Day four of London Fashion Week saw a whole host of fashion's biggest names (and a startling amount of monochrome), including Burberry Prorsum, Christopher Kane, Giles and Tom Ford.
Continuing winter’s penchant for pastel pink, Antonio Berardi took things oversized for SS14, shying away from anything too girly. Cocoon shapes and big sleeves were key shapes, teamed with T-bar heels, while dashes of fuchsia pink, red, white and cream were used alongside pale pink. Mullet skirts and tops were making a comeback for Berardi, who also showed several pairs of tailored satin trousers, evening gowns and metallic biker jackets.
Simple, sharp silhouettes strode down the catwalk at Roksanda Ilincic, with the polished lines of these shapes complemented by geometric blocks of colour. Jackets were given an update with rounded shoulders, and simple black trousers and dresses worked well against the bold colour palette. Experimental styling was also a key them, with dresses worn over trousers, and over t-shirts.
Christopher Kane (pictured) seemed to have planned for a scientific season, giving an original take on floral trends with flower petals and actual scientific textbook diagrams of flowers printed onto garments. Petal-shaped necklines and accents featured on blazers and dresses, while silky tops and skirts were given flower diagram cut-outs and a sweatshirt featured a cool sequin embroidered diagram. The final looks of the show furthered the theme, as sheer dresses were decorated with oxygen-path-indication arrows and cross sections of flowers: an absolutely stunning interpretation of a classic theme.
Marios Schwab’s signature sheer fabrics, beautiful beadwork and floor-length creations ran throughout his SS14 ‘Contours’ show, but he also introduced plenty of new elements. There were both sculptural pieces that clung to the body and also floaty sheer maxi skirts, Grecian draped and long belted coats. New textures such as frayed denim and supple, light suede also came into play, along with metallic lace and embellished net detail, as well as spines and necklines studded with jewels and gems.
Erdem (pictured) focused on texture this season, rather than his usual experimentations with colour and print. A largely monochrome collection, Erdem included centre-slit skirts, sheer midi dresses with lace accents, safari-esque jackets, buttoned-up collars and embroidered bomber and moto jackets. Erdem added plenty of accents to pieces, livening up the simple colour scheme with his makeshift ‘E’ rest, floral embroidery and feathers. The mix of textures also kept things fresh, as sheer fabrics contrasted with heavier tweed, adding interest to what could have been a flat colour palette.
The models at Nasir Mazhar attracted just as much, if not more, attention than the clothes themselves! British designer Mazhar chose to present his clothes on a range of models from different ethnic backgrounds, tall and short, skinny, curvy and plus-size, with a multitude of sporty, edgy and punky looks thrown into the mix. This perfectly complemented the collection’s feel of rebellious teenage years, which included short skirts and drawstring shorts, cropped T-shirts, bralets and knotted t-shirts in monochrome textures with pops of colour.
Central Saint Martin’s graduates Marta Marques and Paulo Almeida described their collection as ‘nostalgic but progressive.’ Marques’Almeida took us on a trip down memory lane to the early noughties, playing with denim – frayed, bleached, twisted, bootcut, reimagined in kimono form and teamed with organza in imaginative iridescent suits – asymmetric handkerchief tops, bandeau tops and skirts knotted to the side. The grunge trend was reworked with fine-knit sweaters, and chiffon spaghetti-strapped dresses and tops that popped in 90’s rave shades worn over jeans. Oh yes, looks like the skirt-trouser combo is back!
Things were softer over at Burberry Prorsum, a collection which included long cashmere cardigans, cosy coats in gentle, neutral tones, bow-necked sweaters and new Petal bags in delicate shades of mint and lilac. The label also presented lace pencil skirts, suede mac-dresses, knotted dresses and draping skirts for looks that were easy and understated. However, crystal details and a transparent PVC jacket were also dotted in there to liven things up, as well as coin dot prints and striped patterns which built on the graphic nature of previous seasons.
Winner of last season’s Fashion Forward sponsorship, Michael Van der Ham was all about the dress for SS14, with above and below the knee lengths featuring. Continuing his signature splicing technique, Van der Ham fused textures, patterns and fabrics. Mostly monochrome, neon yellow paint splatters and blocks of peach, grey and blush pink lent the collection a bit of colour, while printed and engineered fabrics with mesh covered holes, Swarovski crystal embroidery and jewel embellishments also added interest.
More monochrome at KTZ! A huge collection that seemed to consist of three separate themes, KTZ offered up star prints, pretty florals and gothic studs. Smart, sheer shirts, leggings and raincoats in shimmering organza and Perspex were stamped with monochrome star prints, which also featured on cute boots. Plastic biker jackets and thigh length boots were then worn over a number of coral and navy dresses printed with symbols and florals, before making way for pieces with attitude in PVC and leather, with heavy stud and spike details. Spiked bodices and deconstructed/reconstructed pinstripe suits, topped off with little devil horns, made for a deliciously dark finale.
Pringle of Scotland brought knitwear to the fore – while perhaps predictable, creative director Massimo Nicosia certainly knows how to play to the brands strengths. With twin sets, pencil skirts and shift dresses all appearing in beautifully knitted silks, argyle, pointelle and buttery leather, Nicosia produced classic pieces that subtly push the boundaries of the field.
Peter Pilotto’s colourful collection was shown against wall panels of coloured glass, a veritable rainbow of shades colliding on the catwalk. Mint and sea green pieces were followed by lilac and powder blue, before fiery brights stormed through to close the show in style. Pale yellow cropped jackets came with sloping shoulders, while flowery lace dresses hid layers of starched crinoline for strong, structured shapes. Scattered in the middle of the show were skirts and dresses in powder pink and purple dotted with black flowers. Tartan and tweed supported brightly coloured garments, while sheer fabrics, organza and lace added delicacy and seduction, exposing midriffs and subtle glimpses of skin.
Green was the colour forecast for SS14 by Huishan Zhang, who brought out models dressed in pleated, geometric separates with clear sequin appliqué details before shifting to monochrome (yes, even MORE of the ol’ black and white!) with pretty splashes of coral in lace and broderie anglaise.
Osman continued to show off their sharp silhouettes and cut out details, in a collection that featured both cool pastel shades and bold, bright blocks of colour. Brocade was a key fabric, while sheer textures were used to create light, delicate layers against sculpted, asymmetric lines. Embroidered accents featured across the collection, including slouchy hand-held bags, which were soaked with sequins and beads.
'I wanted it to be a dark summer,' said Giles Deacon of Giles’ SS14 show. His statement, 'I really like bats. Everyone seems to. I'm obsessed with bat swarms,' was evident across the collection. Little bat faces were stamped into leather, sculpted into a hat by milliner Stephen Jones, and reimagined in strapless dresses with voluminous skirts. Prints were adapted from 90’s Polaroids, courtesy of photographer Glen Luchford, and featured on light satin dresses with gathered waists.
Of course, Deacon was careful not to keep things overtly melancholy and injected fun into his fashion with quirky lip prints, embroidery and silk brocade pieces in yet more candy-pink – that colour just isn’t going to go away anytime soon.
Tom Ford wound things down, and heated things up, closing the day with a seriously strong, seductive collection. Curvy models strutted down the runway in sexy, skin-tight pieces; figure-hugging skirts, micro suits and shining mini dresses came bondage-strapped or in shiny, metallic mesh, while others were encrusted with heavy embellishment that reflected and glinted so brilliantly, it could have passed for broken glass. Optical illusion prints and accents of sheer lace were also thrown into the mix for an uncompromising, unapologetically fierce finale.