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London Fashion Week: Day 1

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As London Fashion Week goes on, we round up the highlights of the shows from each day.  Take a look at what we can expect for Spring/Summer 2014 from the designers of day one!

Bora Aksu opened London Fashion Week 2013, celebrating ten years in London with an ‘incredibly personal collection’ drawing inspiration from his Turkish roots. Understandably, traditional Turkish elements featured heavily, such as tassels, lacework and crochet featuring on hemlines, waistlines and bell sleeves. Influenced by his childhood memories, his palette played with Mediterranean colours; white and ‘evil eye bead’ blue, sunshine yellow and blooming fuchsia across a range of organza and mesh fabric details.

As well as unveiling his SS14 collection (pictured), Eudon Choi revealed his new collaborative collection for River Island to a select group of press. Fervently minimalist in his designs, Choi presented well-proportioned shirtdresses, asymmetric hemlines, and small bags designed to hold only the bare essentials. However, the Korean-born designer kept things fresh with Asian exotic florals on knee-length dresses, feminine biker jackets and angular tops with sporadic sequin embellishment.

Ostwald Helgason also marked ten years together at this London Fashion Week. Best known for their use of bold colours and prints, it is clear from their London Fashion Week collection that we can expect this to continue in SS14. Logos and motifs, such as a Sean O’Malley-esque balloon dog, adorn t-shirts and sweatshirts, which are sure to be a fun staple for the season ahead. While introducing new aspects such as a sheer floor skimming dress in embroidered organza, tailored floral shorts and trousers, their trademark bold stripes continued to feature on pretty flared skirts, updated with fresh, spring colours.

Fyodor Golan’s ‘Electric Children’ collection was inspired by the walk to their studio every day along the river Thames. Drawing on shapes from bikers and joggers crossing Waterloo Bridge, they transform sportswear and motorwear pieces into wearable cropped jackets, classic pencil skirts, a mix of dress shapes and boxy sweatshirts. Patent yellow contrasted with softer, almost watercolour-esque brights on structured dresses and shirt dresses draped to the floor in powdery pastel shades while, at the same time, Fyodor Golan made sure to keep their edge with a smattering of marble prints, sparkling jackets and tailored cigarette trousers.

Sister duo Dani and Annette Felder (Felder Felder) plunged into Fashion Week with a stunning aquatic-inspired SS14 show. Flirty, flippy cuts and short hemlines were the order of the day, alongside sheer, shimmering organza tailored into dresses and suit pieces. The water theme was clear throughout, with swathes of blue-hued silk, neoprene and chiffon floating down the catwalk, fabrics that shone like the surface of the ocean, sheer octopus-ink black bodysuits, and an abstract striped mini dress reflecting the ‘wondrous kaleidoscopic life which lives in the deepest corners of the sea'. 

Similarly, J. JS Lee’s SS14 collection (pictured) was inspired by the movement and iridescent colours of the jellyfish. Lee’s tendency to work with minimalist tailoring and neutral shades continued, but the SS14 palette was expanded with blue hues and splashes of salmon pink, contrasted with bold printed knitwear and glimpses of gingham.  

Pearce Fionda returned to London Fashion Week after a fairly lengthy break, bringing their trademark glamour and dramatic, decadent details along for the ride. Taking inspiration from the Twenties and Fifties, the designers created a couture-like collection fit to adorn any red carpet starlet. Exaggerated proportions and long, flowing skirts were crafted from rich, luxurious fabrics such as jewel-studded jacquards and georgette, sequin-embellished satins and lashings of seductively translucent lace, mesh and tulle.

Daks took a pleasantly different approach for their SS14 collection; the trademark heritage checks were still noticeable, although now updated in sheer organza fabrics, but the collection took an altogether softer, more feminine turn for the summer months.  Oversized pastel pink is supposedly the only way to wear a coat this winter, and Daks continued this trend by scattering the catwalk with soft, dusky shades of pink, while tan leather and occasional all-white looks stopped the collection from being too sugary sweet. Modern, minimalist and masculine would be the best way to sum up the shapes on offer, teaming tailored trousers with boxy, sporty high necked sweatshirts.

Known for his strong ethics and use of upcycled military fabrics, Christopher Raeburn has gradually injected a more feminine feel into his collections. For SS14, this was most obvious in the silhouette of Raeburn’s navy utility style dresses, which featured drawstring waists and oversized pockets to emphasise this new shape. However, his military interest remained evident in a beautiful new print which drew on elements of Victorian cartography and ordinance surveys.

Another trait of Raeburn’s is his innovative combination of fabrics – lightweight jackets in parachute fabrics contrasted bomber jackets in sporty mesh and quilted fabrics, made from thermally efficient recycled materials. However, something that was all new for this season was Raeburn’s addition of clutches to his accessories range; available in striking lizard print and electric blue, these are an exciting development from Raeburn’s already coveted backpacks.

At Jean-Pierre Braganza, drop crotch shorts and trousers were teamed with sporty crops and angular tops. Sharp tailoring was a key theme across structured coats and tuxedo dresses, while biker jackets were given an update in cracked leather. While splattered and swirled prints dominated his catwalk, some of the simpler pieces – such as tailored monochrome dresses and simple silk shorts – were often the highlights.

Jasper Conran’s graphic monochrome catwalk complemented his fresh, bold collection. Clean, simple suits were given a feminine update with Peter pan collars while tailored shorts went tropical in bright tones of pink, yellow, green and blue.  Stark whites worked well against graphic African prints, while sheer gauze fabrics over pleated skirts gave white a softer feel.

The natural, fresh tone of the collection was also reflected in the models’ make up. Conran himself explained: ‘It's very, very natural. It's very "beach", clean, very natural beauty. No heavy make-up, very soft.’

Returning to the label’s rock n’ roll roots, Todd Lynn showed his collection in a Soho basement bar rather than the usual LFW tents.  Revisiting his flair for sharp tailoring, the designer offered impeccably cut tuxedo suits with deconstructed edges, wide leg trousers and tough, sleeveless leather biker jackets.

While most of the pieces were evidently influenced by men’s tailoring, including shorts and blazers in red and blue striped, features such as delicate lace insets on the back of evening dresses lent a softer, feminine touch to an ultimately androgynous collection.

PPQ  closed day one with a loud collection that positively popped with colour. Strapless mini, mullet and maxi dresses strutted down the runway in red, purple, green, yellow, monochrome and floral prints, while details included frills, ruffled hem lines and bows.  Designers Amy Molyneaux and Percy Parker championed off the shoulder and halter necklines, reminiscent of prom dress styles, topped off with embellished pillbox hats, cat-eye sunglasses and supersized patent handbags for a glossy, girly finish.




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