London Fashion Week
Fashion Week spread it's stylish wings to the UK for 16-20 September 2011. I found that the British collections showed more restraint than the fanciful ones we saw in New York. These are a few of the shows that made a memorable impression on me.
Burberry Prorsum's Spring 2012 collection had a very rustic, country feel to it, accredited by an assortment of handiwork. Christopher Bailey made use of decorative elements like crocheting, wooden beadwork, raffia trims and basket weaved knits. African inspired wooden beads in colourful, geometric shapes were tacked onto tops. Classic leather trenches and cropped parkas were seen in spice-rack shades and tribal prints. Raffia wedge heels, Burberry Whipstitch carrier bags and pom-pom topped caps harmoniously fit in with the cozy theme.
Electric colours and dizzying prints were showed off at Mary Katrantzou's Spring 2012 fashion show. The Greek designer took a no-holds-barred approach when it came to mixing imaginative digital prints with shocking shades. There wasn't a single monotoned outfit in sight. The graphics in this collection were inspired by two contrasting themes - the splendor of nature and the metallic aspect of spray cans and car-crushed sculptures. Green, orange and blue lipstick mirrored the colourful clothes. Katrantzou has a vivid vision, which she blooms to life with this collection.
Shades of sunset ruled the runway at Matthew Williamson's Spring 2012 show. Ochre, apricot and mango chiffon gowns were patterned, feathered and flowy. Sarong style skirts were paired with matching printed blouses. Tailored blazers framed folksy evening gowns. I love the two-toned Charlotte Olympia ankle-strap pumps worn by the models.
It was South Beach Central at Jonathan Saunder's Spring 2012 showing. The Scottish designer was inspired by the soft, summery shades of Miami - pool blues, yellow rays of sunshine, palm greens, Florida oranges. Saunders, who's talent lies in silk-screening, submitted a string of 50's style dresses in a pretty paisley-print brocades. Each sugar-coated outfit congruously merged into the next. Gorgeous tie-up wedge heels were worn by virtue of La Louboutin.
Paul Smith provided a welcomed break from all the prints with his Spring 2012 collection. I like the relaxed sophistication conveyed by the outfits and the models; who were simple in flat moccasins, floppy hats, wind-swept hair and sunglasses. The hands-in-pockets approach was underpinned by cropped trousers, drop-waist dresses, casual buttoned-down shirts and comfy-looking tees. Looks were commonly threaded by skinny leather belts. I am coveting those flat yellow ankle boots pictured second from last on the bottom row.Erdem
Turkish-Canadian designer Erdem Moralioglu delivered a floaty and feminine range for Spring 2012. Wispy lace dresses were printed in powder blues, lemon chiffon and blanched almond. Beautifully pleated skirts swayed their way across the Savoy ballroom, where the show was held. Fitted dresses suited for a high society summer afternoon high were knee-length with three quarter sleeves. I like the use of unusual accessories like printed gloves and straw boater hats.
Michael van der Ham
Michael van der Ham has rightly earned his place at London Fashion Week. The Dutch novice reiterated his signature look with 3D colour collages and a juxtaposition of fabrics and textures. What looks like strips of fabric that is randomly pinned onto garments, is in fact, a result of van der Ham's carefully deliberated creative process. He showed off silk blouses, cropped cigarette pants and pencil skirts wrapped in chiffon. I like the freshness and blithely vibe that this collection offers. The models were accessorized with printed sunglasses and Christian Louboutin T-bar sandals.
I am completely spellbound by Antonio Berardi's Spring 2012 range. This is my favourite collection of Fashion Week thus far. Fabrics in muted tones were animated by lavish beading. I love the fully sequined skinny pants and cropped bejeweled boleros. Ingenious. Billowy chiffon tunics had high necks and rise-and-fall hems. The warrior-inspired theme is manifested through structured jackets and metallic patent leather, while air light empire-waist gowns brought out a softer side. A truly gorgeous and glamourous collection...I must've bumped my head and went to fashion heaven.