Miranda Priestly’s legendary Devil Wear’s Prada monologue), occasionally we see these same designers take inspiration from street style trends. This shade of acidic lime green has been spotted throughout 2018 on the backs of fashion’s favourite street style stars from Blake Lively to Kim Kardashian and has now slipped into the collections of David Koma, Emilia Wickstead and Toga. Worn boldly in matching coordinates or paired with soft florals and a matching headpiece (such as at Delpozo), this shade is already Instagram-approved.
Crimson red was next summer’s stand-out shade, and was styled confidently head-to-toe at Simone Rocha, Gareth Pugh and Vi. Tisci’s update of the Burberry mac came in the form of a striking red vinyl paired with all-black, which felt most appropriate to the show’s backdrop of the Royal Mail centre in Battersea. The blood-red shade was also heavily featured on oversized suiting at Palmer//Harding, Emilia Wickstead and JW Anderson.
CANVAS TO CATWALK
The best of capital’s art and culture infiltrated the catwalk from all angles this season. Art deco inspired pieces were seen at Roksanda, Halpern and Mary Katrantzou, while bright graphic prints at Minki and JW Anderson were reminiscent of works at the Tate Modern. Let the clothes speak for themselves with minimal accessories and classic white trainers such as at Jasper Conran, or for extra artistic points style with oversized chandelier earrings, like the models at Matty Bovan.
PRINTS GONE WILD
Last season we saw bold, head-to-toe iterations of this trend, but this spring a pared back approach is more appropriate. Puff-ball printed sleeves at JW Anderson were attached to casual cream knitwear and pale silk taffetas for a feminine feel. Burberry separated leopard and zebra with camel brown waist-bags, and Richard Quinn took the classic print and amped up the drama with all-black accessories.
Fishnets have remained within the fashion lexicon since the resurgence of nineties grunge, but this season they were the subject of an upscale revamp, taking inspiration from idyllic yachting holidays in the Hamptons. Rope-inspired fishnet dresses appeared at Ports 1961, JW Anderson and Fyodor Golan – layer thick cream knots over bikini-style pants and neutral undergarments to rock this nautical trend.
Forget sleeveless for SS19, as this season’s runways have confirmed a more conservative option. From extravagant puff-ball balloon shapes at Richard Quinn and JW Anderson to edgy structural sleeves at Christopher Kane and Chalayan, this is a stand-out silhouette of next summer.