London Fashion Week – Day 1 – From Trad to Rad.

by Katie on September 17, 2010

Paul Costelloe kicked off London Fashion Week with a strong, sassy collection that seemed younger, fresher and a whole lot more switched on that his past more mature collections.  The feel was light, airy 1950’s chic meets Edwardian biker lady, with the emphasis firmly on lady.  This is a collection for real ladies who lunch and their younger sisters. 

Short leather or fabric biker jackets were paired with long bustle skirts in breathtaking floaty fabrics.  In fact, Paul’s fabric choices were adventurous in the extreme.  Metallic shot through fabrics shimmered while structured ruffles gave the impression of airiness and light.  Short flirty dresses in clean white fabrics formed the foundation of this collection, all sprinkled with weaves and twills.  Sugar pink and navy fused into abstract checks ( a staple of Costelloe’s collections)whilst pretty, girly dresses in coated fabrics exaggerated collar added quirkiness.

The lines of this collections were clever.  Costelloe’s a master at playing with form and this was elegance personified and for a cooler, younger customer by the looks of things.  Tick VG.

Keeping thoroughly to the trad school of LFW was Caroline Charles.  Here’s a woman who knows her Home Counties lunching ladies and boy does she design for them.  1950’s Grace Kelly inspired boxy suits edged onto the vintage ‘look’ and appeared in black and yellow solid versions with delicate trims around the wrist.  Classic shift dresses came in solid black and floral silk vivid prints and Caroline veered from the norm and gave us a sudden flash of daring leopard.  What will they think in Godalming?

A ream of black ‘Breakfast at Tiffany’ style dresses in classic black with diamante and pearl jewellery applied carried of the typical CC style (ie. The UK not the French version, though sometimes the lines were crossed).  There were flashes of raspberry sequins in dresses and jackets that again proved daring and made it almost onto the ‘cool’ factor.  Charles finished with an ode to Paris….the red wedding dress finale with a bouquet of roses.

In the alternative trad tradition and with BFC Chairman, Harold Tillman seated front row, Maria Grachvogel turned out a catwalk collection of  glam Goa meets New York simplicity pieces that were chic, unadorned yet draped and folded to the body as only swathes of silk and jersey can.  Fresh minimalism was the key here on paired down silhouette, fluid fabrics and contrasting textures.   Modern and sensual, this collection focused on the drapery and cut, emphasised by pared down simplicity.  Camel long shifts and day dresses in the simplest form were added to by bright yellow pieces and ink in water type graphic prints in Kingfisher blues, yellows and greys.  This was a confident woman who says ‘look at me and not my clothes but yes, I am confident enough to ‘do’ simplicity.’  Modern and elegant and who can argue with that?

Firmly in the Rad(ical) category was Bora Aksu.  Rock star indie beauties in delicate juxtaposing silks and ripped chiffons were sent down the runway to Marilyn Manson.  Frills, draping, lace, fabric contrasts, crochet and the most delicious silver tapestry print (in harem pants and short skirts) were all in there but boy it looked good!  Exaggerated crochet ants were the inspiration for the show, (nope….me either) but don’t let that put you off.  Striking metallic greys, silvers and reds were paired with the edgy design angle.  Cinched waistlines with amplified bust and bottom (like an ant’s body) echoed the curvaceous silhoutete of the 1950s.  This was more Rad than Mad Men, though, as geometric padding segments with stitched deteail accentuated dresses and separates and was slightly indie Punky but just too darned pretty to be angry.
At Jeno Theo, Rad was there in heaps but oh my…how feminine and beautiful was this collection?  I loved it! 

New Age New Wave ‘hip’ hippies hinted at voyages in India and chic nomads. Turbans were piled on heads and looked so hot and sexy , I immediately wanted one.  Sultry feminine draping in muted then hot colours drifted down the catwalk with each outfit getting better and better.  Lots of ‘oohs and aaahs’.  Thick gold braid, Indian type detailing appeared down the sides of arms and legs.  Rock star trousers and jeans with gold detailing and feminine flounce drape tops had me whooping.  The purple harem pants with killer heels and asymmetric detail jacket and  the drop dead beautiful, rose pink asymmetric dress with gold braid detailing were outstanding.  Layering was the key message as well as wearable pretty deconstruction.  This was truly controlled and inspirational design.  Volume and concept were explored in more structural pieces including a take on Victorian corsetry mixed with structured silk turbans.  The modern design juxtaposed with the nod to Victorianism in corsetry as well as hair and make up made this collection one of the strongest  of the day.  It managed to combine outstanding young design talent as well as good strong commercial pieces with imaginative cutting to ‘cut the mustard’ on the international stage.  I’m now a Jeno Theo hardcore fan.

Pics shown are as follows:-

Finale of Bora Aksu show.
Paul Costelloe
Caroline Charles
Back view of Bora Aksu model
Jena Theo (x2)

Thank you to all designers and PRs for persevering with the new wave of fashion bloggers and for the LFW invitations.  Much appreciated.  (K.C)

If you would like to comment on the LFW show reports or say what you like or don’t like, please feel free to leave a comment.  Many thanks.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: