Returning to London from Paris for the first time in years, there was even more of a buzz than usual surrounding the McQueen show. Showcasing extreme light and shade in the form of both the softest of frilly pinks and edgy black leather, butterflies and buckles, every dress seemed to have a character of its own - The Unicorn Dress, The Duvet Dress, The Crystal Cape Dress - and many also required what is fast becoming next season’s essential item: a large pair of pants (see also Mary Katrantzou and Preen).
News flash: London fashion week’s favourite colour is currently hot pink; it was all over the place on Sunday. At Preen - as well as the label’s much loved signature monochrome and prime colours - there was also a spattering of rose coloured sequins and velvet which was quite a surprise and very pretty. At Topshop too, the collection of predominantly khaki and grey was pepped up with bright cerise lace, and even Alexander McQueen had trims in shades of flamingo. Girly girls rejoice!
Yeehaw! Never one to shy away from a statement, Mary Katrantzou’s western-themed show really brought a smile to my face. I loved the cut-out star details on the shoulders of shirts, and the intricate leather designs on skirts, dresses and jackets akin to what you’d find on a pair of cowboy boots were really clever. It might all sound a bit Dolly Parton, but with long, heavy jackets, cashmere sweaters, slim-fit trousers and below-knee pencil skirts, without the show styling, this will be a surprisingly wearable collection.
Oh HAI 1984! This season, Anya took inspiration from Pac-Man, Tetris and the Rubix Cube for her show, with a huge pixelated wall that came to life and moved around the venue. As you’d expect from this LFW favourite, the accessories and clothes were very much tongue-in-cheek - the Pac-Man ghost motif rucksacks, waistcoats and camel coats were very cute, and the squares and stripes on everything all felt very Commodore 64. There was even a furry Rubix Cube bag charm. I wouldn’t be surprised if a Nintendo Gameboy iPhone cover is on the cards...
Johnny Coca: sounds like he should be the lead guitarist of The Strokes, but is actually the new designer at Mulberry who just so happens to have the most rock n roll name in fashion. He also has great credentials for the job, having worked under Phoebe Philo at Celine on many of the Parisian label’s hit bags. For this, his first collection for Mulberry, he went all English on us and was influenced by the works of Shakespeare. To quote the show notes, he was trying to represent everyone ‘from the no-one to the nobody’. I can’t say I noticed that come through in the collection, but there were some lovely bags, in particular this beauty called The Chester - it has ‘workwear essential’ written all over it. And there’s no need to wait - the bags will be available to buy from April.
The hot news in shoes for AW16 is pimping; that’s to say, jazzing up a pair of relatively plain flat shoes with something fluffy or a bit of embellishment. At Preen, Grenson brogue boots were adorned with leather bows and crystal necklaces, and trainers at Anya Hindmarch looked as though a sheepskin charm was attached at the laces (we saw something similar on adidas Stan Smiths at Charlotte Simone on Friday). At Alexander McQueen sparkly badges completely smothered masculine black lace-ups. The best bit? This is a trend you’ll be able to recreate relatively easily on a pair of flats you already own. Brilliant.