'I have always been obsessed by that pristine woman, so clean, so proper, yet having an emotional breakdown inside,' read Christopher Kane's shownotes. With his show entitled 'Domestic Services,' Kane hammered home the idea of a sneak peek behind closed doors with housecoats, wallpaper-esque floral prints and lacy nighties. There were plenty of nipped waists and Duchesse satin but with nylon and PVC plastic materials too, it felt a bit more kinky than kind.
This pondering on domesticity and housewives, seems to be what London's designers have been thinking about for spring 2018. At Roksanda Ilincic, they had a glamourous boho vibe. Think a woman who has a villa on 'the other side of Ibiza,' with silk ruffled dresses, balloon sleeves, and tops with clusters of raffia.
Erdem's housewife vibes came 50s silhouettes, tea frocks and sweetheart necklines. Inspired by a true story of the meeting between a young Queen Elizabeth and the jazz master Duke Ellington, where after meeting the Queen, the musician wrote her a piece of music called 'The Queen’s suite,' Erdem transformed the Old Selfridges Hotel into a NY dive bar. With palm tree lamps, a piano, cello and scattered tables upon which lay half finished drinks and ash trays crammed with cigarette butts, 'What if she went to New York, and what if Dorothy Dandridge ended up in Buckingham Palace?' Erdem mused post show. Drawing inspiration from Her Majesty’s 1950s wardrobe there were plenty of bejewelled cardigans, satin gowns and elbow-length gloves but everything came with a sprinkling of coquettishness.
Meanwhile, at Emilia Wickstead, these were definitely ladies that lunch but this season they'd had an extra glass of Whispering Angel. Everything was a little looser than usual with low slung trousers and drop waist dresses, while rose wallpaper prints, pearl beading, bows and dancing shoes teamed with sheer socks reinforced the more trad Wickstead woman.
At Antonio Berardi, it was all about the modern working woman with Prince of Wales checks and slick tailoring. Inspired by his parents who would re-appropriate clothes sent from relatives in America, Berardi added a crafty feel to this collection with plenty of splicing, layering and patch-working of materials.
Musings on modern women was also the theme at Marques' Almeida who set their show under the arches just off Brick Lane in East London. 'We’ve been thinking a lot about the expectations on girls and women and everything they're expected to do,' the show notes read. 'You're expected to be great at your job, build a successful career but you can't leave behind your personal life and should be able to have a family and look after your family and look amazing while doing everything.' As always, the duo were inspired by the women in their lives - both friends and customers dubbed the MA girls - and as always there were plenty of different references. Think the Wild West with cowboy-esque boots and Chinoiserie fabrics from the Far East. There were feather trimmed trousers, oversized baby blue denim jackets, sequinned shorts and raw edged and jagged hemmed monochrome printed dresses, which on paper sound a bit messy but in reality are just perfect for a millennial wardrobe.
The day finished with Julien MacDonald's army of glamazon girls who strutted down the cement floored runway at a nightclub on London's South Bank. This season his eclectic front row featured Tom Daley, Ronan Keating, Amanda Holden and Caprice while his model line-up included Hailey Baldwin, Winnie Harlow and Alessandra Ambrosio. Dresses came with thigh high slits, navel grazing necklines and bum skimming hems alongside plenty of mesh panels, cut-outs and beaded bodywork. With laser lights, smoke machines and a giant smattering of glittery confetti, it certainly ended the day with a bang.