Our favorite looks and trends from London Fashion Week. By Gabriel Bell & Piera Gelardi
After sweating out a slow, safe New York Fashion Week, it was off to Britain where the temperature was down, but a new generation of young designers and labels was just warming up. Almost a celebration of the city's fortunes, London Fashion Week emphasized color, quilting and layers upon layers of layers. From tuxes to tie dye, here are our favorite London looks.
1. Layer Cakes—Famous sweet-tooths, British and London-based designers turned out collections of crafty, confectionery looks including profiterole evening wear by Nathan Jenden, pure candy from Giles, layers of ruffled icing from Christopher Kane and tiers of both stiff and supple pleating from Modernist, Erdem, and Richard Nicoll. From left: Christopher Kane, Nathan Jenden, Richard Nicoll, Erdem.
2. Fruit Cup—Looks like those sherbet tones smuggled aboard our plane as the same blush pinks, opal blue, melon, and fuchsia cleared customs and met us on the runways at Louise Goldin's phenomenal display of virtuoso knit design and colorful shows by Aquascutum, Erdem and the always playful Jenden. From left: Erdem, Nathan Jenden, Louise Goldin, Aquascutum.
3. New West—Alexander Wang beat the Brits to the punch, apparently, with his New York collection that owed as much to trailer-parks as West Broadway. Richard Nicoll tapped the cinematic Western for his fall line, but Christopher Kane's so-bad-it's-good '80s denim pieces and Nathan Jenden's clogging costume truly brought the frontier home. From left: Christopher Kane, Danielle Scutt, Nathan Jenden, Christopher Kane.
4. Jacket Policy—From unstructured blazers to the alluring three-piece suits, workaholic New York designers spent a great deal of time and yardage providing the quiet strength and precise tailoring of formal menswear to women's lines. Continuing the trend, Todd Lynn, Jens Laugensen, and Paul Smith Women, all experts in the code of Saville Row, continued the trend with matched jackets and skirts, relaxed blazers, evening-appropriate trousers and slick, sexy tux tops. From left: Todd Lyn, Jens Laugensen, Jens Laugensen, Todd Lyn.
5. Quilting Bee—Ethic prints, batiks, and Native-American motifs have been seeing creeping into a lot of collections on both sides of the Atlantic in resent seasons. Leave it to London and pacesetters like Christopher Kane and Marios Schwab to move a back-burner trend to center stage with extremely bold print choices and tribal-inspired quilting effects. From left: Christopher Kane, Christopher Kane, Marios Schwab, Marios Schwab.
6. Killer Queen—Bordering on costume, a number of our faves presented varied takes on underground princesses including Erdem's diaphanous chiffon gown with a punky cropped vest, Jenden's full-skirted number with a striped blazer and black baseball cap or Giles' shredded scrap gown with Too Fast To Live, Too Young To Die studding. From left: Nathan Jenden, Erdem, Erdem, Giles.
7. Optic Fiber—With enough frenetic op-art to make Bridget Riley dizzy, designers like Matthew Williamson, Eley Kishimoto, and the precious Kane used these boldly graphic abstract and nature-inspired prints to make themselves heard over the competing volume of Native-American and ethnic-batik prints. From left: Matthew Williamson, Eley Kishimoto, Matthew Williamson, Eley Kishimoto.
8. Backtracks—Always obsessed with sport and velocity, racerback tops, shirts and, dresses have been big on the streets and in the studios of New York for years. Again, the Brits have trouped and twisted another colonial trend by moving the racerback to the front with cut-away pantsuit by Modernist, swimwear-inspired layered dresses by Louise Goldin, and a particularly flirty little black dress by House of Holland. From left: Modernist, Modernist, Louise Goldin, House of Holland.
9. Stardust—Get out your rhinestone applicators and sparkle glue; editors loved Alexander Wang's sequined sweatshirt with denim cutoffs in early September. Weeks later, the disco decadence continued with Anne-Sofie Back's use of fist-sized silver paillettes on cocktail dresses and shoulder wraps and Richard Nicoll's light refracting sequined pants. From left: Anne-Sofie Back, Ashish, Richard Nicoll, Ashish.
Our favorite looks and trends from London Fashion Week.