London Fashion Week (LFW) enjoys the position among the “Big 4” fashion weeks of the world showcasing over 250 designers to a global audience of influential media and retailers twice a year that takes place in London in February and September. The monumental event houses great British heritage brands such as Burberry alongside the young upstarts including Fashion East’s graduates and of course the gala gatekeepers who hold the responsibility of holding down the fort such as Erdem, Christopher Kane and Roksanda.
With the esteem presence of her Majesty the Queen this year at the LFW, the event became top notch royal. Queen presented the inaugural Queen Elizabeth II Award for British Design to emerging British fashion designer Richard Quinn. The show outgrew all the bars of glamour with the ever-so-glamorous front row with Queen of England sitting beside the queen of fashion industry, Anna Wintour. This year over 80 designers put on 54 catwalk shows, 26 presentations and over 20 events and 100 brands displayed their work in the designer showrooms.
The week felt special with a number of firsts. Victoria Beckham celebrated her eponymous brand’s 10-year anniversary by participating in the fashion week for the first time. Alexa Chung officially inaugurated to the BFC line-up with her first catwalk show. Riccardo Tisci presented his debut collection for Burberry which satisfied all the wild assumptions going around for the most anticipated show.
The fashion world is making the “devious” sexual orientation to breakdown all the walls that had been built around it and after NYFW; LFW also took the liberty to embrace the beauty in diversity. Erdem showcased the boldly tailored trouser suits or prim, Edwardian-style dresses with satin bows at the back, trickling down the spine for his trans-gender collection designed on the back-story of strict propriety of men dressing up as women in Victorian era. His collection was like an open secret that hid the taboo under joyous mood of the collection.
Chirstopher Bailey bid his farewell, after nearly 70 runway collections and a million-zillion spins on the trench coats, to Burberry and his last collection was a hit at the fashion week before the show actually took place. The show opened with Adwoa Aboah in rainbow stripes on a white silk skirt and closed with Cara Delevingne dressed in a floor length cape trailing behind her with of course rainbow stripes. This season the Burberry agrees to rainbow-hue, a symbol of the firm’s financial support for LGBTQ+ charities. The other highlights of the collection were tartan prints & plaids.
The LFW 2018 was all covered with a happy rainbow. From vibrant rainbow strips shinning all over the runway to a slightly muted rainbow palette of debutant Mary Katrantzou, the runway was sunny and fresh. There were a prominent dominance of lavender shades on the runway and emphasis of yellows and greens inclined towards the fresh side of the colour spectrum.
The trends that came through all over the shows were influenced by 80’s and 90’s. Broad shouldered silhouettes with puffed up sleeves on metallic fabrics and full volume pants were roaring across the show.
From the affordable day-to-day fashion brands like Adidas, Nike, Puma to more of high fashion ones like Gucci, Maison Margiela, Tibi, and Saint Laurent all seemed to be under the impression of 80’s. Erdem came with a layered-up winter bohemia in rich coloured embellishment on velvets paired with Swiss-dot tights, belted overcoats, homely sweaters. The designers seemed to be having a special witchy influence over the runway with chaotic mixes of prints like glass-stained paisley and patch-worked knits. They brought out the batty attires resting in a corner of the closet to rock the runway. The colour palette of the Bohemian Rhapsody look was hard to overlook and all over the place with browns, oranges and mustards clashing over purples and pinks.
Among the trends apart from plaids that journeyed from NFW to LFW, was the ‘protective throws’ around bodies. Maison Margiela showed entirely mirrored throwovers and Delpozo, Roksanda & Ports 1961 also agreed with the trend. Other than that there were a leopard print dominance on the street style stakes in the shape of trousers, wrap skirts, handbags, shoes and jackets. Unlike the New York version of the print, the british wore it mostly in natural colour.
The show continued with a note of voluminous attires with Mulberry and others showcasing couture-like volume in their collections. We saw a lot of brocades as well at Erdem, Roland Mourel, Thorton Bregazzi with weighty, metallic execution of the themes on the fabrics.
Holding up the reputation of being experimental and dramatic, the LFW concluded this season with promises and hints of the coming February.