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London Fashion Week: Day 3


 At 9am on Sunday morning, Preen woke up a slightly bleary fashion crowd with a dynamic mash-up of sporty stripes, nautical, print and tribal. Surprising juxtapositions included jungle print skirts with jagged hems worn with striped polo neck bodysuits featuring cut-out backs. Striped jersey edging, of the kind you would find trimming a pair of school track pants, appeared as a belt or detail on skirts and tops with mismatched lace panels and in floral silk. It was also wrapped around the body to create a bandage mini dress and provided the pattern on a black silk wrap dress.

Printed rucksacks underlined the sporty feel and a white bodysuit with quilting which resembled the panels inside a movie spaceship added a futuristic dimension at the end.

short evening dresses

The Marios Schwab show later on verified asymmetry as an pattern. Soft silk outfits and outfits printed with grayscale pictures of Herculaneum seemed as if they were made from unevenly covered neckties, while a white-colored pure cotton clothing dress was longer on one side than the other. Asymmetry tends to split the fashion viewers, so to talk, but even more very subjective were rather unusual trousers with extra covered segments of material down each leg which were covered in towards the waistline, and white-colored clothing ski trousers with the inside leg reduced. Probably only a design converted Yoga trainer would have the inner hip and legs for these.

The evening dresses were far better. Schwab does a mean little black dress, and this season’s versions included a lovely strapless one with nude chiffon flowing at the back, and black straps at the sides. Another featured Schwab’s signature technique of wrapping a nude dress – this time with a sequinned Greek key pattern – in sheer black silk.

Matthew Williamson’s eveningwear was more pool party than premiere, with prints of tropical flowers and palms on filmy maxi dresses with halter or bondage strap fronts. There was a 1970s element to shirt dresses, silk blouses and a suede kimono style jacket with floral embroidery.

short strapless dresses

For women who would feel like a human carnival float in the tropical florals and brights that inevitably come out every summer, Margaret Howell’s clothes are a gift. As ever there was plenty of pared down, easy clothing. Black shirt dresses in silk, a black linen sack dress with short rolled sleeves and black linen T-shirts were pleasingly simple.

A grey dress with vest top and sunray pleat skirt had a school uniform quality – Howell’s clothes have that regulation feel – and straight navy skirt, cream sunray pleated skirt and a white cotton, slightly flared style fell to just below the knee or mid-calf. Howell’s trusty tailored trousers and blazers were there too, the most standout being a pair of beautifully cut navy peg trousers with a front crease and button at the ankle worn with a navy fisherman’s jumper. Catnip to fashion’s many navy obsessives.

At Paul Smith too, there was low maintenance summer clothing on offer – particularly in the form of drop-waist dresses with cricket blazer and deckchair stripes, or colourful horizontal bands.

From the reliably low-key to fashion’s most professionally outspoken designer. Vivienne Westwood had already backed Scottish independence, saying “it could be a great day for democracy.” Although models wore badges supporting the ‘Yes’ campaign, anyone looking forward to a tartan and kilt fest would have been disappointed. Instead there was the customary nod to revolutionary France with striped dresses falling off the shoulder, ruched and corset shaped tops and tricorn hats. These were mixed in with tailoring in the form of boxy double-breasted jackets and nip-waist jackets worn with knickers, and several hourglass dresses. Sadly they were less va-va-voom than they often are.

maxi formal dress

At Mary Katrantzou, however, her audience know to expect the unexpected, and this season her imagination riffed on the ideas of Pangaea and Panthalassa, the ancient supercontinent and its ocean. The result was something that felt both mythical and very rooted in the texture of the sea and land. Modern mer-women wore incredibly intricate little dresses with coral and angel fish embroidery, seed bead panels and guipure python lace overlaid with chiffon. White shirt dresses came with surreal underwater scenes of flora and fauna, while there was plenty of pleated panelling – often overlaid on to other fabrics. To match the organic shapes and textures the colour palette featured earthy sandstone, moss and nude followed by vivid coral.

Most unusual were the long formal dresses “inspired by tectonic plates” with ruptured panels of embroidery and seed beads, which seemed to float over the body threatening to part. Rupture was a big theme in the show notes but this was very together collection, which used lavish detailing without a feeling of excess. Factor in Rodarte’s mermaid princesses and undersea chic awaits next spring/summer.

From underwater fantasia to a collection that felt fresh, and even a little bit funny, from Jonathan Saunders. Safari jackets and trousers in electric blue and teal featured giant bows tied at the waist, and came decorated with eyelet holes and sprig-like flowers. Tunic-like white shirts with silhouettes of leaves and flowers were paired with bubble skirts in a metallic rust and forget-me-not blue. Finally, lovely dresses and skirts covered in loosely attached appliqued petals or bunched up petals confirmed that eveningwear is looking like London’s strongest suit.




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