LFW SS14: Day 2 Part 2

LFW SS14

Whenever I start to think that NYC does it better I’m reminded that London does it pretty damn well too. LFW day two definitely provided such a reminder. After stellar shows from Holly Fulton, John Rocha and Whistles, Coco’s Tea Party blogger, Ella Gregory and I headed West (via Starbucks, natch) to Mayfair for the Markus Lupfer presentation. I, like the rest of the sartorially inclined world, have no qualms admitting to my fixation with Lupfer’s trademark embellished sweaters. With tongue in cheek slogans and oh-so-comfy fits, they’re total fashion catnip. But of course, Markus Luper doesn’t just do great jumpers, oh no. The German born, London based, unbelievably charming designer does great just-about-everything. From flirty frocks to city chic separates and footwear, Markus is no one trip pony and he certainly demonstrated that this season. The presentation space in Il Bottaccio – a gorgeous Georgian building overlooking Green Park – had been decked out to resemble a retro teenage girls bedroom complete with posters, stuffed toys, a pink and white desk plus other girly accoutrements. Among the clothes themselves there was no hint of the cult knits for which Lupfer is renowned. In their place came super bright ditzy floral prints, cute cat motifs, bicycle embroidery and cheeky slogans adorning flirty hemmed dresses, cropped bomber jackets, sweatshirts mini skirts and cropped trousers. Playful, irreverent and perfect for anyone who likes their fash with a side of fun. In short, I want it all and I want it now!

LFW SS14

LFW SS14

Having started to feel an afternoon slump coming on despite my triple shot latte, Markus’ presentation perked me up no end and I felt positively perky as I made my way to the House of Holland show, stopping for a self indulgent sushi-and-magazine session en route. Henry Holland is another designer who’s work doesn’t take itself too seriously. If the jostling crowds outside (and inside for that matter) the Brewer Street Car Park venue were anything to go by, I’m clearly not alone in falling for his devil may care attitude every season. House of Holland shows always pull in a considerable coterie of his celeb pals and by the time I took my seat Pixie Geldof, Alexa Chung et al were already installed on the FROW. Mere minutes before the lights went down Harry Styles entered flanked by Kelly Rowland and Nick Grimshaw causing an absolute frenzy among the paps, not to mention pretty much everyone else who would no doubt have considered themselves worldly enough to know better. At last the lights went down and the first look hit the catwalk. Remember his “Rave Nana” show for AW13 that has since spawned a million high street copies? I loved and still love that collection so am delighted to tell you that this one was definitely of the same standard. Opening with a white shirt waister dress adorned with orange, tattoo style roses and a high shine belt, Henry’s latest offerings walked the fine like between tacky chic and just plain tacky perfectly.

LFW SS14

House of Holland SS14 (images via Style.com)

Between the wildly clashing hues, wallpaper prints, leopard print PVC and ghetto gold jewellery everything was “off” but deliciously so. Chambray denim (lots of that for SS14!) with floral embroidered cut outs, graphic patterned gold jacquard, saturated gingham checks, high shine metallics and neon lace were all held together by an feeling of 90s inspired Miami cool that, minus the in your face styling, will translate effortlessly into real life. There’s something about the kind of shamelessly loud and proud style that, when delivered by House of Holland, is irresistible in it’s sheer so-wrong-its-right-ness. Hell, by the end of the show I was even coveting Henry’s white leather jacket featuring a giant religious motif on its back!

LFW SS14

House of Holland SS14 (images via Style.com)

Yep, day 2 was a marathon and I still had one show left at the hideously late hour of 8pm. But when it’s a show like Richard Nicoll you suck it up and shiver outside the Regents Park venue in the knowledge that the collection you’re about to see will make those purple knees worth it. Admittedly had I not a) done bare legs b) worn painful shoes or c) stayed out until stupid o’clock the night before I may have felt slightly less shivery but hey, I survived it and Richard’s collection was everything we’d all hoped for and then some. By this point all the major players had arrived from New York and the FROW included Carmen Bornogovo, Kate Foley, Alexandra Shulman, Lorraine Candy, Natalie Massenet (who’d changed into a impossibly chic black jumpsuit, how does she always look so perfect?!) and Kim Hersov to name but a handful.

LFW SS14

Richard Nicoll SS14 (images via Style.com)

Much as I love all things bright and bold, Nicoll’s SS14 collection was both a reminder of how powerful simplicity can be, especially in the hands of one so supremely skilled as Richard Nicoll. In a palette consisting largely of monochrome and graphite greys with just a few pink looks somewhere in the middle, the focus was on razor sharp cuts, clean lines and ingenious fabric use such as the sheer, optic white ensembles embroidered to create a herringbone pattern and metallic panel detailing.

LFW SS14

Richard Nicoll SS14 (images via Style.com)

Boyish cuts and super slick tailoring had a menswear feel to them while structured, two tone shift dresses were all woman. But this, my friends, was a crisp, powerful femininity articulated in graphic, black and white stripes, sheer sleeved tux jackets, waistcoats and perfectly precise cigarette pants; no flounce or frippery from Richard Nicoll. Even the handbags were fuss free, boxy confections by Golden Lane and, as luck would have it, I’d found myself sitting next to their designer, Fran, so got to congratulate her in person. There was no extravagance or theatrics here, just beautiful clothes beautifully made by a truly talented designer; surely the ultimate end-of-day palette cleanser.

Love Ella. X

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