LFW: A very British affair

Today is the final day of London Fashion Week, but definitely not one to skip, with designers Simon Rocha, Meadham Kirchhoff, Anya Hindmarch and Fashion East all showing. But for now, it’s still all about yesterday’s penultimate shows; Burberry Prorsum – possibly one of the most iconic British labels this country has – and Christopher Kane, always a notoriously exclusive show from this Scottish born, London based designer. These two shows couldn’t have been more different, and yet were two of the most memorable from the day, each one giving us a reason to be proud of the British fashion industry.

Christopher kane

Firstly, it was the turn of designer Christopher Kane in the morning, who showed at 180 The Strand. His somewhat mix-matched collection of origami inspired paper-thin chiffon layered dresses, ribbon-armed structured shifts, cropped tailoring and patent bomber jackets was inspiring, and represented the obvious twists and turns the designer’s thought process took. But instead of refining his inspiration, what resulted was a beautifully presented collection of lots of individually exquisite pieces; with just the right amount of biker-toughness from the collection’s black, sharp edges, and strong femininity through the pastel pinks and soft neon greens. Not only did this collection showcase a myriad of work, with pieces we could be picking for different occasions all winter long, it also debut Kane’s first foray into a handbag line. The bags were mainly cute, miniature even, and in luxurious structured leathers; with detailing alluding to his debut clothing collection back in 2007 with those neon belt clasps that we hadn’t forgotten about.

Christopher kane

Then came Burberry, Christopher Bailey showing his Burberry Prorsum range on the brands usual high calibre model line-up, but this year’s show read like the who’s-who of it girls of the moment. Joining Cara Delevingne were Suki Waterhouse, Jourdan Dunn, Sam Rollinson, Malaika Firth and Edie Campbell. This season, different to Bailey’s usual strict, structured array of trenches and cover-ups, AW14-15 was all about loose, flowing and languid lines in watercolour pastel brush strokes and scarves loosely belting draped coats. Sheepskin of course featured in the way of two short jackets; belted at the waist and painted with those watercolour florals, updated for a new take on the classic shearling flying jacket. Out first were the watercolours that reflected London’s scity skape skyline, but a turn in the collection showed colours becoming darker, more vibrant, and featured teal, warm reds and decadent golden orange, almost making us think of a Turkish Bazaar. This led the collection on to more draped outerwear, but heavier this time; and the only length to wear was clearly midi, with coats in long lengths, belted over sheer lace midi skirts and dresses – so keep that midi skirt in your wardrobe all year round – you’ll be needing it!

Burberry Prorsum

Burberry Prorsum

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MBFW: Update

At the end of day six, with just one and a half more days left of New York fashion week, we’re looking at more of the key stand-out shows we’ve seen over days five and six…

Vera Wang

vera wang

vera wangPhotos: Vogue.co.uk

The runway at Vera Wang – from the woman famous for evening and bridal wear – was all about dark romanticism and Gothic glamour for AW14-15; centered around jewel-encrusted insect brooches, and slogan “You Bug Me” and insect graphic tees. The (still predominantly evening wear) collection featured tartan, mainly; in a mixture of light chiffon and heavy wool, to create layered, textured looks that dipped into the non-waning trend for sheer. Wang said she was trying to create the “tension of when a boy meets girl”, which is seen in the toughness of the collection. Most of the looks included leather elbow length gloves, whereas the high-impact, sheer, flowing and ruffled evening gowns were sensual, and the dark water-colour floral gowns, feminine; both needing little accessorising other that the sky-high heeled boots and sock combo on every model.

Jenny Packham

jenny packham

jenny packhamPhotos: Vogue.co.uk

Tuesday saw Jenny Packham show at Washington Street, and what she presented could only be described as pure 70’s glamour heading down that runway. The mix of flowing evening gowns and jumpsuits were inspired by Bianca Jagger, said Packham, and the feminine, glamorous aesthetic of the collection reflected Jagger’s personality and presence. Packham combined her usual lady-like silhouettes with tailoring this year; sharp blazers over classic pencil skirts and sleek wide-leg trousers, in an array of silky satins in bright colours; a mix of rosy and raspberry pinks, royal navy, burgundy and caramels. Her intricate waterfall beading was seen on jumpsuits and dresses, while glittering tulle skirts and feather detailing on bags added to the 70’s allure.

