Hunter Original AW14 (images via Style.com)
Indeed, in case you haven’t already heard the iconic British purveyor of wellington boots has just unveiled a full ready-to-wear line! And I’m not just talking the odd Sloaney sweater. To call what was unveiled that evening “impressive” would be a major understatement. Held in an incredible set up below Westminster University involving a flooded runway and silver birch trees, Hunter Original’s LFW debut boasted an A-List FROW including everyone from Anna Wintour, Natalie Massenet, Kathy Horyn and Stella McCartney (who happens to be married to the brand’s Creative Director) to Jessie J, Katy B, Arizona Muse, Mark Ronson, Lupita Nyong’O and Dynamo. Watching Anna and Stella taking a selfie (!) and Dynamo wowing Jessie with card tricks provided plenty of entertainment during the wait time but the show itself was the true spectacle. Firstly, the clothes. Many of us were a teeny bit dubious about Hunter’s transition from country living to catwalk but the collection was truly excellent. Outdoor staples such as a parka, duffel and mac were given a haute-over in vulcanized rubber, high-tech fleece, neoprene and vinyl. Sleek, sculpted silhouettes came in a palette spanning from hunter green, olive, plum and black to primary block hues and gleaming metallics. Forget about boho/Glasto connotations, this was high spec, sci fi and modern with a passing whiff of recent Lacoste collections about it. Fashion and function aren’t always the most comfortable of bedfellows but with his intelligent, urban offerings Alasdhair Willis totally nailed it. The slick catwalk spectacle finished with Dynamo leaving his seat to join the dewy skinned, bare legged models splashing the catwalk and performing a spot of levitation (as you do) before a rainstorm of playing cards erupted from the ceiling. Like I said, impressive.
My penultimate show of day 2 was one I knew I’d adore, House of Holland. In many ways, the older I get the more powerless I become to resist the allure of shiny, fluffy and brightly coloured things. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the beauty of a simple silhouette and rich neutral hues but ultimately my affections are most captured by sparkle, print, embellished garms that toe the line between seriously awesome and mildly bad taste. This is a fine line walked perfectly by Henry Holland and done so this season par excellence. The FROW featured Henry’s usual gaggle of celeb mates, think Kelly Osborne, Lily Allen, Daisy Lowe and Katie Hillier with Chelsea Leyland, Harley Viera Newton and Atlanta de Cadenet providing the New York party girl contingent. Clad in his clobber and looking ready to hit the town as soon as the last look left the runway, I couldn’t help but liken this lot to the “HOH Harlets” described in the show notes for Henry Holland’s “Debauched Debutantes” AW14 collection. That, I’m sure you’ll agree, is a title that promises fun with a capital F and the show that followed certainly delivered. Think metallics, fur and shimmering satin in borderline offensively eye-popping shades and styled with pom pom detailed footwear.
House of Holland AW14 (images via Style.com)
Full skirts, poofy shoulders and ruffles galore harked back to the balls of yore while cheeky cut outs, peeping midrifts, sequins and leather yoinked the collection into the 21st century. Velvet minidresses came embellished with lobsters, champagne flutes and lipsticks, louche wrap dresses layered under hot pink furs and denim distressed and adorned with acid hues taffeta. Between the baby doll frocks with pie crust collars and need-it-now “Rich Bitch” embroidered silk bomber jackets I’d be very hard pushed to pick a favourite piece. More is more in the world of House of Holland and it sure as hell works for me.
House of Holland AW14 (images via Style.com)
Last up on LFW day 2 was London’s reigning King of glamour, Julien Macdonald. Held in the grand surroundings of the Royal Courts of Justice and with Coco Rocha, Eliza Doolittle, Abbey Clancey and Samantha Barks resplendent on the FROW the show was a glittering visual feast. Then again, one would expect nothing less from the designer chosen by Beyonce to kit her out for her Mrs Carter tour.
Julien Macdonald AW14
The looks that sashayed down the catwalk combined figure clinging silhouettes with flesh flashing and lashings of sparkle. But despite the plunging necklines, cut out detailing and vast quantities of bling, Macdonald deftly sidestepped tacky territory instead offering up red carpet fabulousness at it’s most unapologetically OTT. A perfect finale to a truly excellent day of shows that appealed to the diva in all of us.
Love Ella. X