London Fashion Week puts individuality on the runway
September 28, 2015
Once fashion fans took the departure from New York to London for the second location of Spring/Summer 2016 Fashion Week, conventional styling took a departure as well. “Get the London look” may have just been the motto of this London Fashion Week, as designers sought individuality and advancements for their collections by appealing to new audiences and finding new inspirations.
While most designers seek to create sophisticated collections for mature audiences, Topshop Unique was all about appealing to the trendy, rebellious, party-going youth, starting with seating British it-girls like Alexa Chung, Suki Waterhouse and Jourdan Dunn in their front row. Menswear made an appearance in the collection, but a pinstripe blazer worn as a mini dress and sweater vests cinched at the waist with skinny leather belts gave each look a flirty vibe.
Feminine looks ruled over these menswear ensembles, however, including a strawberry patterned chiffon dress, silk blouses and even a pajama-inspired look complete with a robe reminiscent of New York Fashion Week. Models came out with undone hair and bright red lips, making each look like the model had just reapplied her lipstick before entering the party.
Christopher Kane’s bright, bold and electric collection was unfettered and unexpected. Audiences were unsure what the designer would bring this season, considering he suffered the losses of both his mother and mentor in the past few weeks. A car-crash, disaster themed collection was the result, complete with sharp cutouts, angular shapes and spray-paint illusions. Neon was extremely prevalent in the collection, but through unexpected mediums, like a see-through lace top in neon green, yellow, orange and pink, or long multi-colored fringe lining the hem of a skirt.
Perhaps what stood out most was Kane’s choice in accessories: zip-ties typically seen on garbage bags were worn as chokers and hair ties on the models. Hair and makeup stood out as well, sending models out with super-short, choppy bangs and little to no makeup with bushy brows.
Fashion-week-goers and the tech-savvy fashion-obsessed at home would agree that the Burberry Prorsum show was a true highlight of the week. Christopher Bailey and friends made history with a Snapchat sneak peak of the collection 24 hours before designs hit the runway. In a new partnership with Apple Music, the show featured live tunes by Alison Moyet and a 32-piece orchestra during the show.
Before anyone could ponder how a centuries-old brand could hold the most progressive show of Fashion Week thus far, models walked down the runway with contemporary pieces and seemingly effortless styling. Though the looks were more casual than Burberry’s past collections, the slip dresses, light summer trench coats and rubber-soled flat sandals were still chic and modern. Models also sported monogrammed nylon backpacks: a school-appropriate accessory that students could get behind. Oxblood lips added the perfect amount of sophistication to even the more casual looks.
A version of this article appeared in the Sept. 28 print edition. Email Natalia Barr at [email protected]