It’s no small secret that London Fashion Week is the week I look forward to most during Fashion Month. While I appreciate the sporty side of New York, the glamorous side of Milan, and the sophisticated side of Paris, I feel like London is where designers take the most risks and work with the most innovative materials. Burberry, for instance, is always leagues ahead of the game when it comes to technological adaptation and marketing, while brands like J.W. Anderson and Giles always offer thought-provoking challenges to the status quo. For Spring/Summer 2016, color was London Fashion Week’s biggest story, with collections blooming in a Technicolor array of hues, patterns, prints, and embellishment. While designers followed through with their versions of some of the season’s most popular trends — the “cold-shoulder” cutout, relaxed jumpsuits, and asymmetrical tailoring — they also took the opportunity to embrace new directions and a variety of impactful new techniques.
For insight into what I believe to be the best collections of Spring/Summer 2016 London Fashion Week, click through the gallery.
Photos: Courtesy of Getty Images and GoRunway
It’s obvious that Antonio Berardi’s clothes were really, really gorgeous, but what I appreciated the most about this collection was that it looked fancy but had a very unfussy side to it. Berardi intended that even the most glam look on his runway could be rolled up and tossed in a suitcase, which is a very exciting proposition for a frequent traveler (like me).
Christopher Kane tends to be a very autobiographical designer, and this ‘Crash and Repair’-themed collection really caught my attention. By exploring the psychological trauma of dealing with the tragedy of death (Kane recently lost his mother) and the recovery process that takes place thereafter, Kane was able to create a really mesmerizing collection that experimented with PVC, zip ties, and color theory in an inventive and meaningful way.
Erdem Moralioglu is a fantastic storyteller, and his haunting narrative of “prairie madness” lent depth to his eerie and stunning collection. Erdem explored the cold-shoulder trend on lavishly embroidered prairie dresses, which were all supremely handcrafted and feminine.
There has yet to be a Mary Katrantzou collection that I haven’t liked. For me, she is one of the most technically accomplished designers working in London, and I look forward to seeing what kind of beauty spins from her infinite creativity. This season, her clothes were cool, rock ‘n’ roll, and edgy, but appointed with the most delicate and spellbinding details. It made you want to examine everything on her runway with a microscope to better understand how her lavish tapestries came to be.
Temperley London wowed me this season. I’ve always been a fan of the brand, but Spring 2016 saw the aesthetic move in a far more sophisticated direction. Havana, Cuba informed the tropical palette of Temperley’s presentation, and the traditional rumba dress was reinvented with contemporary embroidery and opulent embellishment that truly dazzled.