So many goddamn feels for London Fashion Week’s AW16 stint, if this report was brought to you from an iPhone the screen would no doubt be filled with all the good emojis; the (even) better ones thrice over. And given that London belongs, primarily, to the young (think NEWGEN, think Fashion East, think LCF and CSM), such a visual might not be as ridiculous a suggestion as one would suppose.
Away from the catwalk the mightiest trend was a fist bump to Vetements via the label’s full length, branded black rain mac (taking shape on the back of many an observer), while elsewhere news of the new LVMH prize line-up on Sunday meant a big congrats to semifinalist Caitlin Price, plus nods to London’s menswear contingent with Alex Mullins, Astrid Andersen, Cottweiler and Wales Bonner likewise making the cut.
That said, the absolute standout moments involved, dun dun dun, the catwalk (and several art galleries); here are Clash’s top seven….
Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Bags
Right, two things to start off; this isn’t a completely new trend, but this season it did mark a few firsts for London designers. Secondly, you can fit more than a bank card and pennies for the public loos in most of those we witnessed, but we standby the fact that the small bag is having a moment.
Sadie Williams, doing the presentation thing for the first time with ‘Off Piste’ at the ICA (inspired by pictures of her folks on hols, her models were backed by a snow topped mountain while the sound of polar winds played out) was the first to initiate the look, debuting a selection of sequin, sparkle and quilted bags held by metal mountaineering clips.
At Fashion East, Price’s nylon minis experimented with the nightclub notion put forward by her zip top jackets and cutaway dresses, recalling a place somewhere between Prada and Kookai.
A better Parisian gift than any L'occitane soap or Eiffel Tower keyring, Faustine Steinmetz’s fourth presentation in the capital was one of the season’s OMG highlights. Working with long time collaborator Thomas Petherick, her Tate Britain set recalled minimalist peep show boxes of plain white, each boasting a different viewpoint and bright shade, the latter reflecting the collection.
The collection. Oh. The label’s first foray, proper, into colour, Steinmetz settled on four warm shades (white too), appropriating each in a series of contrasting metallics and mohair, finished off with exaggerated slingbacks. *all the heart emojis*
Marc Jacobs Doing FROW
Barely 36 hours since his own AW16 collection had stomped down the runway, @themarcjacobs made a rare LFW appearance at the Tate Britain on Saturday morning to support his girl A.V.Robertson, making her Fashion East debut. A former design assistant to the great (her and Matty Bovan’s prints made it onto the SS16 collection), Robertson’s show also had the backing of one Katie Grand, cue cameos from Lineisy Montero, Edie Campbell and Molly Blair each decked out in embellished stripe pieces.
Name That Tune
“When you think about history, what hits you hardest? Do you think of the curriculum you were taught at school? Or perhaps you think of what 80s Vogue spreads are currently being recycled on Tumblr?” wrote Wet Satin Press founder and Claire Barrow collaborator, Reba Maybury on the latter’s press notes.
Presenting ‘The Retro-Spective’ at the ICA, Barrow showcased a ‘theoretical museum’ that was more about an attitude then simply cloth, meanwhile clad in the designer’s trademark illustrations, soft silhouettes and, when Clash turned up, backed by the Spice Girls 1998 release ‘Viva Forever’. Which worked, in literally the best way.
Similarly underlining a statement for the brand was the sound of ‘I Wanna Be Adored’ at Pringle of Scotland. The first outing for new Womenswear Design Director Fran Stringer, The Stone Roses track set the tone for a collection that some might wrongly reduce to upmarket grunge; long skirts partnered thick rollnecks, the bosom was emphasised by way of bandeau detailing, and a forest palette was topped with a red lip.
All Them Jewels
If you thought Topshop Unique had it down for SS16 with their XL earring selection, you need to make a date with Ashley Williams AW16. And Ryan Lo. And Mimi Wade. Away from the garms – badass suiting and ridiculous (read: perfect) neons for Williams, an appointment with his native Hong Kong for Lo, and a movie star arrival for Wade – the trio did for bling what Pat Butcher could never have imagined.
As Lo revisited his collaborative partner O Thongthai, adorning the ear to neck area with a robbery’s worth of diamante (particular shoutouts to headwear, the noughties butterfly clip never reached such heights), Wade tapped Vicki Sarge, the piled up results highlighting her exploration of Dunaway/Faithfull/Denevue cinema.
Williams, meanwhile, literally screamed PIERCED EARS: her show invite was a poster with said adorned lobe, while the collection was physically embellished with punk alike silver hoops.
Party At The Tate
As acting Topshop Show Space, Saturday night meant two non-party parties went down at the Tate Britain. First up, House of Holland ensured the audience were in Henry’s palm by serving champagne on arrival, following it up with a leopard print meets beading meets Debbie Harry meets Liza Minnelli fronted collection (the latter both literally). Characteristically fun (a bad term for some, on point here), Holland washed down an exciting mix of prints, colours and textures with some appropriate T. Rex to go.
Not half an hour later and Molly Goddard settled into the space with a ball cum salon show scenario loosely inspired by the cult yakuza film ‘Tokyo Drifter’. Streetcast by her stylist sister Alice, the girls paraded, shimmied, twirled and some, exploring their surroundings as Goddard explored an extended use of cloth, having played with volume to create new frocks and ruched stockings.
Monday Night Was Alright
The last word goes to Ashish Gupta, who made a Monday night, the most lame evening of the week after Sunday, like not many else can. Presenting full looks in every colour of the rainbow, clad in sequins and topped with afros of mammoth proportions, Ashish created a world not only for Instagram (though the full line-up finale made sure it had a place on the platform), but for the IRL mob too. Glamour dictated the silhouettes (a nod to Gianni era Versace perhaps), prescribing an appearance both desirable and wearable; not showpieces but a modern type of disco, to be worn as such.
Words: Zoe Whitfield
Sadie Williams and Molly Goddard imagery: Jamie Stoker, all other c/o PRs.