Here are my highlights from LFW’s autumn/winter 2016 season:
Inspired by The Night Porter, Roksanda’s AW16 collection was decidedly subdued compared to her signature vibrant collections. A compelling progression, the collection was full of Ilincic’s signatures from the midi-length silhouette, long and languid aesthetic and pretty flared sleeves. High collars and sunray pleats in deep, romantic shades of burgundy and royal blue completed the collection. The introduction of Roksanda handbags is also worth noting, the doctor’s bag is one of the stand out pieces. Ilincic is a women’s designer, and this mature and modest collection is one of her best.
Similar to New York’s Rodarte, Simone Rocha’s collections always have a poetic, dreamlike quality to them. This season, the verses tying her collection together are inspired by her personal journey; taking a month off after giving birth fed Rocha’s creativity. Medical aprons, motherly knitting and swaddling references are all evident in her collection – subtly interwoven rather than an overt reference. As usual, gothic darkness and contrasting texture are the main statements of her collection along with oversized, baggy pockets, dropped shoulders, wisp thin gauze, unravelled knitting and embroidery. Watching Rocha go from strength to strength is one of the highlights of London Fashion Week for me.
Mr Macdonald is a woman’s designer and he likes his women to be strong, confident and above all, proud of their bodies. His particular aesthetic leaves very little to the imagination – high hemlines, backless and slashed necklines paired with fish-scale beading or cobweb knits. The workmanship behind his high octane collections is more than evident. As per last season, a few menswear looks featured in the show, this season with military influences. Unrestrained glamour from Macdonald.
Sarah Burton’s collection for Alexander McQueen was undoubtedly the show of the season. I knew it would be special as the brand was ‘coming home’ to London instead of showing in Paris but the collection blew me away. Exquisite and almost couture-like, it was a poetic celebration of femininity and epitomises everything that I love about fashion – drama and breathtaking beauty. It gave me goosebumps.
The collection started off slightly more sombre, paying homage to McQueen’s Saville Row roots. It then transitioned into a collection which was undoubtedly Burton – almost as if the designer created a collection to show the evolution of the brand from its beginning to present day. Cobweb knits, fine gossamer layers and pretty tulle, it was the collection of dreams.
The beauty of LFW is picking up emerging designers from their early collections and, hopefully, seeing them flourish. There is always a turning point when the designer strikes the balance between creativity and commerciality; this is one of the most pivotal and exciting points in their career. Being a fan of Edeline Lee for the last few seasons she has been showing, I feel like the AW16 collection is her turning point. Slightly pared back in aesthetic, it was a very focused and finished collection which was both well thought out and well executed. Nothing but covetable pieces.