So far, Fashion Month’s Fall/Winter 2017 presentations have been more inclusive and diverse, as well as politically charged, but the clothes have been somewhat lackluster. Everyone is obsessed with suits, off-shoulder necklines are still very much a thing, and statement sleeves aren’t going anywhere, however, innovation has been few and far between. Day two of London Fashion Week dispensed with the blasé, opting for colorful, high-octane shows that finally injected the event with energy and glamour.
Over at Preen by Thornton Bregazzi, Thea Bregazzi and Justin Thornton riffed on old-fashioned styles with a ruffle-accented collection that brought modernity to Victorian dress codes. Gauzy dresses were held in place by taut corsets, Shakespearean blouses were articulated with asymmetrical seams, while candy-colored ruched dresses and bulky outerwear heightened the allure.
Peter Pilotto is another hot London brand with a unique perspective, reliable in its unpredictability. For Fall/Winter 2017, silky bed jackets and wool coats were electrified with imaginative stitch-work and mixed-pattern panels, inspired by Incan carvings and totems. These exotic elements were brought to life by artist Jochen Holz, and acted as visual stimulants on velvet and tweed surfaces.
Like Preen by Thornton Bregazzi, Mary Katrantzou was also interested in mining past styles for Fall/Winter 2017, but instead of Victorian-era interpretations she looked to the Baroque period. Her hybridized brocade and velvet collection was both creative and luxurious, perfect for the modern day heroine she imagined wearing her gorgeous designs. The theme of “Fantasia” – so named for the Disney film – paid homage to classic princess characters both figuratively and literally.
A museum exhibition of vintage fans was so inspirational that Alice Temperley decided to model her designs for Temperley London’s Fall/Winter 2017 collection after them. The flourish with which they open to reveal gilded interiors and intricate scenery was translated elegantly onto her signature embroidered cotton dresses and handsome separates. The look was especially evocative when rendered on figure-skimming frocks featuring hand-painted floral designs. Gorgeous quilted skirts, dreamy knits, and crystal beaded gowns rounded out her beautiful presentation.
Finally, the biggest buzz at day two swarmed around Roland Mouret, who returned to the London calendar for the first time in a decade. Before he could even sew, Mouret was cutting his teeth on the London fashion scene, and the hometown crowd welcomed his return. For Fall/Winter 2017, the designer continued his loving homage to women and the female figure with a voluptuous collection that centered on rounded shapes and elegant draping. “Give Her What She’s Not Afraid To Ask For” was the theme, and by all accounts, she’s not afraid to ask for swishy, nomadic culottes, handkerchief-hemmed knit tunics, peelaway jackets, and romantic velvet dresses.