From FROWING At Topshop To Backstage With Bella Hadid: LFW Highlights

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Intro Deck: 

Roll up, roll up, it's London Fashion Week!

London Fashion Week is in full swing, here's your cheat sheet for all the latest trends, shows and celebrity sightings...
 

Versace Pumped Up The Volume For Versus

Showing in Kensington Olympia, Donatella Versace turned her show into an East London-esque rave. The music was pumping, the likes of Rocco Richie and Jourdan Dunn were gathered and, given the brand's links to Zayn Malik, it was no surprise to see Gigi Hadid open the show and her sister, Bella, close it. The Versus girl uniform? Unapologetic attire with the Versus label appearing across the necks of racy evening dresses, puffed up puffa jackets and industrial block-heeled sandals. - JNS

FROWing Up A Storm At Topshop UNIQUE

Do you remember your first Topshop experience? We caught up with Sofia Richie, Dua Lipa and the Stallones to find out theirs. SPOILER ALERT: yours will NOT top Sofia Richie's late night lock in with Sir Phillip and Lionel!

Burberry’s Arty Party

The Burberry show is never just a show – with… clothes. That would be way too boring. The location, ‘Makers House’ just off Charing Cross road in Soho, the time (7.30 pm); the celebs (Penelope Cruz, Naomi Campbell, Elizabeth Debicki, Tina Tempah and Kaya Scodelario) and the live performance (this time by Anna Calvi) all goes to make this the grand finale of London Fashion Week. A glittering evening gala, live streamed across the world.

This season Christopher Bailey went one step further proving he doesn’t need to borrow a gallery, he can create one himself, housing an exhibition of rare Henry Moore sculptures, one of England’s greatest 20th century artists.

Models in black sock boots with a sculptural (Moore-inspired) heel, wove through the pieces in the space that had been transformed into an artist’s workshop. There were asymmetric artfully deconstructed fisherman’s knits, the trenches had been re-fashioned with oversize collars and statement sleeves. With white artful shirting and denim pieces that felt inspired by artists’ workwear – this was Christopher Bailey in a much more avant-garde mood. - Charlotte Moore

Ashish Sprinkles A Statement

You can always rely on Ashish for a sparkly spectacular and their show, complete with yellow glitter runway set to the soundtrack of Somewhere Over The Rainbow, was no exception. The collection, which the designer, Ashish Gupta, described as being ‘about courage, equality, love and freedom,’ featured sequin statements such as, ‘more glitter, less twitter,’ as well as ‘why be blue when you can be gay,’ emblazoned on Major League Baseball clobber. Continuing the current casting trend for selecting diverse models, the likes of a leather gay ‘bear’ took to the finale to a standing ovation - the first of London Fashion Week. - Josh Newis-Smith

Christopher Kane Gives Girls Edgy Glamour


Monday is when all the big-guns come out (the fact that American press and buyers have got here by then is the reason). As we sat waiting for the show to start, in the Tate Britain, there was that edge of anticipation: what will Kane do next? There was lots of plastic fantastic, swishy pleated skirts, jagged edges, sharp coats, rainbow colours, spaceship prints and sweaters that are the opposite of cosy.

And then there were the shoes. Shiny, pointy, flattering-even, but it was the chunk of industrial foam (day-glo yellow was my favourite) pushed under the straps that gave the heels them their cool-girl edge. There were trainers, too (loved the yellow), AND fancy crocs – but this time with a fur trim.

‘It’s about the people who make these fabrics as much as the fabrics themselves’ said Kane. ‘I often think about the lab worker in Crocs and lab coats. And then I think about the white coats of the couture atelier, those women who are steeped in craft and work.’ Hence the title of his show: Craft and Work. The effect was brilliant and desirable. But as always with Kane: go there if you dare. - CM

Tales From The Ottoman Empire at Erdem

There’s always something rich and strange about an Erdem show. Frighteningly intellectual, but impeccably beautiful, always. It was to the East that the designer took us this time. On our seats was a small booklet of photographs that pointed to the inspiration behind his collection. One of the paintings was an 18th century portrait of the Countess of Coventry wearing a Turkish costume. Erdem is Canadian but his father was born in Turkey and this hinted at a woman entrenched in Britishness but fascinated by the vibrancy of an entirely different culture. The shapes had Erdem’s dramatic Edwardian feel but the colours were deep and rich and the fabric – many of them velvets and devoré - made for pieces that were totally Erdem, but with added exotic glamour. 
- CM

Roksanda’s Warrior Women

On our seats when we arrived was a tribute to Richard Nicoll, the designer who sadly died last year. A new Pantone: Nicoll Blue has been created in his honour: the show’s first look in that blue, as well as the piece performed and written by Michael Nyman. This was Roksanda’s incredibly moving tribute to her friend and peer. From there we were taken into a colour-drenched world inspired by paintings of Mark Rothko – silk mid-length dresses in deep reds, oranges styled with cool 80s boots. These were warrior women – super elegant – but powerful and unafraid. 

