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Our London Fashion Week five-day marathon kicks off with our new favourite designer chums, Ostwald Helgason. Kettner's, the Soho restaurant once patronized by the likes of Oscar Wilde, was the scene for the brand's SS'14 presentation, which seemed rather apt as the mood in the oak-paneled room was one of an elegant house party.
The collection was what we have come to expect from this relatively new brand — bold prints, striking colourways, and a focus on structured separates, to start. But, there were changes to be seen too — most notably, the appearance of shoes and handbags from the brand's very exciting partnership with Aldo. Susanne Ostwald took the time to chat to us about this new change in direction, "Until now we've always tried to find a matching shoe for the looks. This time we actually started designing the shoes first."
But most importantly, there is only one word available to describe the shoes and bags: awesome. The colourblock cross-body box bags and diagonally striped oversize totes are going to be the It bags for spring (sorry, these bad boys won't go on sale till April '14.) The shoes were a master class in wearability, consisting almost entirely of chunky heels that were not too vertiginous to feel that they couldn't be worn all over the streets of London.
As the design duo had to start working on the Aldo collaboration in July (far earlier than they usually start their design process) they found the time to create all of their own fabrics from scratch too, with a standout pair of wide-leg trousers in a black ombre chiffon catching our eye. There was a subtle change in the mood of the collection too, as Ostwald explains, "We wanted to continue our style, the strong colours, simple sporty silhouettes, narrative prints, and bold simple stripes, but we wanted to take it in a new elegant way. Maybe slightly more Parisian."
That elegance was more than apparent in the duo's first ever floor-length gown, which took the form of a boldly printed floral mini dress with a razor-pleat chiffon overskirt. Beauty-wise, it was all about a matte red lip and a slick of turquoise liner in the corner of the eye, with hair thrown into a loose ponytail at the nape of the neck.
Ostwald Helgason, thank you for getting this LFW started in the most elegant way possible.