Marc by Marc Jacobs

Marc by Marc Jacobs

Marc by Marc JacobsPhotos: Vogue.co.uk

Despite showing in New York, this year’s Marc By Marc Jacobs show was the amalgamation of a British Duo; Katie Hillier as Creative Director and Luella Bartley as Head designer, in an attempt to bring back the label to its former glory. The diffusion line of Marc Jacobs label, was once at the forefront of amusing, accessible designs, at a lower price point for young women, but since 2008 it had strayed from this, and lost it’s identity. Luella (who’s young, fresh designs we love) and Katie, managed to create a sort of motor-cross show, mixed with Japanese cartoon humour in the way of biking slogans reading ‘Revolution’ and ‘Bunny Hop’, and ninja-like models wearing bandannas across their faces, and BMX moonboots. The result was a street ready collection. Polo neck t-shirts completed most looks, and a cinched in waist with that distinctive leather belt, kept a level of sophistication and femininity, before the collection became too far-fetched. Grey and black were the basis, but red and blue in go-faster stripes adorned most pieces; adding the cool, kitsch and cartoon like feel; the feel that is most apparent on the iconic and press-worthy ‘Bunny Hop’ silver metallic dress (pictured above).

Rodarte

Rodarte

RodartePhotos: Vogue.co.uk

Those Star Wars printed dresses were all everyone could talk about with Rodarte; that and the memorable fairy-tale metallic lip and soft smokey eyes by Nars. The collection was distinctly nostalgic; Star Wars inspired prints on Grecian, toga style maxi dresses and soft pastel pinks and purples used throughout the clothing and makeup. But despite this; the metallic hues and glittery over-sized coats added a celestial touch, and dreamy metallic lips helped meld the past and future perfectly. The combination of statement pieces, the Yoda printed dresses and cute berets appealed to the couldn’t care less attitude of so many fashionistas, hinting to a renaissance of the ‘geek chic’ trend we saw appear not so many years ago.

 

MBFW

Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week got into full swing over the weekend, with some of the most anticipated shows taking place. From Alexander Wang’s controversial (yet very cool) move to Brooklyn for his show, Victoria Beckham’s 12th Fashion Week show, and DKNY and Diane Von Furstenberg; two of the key players and most well known names in the fashion industry.

Alexander Wang showed in the Brooklyn Navy Yard on Saturday; a change from the norm that signaled a new age of cool; a move suggesting that Brooklyn was the future of fashion, and very much reflected in his futuristic, utilitarian looking collection. The designer’s choice of location lured the fashion circus across the city in freezing temperatures (Wang was showing at a later time of 9pm), and catch water taxi’s to watch this not-to-be-missed spectacle, and luckily he didn’t disappoint. AW14 according to Wang is all about utility, space-age and masculinity. All of the models had bleached eyebrows and slicked across hair, their angular features emphasised by the deconstructed surroundings and a monochromatic palette with accents of galactic purple.

Wang

DKNY followed suit with another urban collection that portrayed masculinity and street-chic. Donna Karen shows year on year, yet always manages to live up to expectations, and this year was no different. Her take on hipster style that’s so prevalent in today’s youth culture, made sure that this often extreme, unkempt look became luxe, slick, accessible even, given that she used real new Yorkers in favour of models down the runway. Padded parkers, sweaters and varsity style bombers, contrasted long flowing slip dresses and the odd pink hue, giving the collection versatility, and where each piece alone was extremely wearable.