Perfect Preen 

In a melting pot of historical references, Preen showcased one of the stand-out collections of London Fashion Week. One minute there was New Romantics tailoring with billowing white blouses, the next corsets over jumpers which subtly morphed the wearers form instead of excessively exaggerating it as we saw at New York Fashion Week. The show closed with a serious of looks which payed homage to your grandmother's 1970 bedspread, with a series of quilts re-fashioned into asymmetric coats. For when the Preen woman wants to peel herself away from her home comforts and hit the disco, there were bright red silk dresses with sequin top underlays, which gave a whole new meaning to alternative after-hours dressing. - CM

Roland Mouret Rolled Back Into Town 

Aptly, to celebrate his 25th anniversary, Roland Mouret served up the most sophisticated cocktail styling during his London Fashion Week return. His penchant for structured dresses, which trace their wearer's body beautifully came to the fore, but were accessorised with chokers for a slightly racy nod. For those who want a more relaxed option, Mouret showcased a series of terrific tailored trousers, all were conservative at the front but party at the back, with zip detailing revealing a flared hem. Welcome home, Roland! - JNS

Topshop's Instant Hits 

Set to the soundtrack of Ciara's 'One, Two, Step', Topshop Unique made it feel like the early noughties all over again with lilac floral dresses with cut-out backs, topped off with poker straight hair. Elsewhere famous dynasty offsprings, Sistine Stallone and Lottie Moss, modelled clothes that can be described as 'at one glance classy and the next flashy', with shearling coats undone to reveal bright striped bodies and the most sophisticated of evening cut-out dresses, which freed the nipple in so many ways. The Topshop girl is just too sexy for boring things like decorum. - JNS

Mulberry Takes The High Ground 

The dressing-like-your-grandmother thing has gathered pace in recent times but, for Mulberry, this was not eclectic, slightly bonkers, granny but a refined older woman. The collection was as if the queen's closet had been raided with woolen pastel socks slipped into low block heels with added pearl safety pins, checked a-line skirts, rust tone crochet dresses with tea cosy-esque collars and, continuing the British designer's love affair with 70s bed spreads, quilting made its way into oversized capes and long length dresses. For a brand that prides itself on creating must-have accessories, there were plenty of new "it" products on display in all shapes and sizes; from large polished leather gym bags to mini circular crocodile bags with braided scarf straps and even the odd coin purse. The most coveted accessory, though? The sunglasses with encrusted arms. - CM

David Koma's Sky-High Sexiness 

David Koma blasted his chainmail looks into the future with a series of red carpet-ready dresses, which stayed true to the form of their wearers and flashed the flesh via cut-outs and split hems for punctuation.  The legs that appealed most, though, were the trousers with added strapping, making for a tailored dominatrix look. - JNS

Temperley's Sound Of Music

High on the hills was Alice Temperley who seemed to take inspiration from Julie Andrews's iconic role. There were evening looks for debutantes who were 16 going on 17, lederhosen-inspired high-waisted trousers with braces and for after hours nuns? Sequin jumpsuits with pussybow blouses underneath. - JNS

Emila Wickstead's New Dress Code

The designer, well known for her eveningwear, drove her dresses into a slightly different lane by introducing denim. It might not sound ground breaking to you, but for Wickstead, who's signature is modern twists on bygone eveningwear, showing high-waisted dreamy denim was a change of pace. But it was the bright red backless jumpsuit that had our sirens ringing. Divine, as per.- JNS

J.W. Anderson's Ace Accessories

What J.W. Anderson doesn't know about creating a coveted accessory just isn't worth knowing. The designer's accessories have become money-makers for his own brand and Loewe, under his creative direction. This time the trademark shapes had added frivolity by way of fringing and ribbons. Our advice? Get on the waiting list right now. - JNS

Gareth Pugh Diversified

In an underground bunker set, Pugh showed a selection of billowing black bin bag capes, officer hats and razor sharp-shouldered jackets for superhero power dressing at its most menacing. 'Build that wall' chanting made for an alarming soundtrack and was sliced between Queen, Nirvana and Madonna. All that, plus diverse casting, got us thinking about the bigger picture. - CM

Henry Holland Went Political

Nothing is more on trend now than making a political statement. But, given Henry Holland's penchant for signature slogan tees, you would have expected a more direct statement from the quiff master's show. Instead, he took the high road all the way to mid-west America for, as he put it backstage, "a love letter to America." Stripped shirt dresses with added fringing, bright and beautiful shearing coats and checked mini skirts were topped off with cowboy hats. - JNS

Eudon Choi Introduced Hungover Chic

It's hungover/still drunk styling at its best. Take one jumper, put your arm correctly in one armhole and throw the other one over your shoulder in a zero f**ks given fashion. That wasn't the only twist on a style staple at Eudon Choi, the Korean designer rehashed the shirt - be it with gathered waists, off-centre buttons or asymmetric neck ties. The designer also introduced bags that double up as jewellery, with clutches accessoried with attached bracelets. It's safe to say Eudon Choi is like a fine wine, his work is getting even better with age. JNS

When You Say Honey, Ashley Williams Says G!

Ashley Williams loves a bit of pop culture and you'd be forgiven for thinking that her tracksuit ensembles, accessorised with futuristic sunglasses, could have been inspired by the greatest rapper to come out of "North Weezy." JNS

Keep checking InStyle.co.uk for all the London Fashion Week news and gossip.

 
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