As I start typing this new fashion post, can’t help but sing (in my mind) The Clash’s late 1970’s hit “London Calling“, and then it hits me… London designers were actually set on this punk mood with their 2013 – 2014 Fall/Winter collections. Could it be because of the Metropolitan Exhibition? Regardless of the present day happenings, the truth is London’s art & fashion legacy has always been the punk. Someone said that punk and its culture with all its subversive moods and consequences is for London as pizza is for Naples (Italy). Brilliant! So what happened in London over the weekend at Fashion Week? Oh boy… a lot to take in and a lot to figure out, to be honest with you. I always say it’s so hard to grasp London after New York, don’t know why, it’s probably the properness and glam NY delivers that makes London appear more wacky at 1st sight, rather than avantgarde. I love it, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes I don’t. Ha! Truth is I love clothes that, while they make a statement and carry a message (related to the wearer’s personalty or a certain era) also look good. ‘Good’ being such a subjective term, I’ll elaborate: good clothes celebrate a woman’s body, making it look great, hot, classic, elegant. ‘Womanly’ in a word. And London kinda let me down this time on this one. Apart form a few designers who have surprised me in a wonderful way, others missed big time. (Mary Katranzou). But again, it’s just my take on things. What matters is the outcome of the weekend: Punk is cool yet again (it was never uncool actually) but it’s a bit more tamed (not sure if that’s still punk but anyway). Think 1940’s lady meets 1950’s & 1970’s woman. All in one. So many sides to one girl, so many looks & styles that I’m sure we’ll all find a few to crave for right after London Fashion Week ends.
Topshop @London Fashion Week – 2013 Fall Ones of my favorite collections and some of the most amazing clothes and looks, I found with Temperley London & Vivienne Westwood. No surprise here, given the reputation & talent that proceeds the latter. With her show held quite close to King’s Road at 430, where her legendary shop existed, Westwood’s collection was a working woman’s wardrobe & her punk spirit: great colors, cuts, same slouchy sexy nipped at the waist dresses. Loved it. Moschino Cheap & Chic was in the same punk zone – “punk goes couture“, with punk’s strongest elements reinterpreted in a softer way.
Temperley London @London Fashion Week – 2013 Fall Vivienne Westwood Red Label @London Fashion Week – 2013 Fall Moschino Cheap & Chic @London Fashion Week – 2013 Fall Another collection I actually loved was L’Wren Scott‘s. Heavy gold details, busy embroideries – it sort of made all the sense in the world that she was ‘‘dreaming of decadence” as she designed it. Inspired by Gustav Klimt’s portraits and obsession with those salon ladies and Viennese socialite Adele Bloch Bauer – the outcome was brilliant: 1940’s lady sometimes meets 1970’s woman, dressed impeccable with an utmost attention to detail and fine cuts, with a somewhat baroque vibe or style if you will to their looks. Most of London’s designers chose to focus more on shape this season, rather than prints or color, and I’m not sure if it was one of the best takes, I mean most collections seemed a bit too dull, too stripped off the razzmatazz , too austere and why not call it like it is… pretty wacky. Following NYC, there was a free pass for leather, fur, whites et all, though not so much and not so glam. Jonathan Saunders depicted the 1950’s pin up girl, in cupped bustiers and warm wooly textures with a hint of vinyl and rubber here and there for edge. He & Mulberry too put their money this time on oversize. Whether that was bad or good, I’ll let you be the judge of it.
With David Coma too there was an obsession with shape & vinyl, and at Matthew Williamson it was all geometry & shape on one hand, and relaxed slouchy looks on the other, whereas at Paul Smith, though a somewhat oversized menswear inspired collection, I think he pulled it off and gave us a heaven on trousers at least: cropped ones & shorter ones that had a bit of slouch to them. Definitely some styles too keep an eye on for next fall. Speaking of shape & oversize-ness I’m reminded of Richard Nicoll‘s collection: cheap on embellishments (no surprise there) basic, austere, elegant, androgynous and slouchy. Again.
David Coma & Preen @London Fashion Week – 2013 Fall Matthew Williamson @London Fashion Week – 2013 Fall Paul Smith @London Fashion Week – 2013 Fall Richard Nicoll @London Fashion Week – 2013 Fall Back to punk it is when we look at Preen (punk meets luxe and glam) and Sister by Sibling (inspired by Paula Yates, a mix of post punk domestic disturbance, housewife goddess who oozes a rock’roll aggressiveness and is a rebel at heart). The 1970’s and 1980’s inspired House of Holland who named their collection “Rave Nana” – that is, imagine a girl who steals her grandma’s clothes and goes out to party in a mix of prints, colors, cuts and shapes. A similar toned down side of a girl had Issa, as models strutted the runway in tapestry, prints, wool, and 70’s meets cowboy hats with feathers. Her glam girls seemed to have gone on a vacation and ditched the super fun hot outfits. And speaking of hats… oh there were some tulle ones at John Rocha, inspired by the horses in Wickland Ireland. Asked about his clothes he said – “I want to make an old fashioned woman contemporary… because I am an old fashioned man”… Oh so that’s what it was. Silly me :)
Sisters by Sibling @London Fashion Week – 2013 Fall House of Holland @London Fashion Week – 2013 Fall Issa & John Rocha@London Fashion Week – 2013 Fall Emilia Wickstead @London Fashion Week – 2013 Fall
This was it for London’s Fashion Week weekend… Remember I asked for more edginess? Should mind my wishes next time. I am still debating if I liked what I saw or not. Though all in all it was great and I managed to put together some of my fave looks in the collages above, I still think (for now at least) that designers were too cheap on complex well put together creations this season, too dull & austere, and instead of a cohesion I found myself in a sea of weird too funky clothes, repetitive looks, still inspired by the same London obsessed themes: punk and the 70’s. Anyway, you could find clothes in all collections that had that certain something to keep you begging for more and coming back to reconsider. But not too many… Ah well. Let’s not get hasty now, who knows what tomorrow brings us, right?