LFW recap: a colourful tour through history

LFW recap: a colourful tour through history

S/S ’17 highlights

Site: Yeong Sassall

Roksanda, Erdem, Christopher Kane and Burberry mine the history books for a shot of inspiration on day five of LFW

As a designer who loves colour, Roksanda is adept at finding increasingly new and architecturally interesting ways to use it.

LFW recap: a colourful tour through history (фото 1)

She kicked off Monday's shows with soft tailoring and floaty layers of silk in burnished tones of caramel, blush pink, deep amber and dark violet. But it wasn't all rich jewel tones and earthy hues - the designer introduced oversized florals and breezy dresses featuring geometric patchworked pieces. Other looks were festooned with delicate feather plumes, lending pants and dresses and airy, artisanal feel. And perhaps even more so than the usual Roksanda collection, there was a languid vibe to the clothes, as pieces skimmed over a woman's body in the most flattering way possible.

LFW recap: a colourful tour through history (фото 2)

Last spring/summer '16 Erdem spoke of prairie madness, but this year he went deeper into history's archives to reference a 1642 English boating disaster that occurred just before an outbreak of civil war. Certainly, given this reference point, you could see the balance between old-fashioned austerity and flashes of seductive 2016 modernity in Erdem's latest collection. Pretty florals, long hemlines and stitched-up Victoriana collars were balanced with sensual cutouts, silk lace-up ballet slippers and flatforms, and contrasting black ribbons tied seductively at the bust, shoulders and throat. It was a collection offsetting classic feminity with alluring flashes of skin.

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Celebrating his 10th year at London Fashion Week, Christopher Kane dug deep into the recesses of his creative mind to produce a collection teeming with nostalgic Polaroid prints, Crocs (yep, those ugly shoes) and many punk-meets-lady contrasts. While the choice of rubber footwear was perhaps the most unexpected (or commented upon) element, you could also argue that the pairing of florals with animal print or safety pins and slip dresses was equally offbeat. But as always, this arbitrary mix of old and new, of ugly with pretty marks out Kane as one of the most innovative, ever-evolving British designers around.

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A parade of millennial British starlets such as Freida Pinto, Nicholas Hoult, Felicity Jones, Lily James (the new face of Burberry perfume) and Cara Delevingne sat front row of at the S/S '17 show. It was an auspicious sign that the British brand were moving with the times - merging the men's and women's collections into just two shows a year and offering shoppable looks direct from the runway. But among all these changes to business structure, what about the clothes? Things took a regal, Baroque-mixed-with-Elizabethan turn, with frilled cuffs and collars, brocade, paisley and ornate military coats. Luckily, it was less buttoned-up than it sounds, with several nods to pyjama dressing via silk jackets, pants and button-up shirts worn layered and belted in. With a quirky styling sensibility that called to mind an eccentric English aunt or uncle, we're also betting the combat boots and bags will be a major winner for S/S '17.

LFW recap: a colourful tour through history (фото 5)

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