Just when I had lost hope and thought New York had much more to offer when browsing the collections displayed in London in the first 4 days, some of the most amazing collections popped up during the last three.
I would have included Gareth Pugh on this list if it weren’t for the fact that his work might even scare some of you, as his collections are more of artistic/political statements rather than wearable fashion.
Usually known for his minimalistic designs and clear lined silhouettes, if J.W. Anderson let the critics get to him(I read reviews that described his previous collections as ‘unwearable’) and, therefore, decided to make something diametrically different to what he always did, then he utterly failed in this collection in my honest opinion (I will apologize in advance if you are one of the ones who like it). He is often a favorite of mine, but his work was this time beyond disappointing. He basically chose exactly all the elements that made 80’s fashion embarassing (not saying that 80’s fashion is bad in general, but he did choose the worst bits of it). I believe every fashion era ends for a reason and it leaves us always with many empirical lessons of what to do and what not to do, or at least, how to improve it. From the vivid, yet tacky tones and materials he chose and paired together (Latex? Seriously? No matter how classy or cool you try to sell it, that is one material that will always look vulgar, or at least I have yet to witness a way in which it is aesthetically pleasing to see) to all the glam, the glitter, and the kitsch that defined that decade, it was all just a mish mash of the worst. It lacked originality and was neither a new take on 80’s fashion nor a nouvelle way to wear it, for most of the outfits are replicas of what people who lived in that decade actually wore and surely regretted afterwards (sorry again, Mom). The worst part? The boots. I feel kinda bad for the harsh critic, but I do know for a fact that he is capable of being one of the best and I still believe in his work.
Anyhow, enough with the critics and scroll down to see which made it to the top this time:
9. Nili Lotan. This set of looks might look at first glance overly simple, but don’t let that fool you, since the styling is brilliant and the tailoring immaculate. Minimalistic menswear inspired looks balanced out with sleek, strappy heels, all in grey, cream, black, and camel, sounds like my dream ticket to fall dressing heaven.
8. Belstaff. If you are a tomboy at heart and seek for edgy, badass atittude, Belstaff’s new collection is where it’s at. Delicious layering was constituted mostly of biker leather jackets underneath thick, oversized coats and over turtlenecks and silk blouses, all topped with rock-n-roll footwear in the form of combat boots.
7. Osman. Sleek, yet delicate, this trichromatic collection is full of contrasts, opposites, and dualities. From feathers to quilted leather, all the details intertwine with each other naturally resulting in feminine and elegant looks.
As a self-professed non-fan of prints, or at least not of the colorful and flowered variety, I have to admit Katrantzou’s prints are remarkably and visually impacting, just as the silhouettes she achieved this time around. But what is different in this occassion is that she mixed minimal design with Victorian brocade, a very unusual, yet exceptionally beautiful combination.
5. Mulberry. While a lot of people might be against the fact that artists and basically everyone involved in a creative process take inspiration from others and even steal several or even many elements, this is the way any field has ever evolved since the beginning of history. You can argue that this collection from a label mostly known for its cult-status bags and leather goods, might remind one of some elements from Chloé’s Pre-Fall collection last year, but I still find it to be exceptionally well crafted and executed in materials, shapes, and in every detail.
Perhaps Mulberry is a label for the more conservatives amongst us, but I think the clothes in this collection are a proud representation of their bags, or at least the image is faithful to the bags’ aesthetics. I wouldn’t mind all those checked garments, culottes, and boxy coats. Femine, lady-like, elegant, yet playful and refined.
4. Whistles. Whistles has a special place in my heart due to their laid-back, everyday wear with a minimal approach. Relaxed silhouettes and cozy fabrics are synonymous with the label and the shoes are always on point.
3. Marques Almeida. As Burberry is for trenchcoats and Missoni for zig zag prints, as Marques Almeida is for raw, frayed denim. And no one does it like them. They make my addiction to denim grow with each of their collections. I love the cuts in the jeans and tops in unexpected places and all those boxy shapes in combination with fitted ones, which makes it all casual and hip, also with the flats and sneakers.
2. Joseph. The label’s latest collection can be summed up in two words: Knit heaven. And if I had to add a third and fourth one: mimicking cozy blankets, a very interesting approach to comfort during winter. While the blanket-like sweater dresses remind one of Acne Studio’s collection this season, there were plenty of other elements that made the collection its own trademark style. The usage of neutral shades is impeccable and fits so well with the whole cocoon clothing concept, yet there were pops of color that added depth and spark to the garments. However, it was not all about knits, there was also plenty of perfectly tailored wool in relaxed shapes, pieces of fur here and there, and even denim. All fabrics you want to wear during winter.
1. Ports 1961. Is this possibly the London Fashion Week equivalent of The Row’s collection? We can at least admit that the minimal-luxe, cleaned-cut, and oversized tailored garments and flat mules are a common denominator in both collections. However, while there was more movement in The Row, there are more layers and textures in Ports 1961. It’s also more graphic, less monumental, and there are more playful details. Either way, this collection and this label are most definitely one of my favorites during this fashion month so far.