It’s day 1 of my first ever fashion week, and with 5 shows to attend, I have definitely been thrown in at the deep end. But once the madness outside the new venue – Brewer Street Car Park – subsides and the fashion glitterati have been seated, we can peel back the superficial surface and get down to what LFW is really about: the clothes. The shows themselves are filled with theatrics to induce the right mood, and the day’s soundtracks vary from overpowering, monotonous base lines (perfectly in-sync with each model’s stride) to gently strummed notes.
J JS Lee
My morning begins with J. JS LEE. The Central St Martins graduate opens up fashion week by creating a cool vibe of Californian summers, sound-tracked by chirping birds – a welcome change from the violent downpour outside. Aptly titled Freedom and Liberation, the designer sends relaxed and asymmetric silhouettes down the catwalk. Stand-out pieces are pastel dresses with a flutter of laser cut bird shaped appliqué, and bold stripes ranging from candy pink to a monochrome variant befitting of Beetlejuice. The sleek and androgynous tailoring that the brand is synonymous with makes a frequent appearance in the form of cropped jackets and flared suits. The looks are rounded off by dewy make-up and undone hair, a definite beauty trend to come.
The theatricality is kicked up a notch by Bora Aksu, whose collection is inspired by summers spent in his family home in Turkey. The clinically white decor of the new location is instantly injected with warmth as the first look saunters down the runway. Our show notes read, ‘In the golden hour, after sunrise or before sunset, when the world is at its most beautiful,’ and with this in mind it becomes evident that Bora Aksu’s collection is an interplay of light and texture, capturing the elusive beauty of a fleeting moment. Powdery hues of soft tulle and organza contrast with bright shades, resembling flowers in full bloom. The amalgam of textures gives the collection depth and complexity, as the feather light fabrics are melded with structured cottons and brocades. Willowy models resembling woodland creatures are adorned with intricate flower tattoos and intricate flower crowns, making for an almost dream-like collection.
PPQ is at the opposite end of the spectrum from the morning’s overarching theme of softness and light. Packed with celebrities and It-girls galore, the show hits capacity with over half the ticket-holding queue being refused entry. Luckily I’m one of the fortunate few on the cusp that manages to squeeze in before the doors shut. Inside the heaving venue we’re presented with a monochromatic collection, broken in parts with the occasional pop of electric blue. Although the show is filled with striking abstract prints and an array of beautiful dresses, the inspiration behind the collection – the exploration of an ethereal wonder world – was not as apparent as the morning’s shows. That said, I enjoyed the contrast of the sexed-up mini dresses and the romance of elegantly draped, floor-length gowns.
All in all, day one felt like a fabulous soirée. Consider me hooked.
Words: Cecile Stefanova