By Sophia Chan
Last year’s recipient of the Emerging Talent award at the British Fashion Awards, Mary Katrantzou showcased a much lauded A/W ‘12 collection. The colour schemes were based on “every day, mundane items” with prints of clothes hangers, old fashioned telephone dials, teapots and typewriters keys featured. The most bizarre outfit consisted of a wacky pink and yellow dress featuring a “pencil-pencil skirt” – made entirely from hundreds of intricately meshed and fanned HB pencils. Impracticality notwithstanding, the collection was executed with her customary flair for bold graphic prints and sculptural shapes. Her penchant for shape and tailoring also resulted in some necklines of cascading ruffles and high Elizabethan ruffs, while the empire line dresses included gorgeous origami-esque floaty skirts.
Fashion’s darling for feminine romantic floral dresses, Erdem introduced colour combinations of purple, acid yellow and black, mixed in with royal blue for the new season. The darker colours made for a distinctly edgier feel to the collection, with a beautiful mix of leather paired with lace. There were oversized tweed coats with sculpted necklines, whilst the lace and tweed combinations made for some interesting prints. The shoes by Nicholas Kirkwood were also highly covetable, with ankle boots and shoes nailed onto Perspex bar heels. Erdem delivered an eminently wearable collection, a highlight of which was the overlay of lace over floral prints on the simple, tailored knee-length dresses.
This season Burberry Porsum went for the traditional English country theme, with many hunting and riding references based around autumnal shades of mustard, plum, brown, grey and olive. The classic trench was given an update of a peplum tweed side panel, while velvet was also included in many jacket and skirt combinations. Accessories featured heavily, including scrunchie princess bow belts over coats, and gold fox, owl and hound heads adorning weekend bags and umbrella heads. The finale was suitably dramatic, with fake rain showering onto the glass roof of the Kensington Gardens show venue whilst the models sauntered out holding umbrellas against a cascade of gold foil.
A rising star on the London fashion scene, Jonathan Saunders was this year’s BFC/ Vogue Designer Fashion fund award winner. His fall collection offered up slick tailoring in minimalistic lines, with a wide range of references. His version of granny-chic came with oversized cardigans and woollen jumpers belted over geometric print shirts, while a sporty aesthetic was evident in his classic V-neck knitwear and brightly coloured visors. The jackets and coats featured a painterly geometric pattern, whilst the colour scheme was splashed with rich tones of bright red and jewel green. The final pieces of the show included oriental floral embroidery over mesh tops and dresses.
Menswear is becoming increasingly important at LFW, and a menswear week will be featured for the first time in June. E. Tautz showcased impeccable Savile Row tailoring, inspired by the works of industrialist sculptor Richard Serra. Dark muted tones were offset by brilliant scarlet, while bell-shaped fedoras created an interesting silhouette. Oversized coats and scarves were designed for protection against the British weather, but retained elegant forms of traditional tailoring. A scarlet coat contrasted with black trousers and a hint of a white shirt provided a dramatic ending to a well-crafted collection.