DKNY

Then there was Victoria Beckham. We were probably just as excited to see whether the Beckham entourage turned out in force to steal the F-ROW limelight (they did), and of course little Harper’s outfit was just as hotly anticipated; but all eyes were firmly on VB’s collection as soon as the show started. This season the designer was all about oversized, yet structured silhouettes; luxurious coats paired with flowing skirts over trousers for extreme layering, and Victoria had presented a collection that was miles from her signature ‘body shaping’ dresses and the classic tailoring she does so well. Each look was sophisticated and well thought out, with a simple yet effective monochrome colour scheme (matching her even simpler invitations), which will no doubt still be on the wish list of so many women come AW 14…

Victoria Beckham

Diane Von Furstenberg – the lady who invented the wrap dress, and with it boosted the confidence of women everywhere – shows in New York every year, and is known for her re-inventions of her signature dress, as well as bold colours and prints. This season – in a collection almost entirely of dresses – DVF was all about basic, wearable styles in black and white graphic, kaleidoscope prints (as was her mesmerizing runway); but introduced beautiful gold metallic mini dresses, and a mix of hot pinks in a variety of printed midi and maxi wrap dresses which had us, and everyone else very excited.

DVF

There’s still four days to go of MB Fashion Week before the fashion circus are on the move again heading to London; so in the meantime we can start to wonder what we can expect to see  in collections from Jenny Packham, Zac Posen, Tommy Hilfiger and Maison Martin Margiela…

BCBG MAXAZRIA

 

BCBG

BCBG

BCGB Max Azria is arguably one of the most talked about designer shows each season, and his sophisticated yet extremely wearable collections, and the cult elite following they produce, are showing no signs of fading. Yesterday’s show was one of the first, kicking off Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in New York, and the AW 2014-15 collection has certainly given the fashion industry something to talk about.

The designer’s bold mix of blacks, navy and orange; paired with lighter neutral tones and oh-so-pretty pastels, makes the collection very versatile. Whilst being feminine with layers of soft, slouchy fabrics, the collection managed to stay on the right side of grunge with sleek studded knee-high boots and lots of leather, beading and lace. Surprisingly (or not so, if you look at BCBG’s proven record), this works; animal prints in neutral tones, and block stripes in a primary colours and pastels adorn dresses and the hems of culottes – the only thing to own in 2014 – offering choice, and alluding to the modern woman’s tendency to be a chameleon.

What’s hard to avoid though, is the use of fur within the collection, and lots of it. Some of the most memorable pieces we’ll be taking into AW with us, are the indulgent hand muffs, and luxurious fur stoles. There’s no denying the designer’s clear nod towards luxury and extravagance this season, and whilst this will have given editors and PETA alike something to talk about, The Clothes Line’s policy remains stable around the use of fur: whilst we, nor any of the shops we supply, accept, sell or condone fur items, we must appreciate it’s significance within the fashion industry. For this reason, we cannot ignore the important role that BCBG Max Azria plays in setting key trends for the fashion industry, so we can only hope that the high-street adopts faux-fur whilst planning their ranges for AW 14, and nothing else.

bcbg

 

 

 

bcbg

bcbg

Let the fashion circus commence…

Tomorrow marks the beginning of fashion month, kicking off in New York with Mercedes-Benz fashion Week. This will see editors, stylists, buyers, bloggers and celebrities (otherwise known as the ‘fashion circus’) pack their bags and visit the most prominent four cities in fashion over the next four weeks. From New York they’ll head to our very own London, for the best of British fashion on the 14th, then on to Milan and finally Paris, taking us into March.

While everyone who’s anyone at Fashion Week will be wearing ready-to-wear styles from last September’s runways (that’s SS14, if you don’t know), we’re only just about getting to terms with having to swap our winter wardrobes for spring, despite it still feeling like mid-winter. The Clothes Line will be at Vodafone’s London Fashion Week on Friday 14th February (who needs a man when you’ve got Fashion Week?), and we’ll be keeping you updated with all the best street-style we’ve snapped on the day; and with the fash-pack out in force – you’re sure to find some ultra stylish inspiration!

london-fashion-week

Keep you’re eyes on the blog over the coming month, as The Clothes Line will be following all things stylish and fashion week-related!