Day 4 dawned sunny, bright and absolutely freezing! For some reason unbeknown to anyone even myself, I decided to do bare legs. This was perhaps due in part to the equally inexplicable fact that me, Nik and Serena stayed up until the wee hours eating Reece’s Pieces and giggling like teenagers after a few too many cocktails at the Belstaff, Purple Magazine and Dominic Jones parties. Not exactly a rock n’ roll end to the night but on the back of ten (I think) days and nights of fashion week fun, it was enough to make me feel a little on the deathly side when my alarm went off at 7am. Frost bitten knees and bleary eyes aside, there was no way in hell I’d even consider skipping show number 1, Roksanda Ilincic.
I wore: Maje shirt, AllSaints Jacket & Skirt, Massimo Dutti boots & Jaeger London bag
Image by Holly McGlynn
This season Roksanda partnered with The London Bridge Quarter, resulting in the Shard providing a suitably spectacular venue with citywide views of bright autumn morning. As one would expect from one of the city’s shining design stars, Roksanda’s FROW line up included Samantha Cameron, Natalie Massenet, Kim Hersov, Paula Reed, Ruth Chapman and just about every other major editor, buyer and fashion face on the planet. After a fairly sizeable wait – Monday morning of LFW is usually when some of the top shows take place, meaning major delays when everyone inevitably gets stuck in traffic – the first look hit the catwalk and despite my, ahem, fatigue quite how brilliant it was registered instantly.
For SS14 Roksanda Ilincic delivered acid brights, graphic prints and neon colour blocking while somehow managing to convey the air of elegance we’ve come to associate with her. Cinched waists and full skirts were paired with boxy tees and jackets in sculpted neoprene, as if to really drum home the message that Roksanda does a hell of a lot more than just cocktail dresses. Asymmetric hemlines, chiffon pleats and flowing ribbons of fabric were juxtaposed with harder edged looks featuring jagged mesh prints and intricate laser cut overskirts. Roksanda Ilincic isn’t a designer one would usually associate with embellishment but this season she went for it and her gamble paid off big time. The final looks were adorned with gob stopper plastic and gleaming gems, strikingly stunning in a way that was both harsh and compelling.
Roksanda Ilincic SS14 (images via Style.com)
Other than the fact she makes really nice stuff, what I find so impressive about Roksanda Ilincic is the way she moves her aesthetic on each season. While everything she designs has a quality than is inimitably Ilincic, her past few collections have each been markedly different to what we’ve seen previously. This time around Roksanda demonstrated the scope of her skill with athletic touches and a tomboy air (enhanced by chunky, neon Nicholas Kirkwood flats) I could never have predicted but completely and utterly fell for. Judging from the thunderous round of applause that accompanied the finale, I wasn’t the only one seriously impressed by Roksanda Ilincic’s bold SS14 collection. Who knows what she’ll have for us next season? Whatever direction the designer decides to take, you can be damn sure she’ll nail it.
The only problem with holding a show halfway up a sky scraper is the issue of getting everyone back out. This was especially the case after Roksanda when we found ourselves with mere minutes to get across town for Christopher Kane and a high heeled stampede ensued. Once we’d managed to get downstairs and locate Naomi’s car it was time for one of the most panic stricken journey’s of my life. That sounds dramatic I know but come on, you just don’t miss a Kane show! After quite literally sprinting halfway around Clerkenwell we made it just in the nick of time and, oh, thank God we did. If anyone is nuts enough to still doubt the sheer, mind boggling scope of Christopher Kane’s talent this this collection should have definitely put a stop to that.
Christopher Kane SS14 (Images via Style.com)
This season the designer’s starting point was, to put it simply, flowers. But of course, there’s never anything simple about a Christopher Kane collection. His blooms took the form of metal teardrop cut outs inspired by sterilised petals, arresting images of floral reproductive organs concocted from gossamer applique blooms and shimmering sylphlike bias cut slip dresses with skirts and straps contorted by embellished clips loosely referencing those one might use to examine a plant specimen. Sounds odd? Well then look at the pictures. It worked, in an exquisite, magical, how-the-HELL-did-he-think-of-this kind of way. From the razor sharp midnight black tailoring to the pastel hued slogan sweatshirts (I smell a cult hit…) to the patterns created not from print, but intricate cut out patters, everything about the show was utterly hypnotic and unlike anything else I saw here in London or across the pond. Christopher Kane took another step towards fashion world domination this season and I for one am more than happy to dress under his rule.
Christopher Kane SS14 (Images via Style.com)
After what I’m sure you’ll agree was a cracking start to day three, it was time for another high speed dash across town for Marios Schwab at the Topshop venue. Since wangling my way in during my first ever LFW, I haven’t missed a Marios show and I never intend to; he just gets stronger by the season and he started off pretty damn good! A master of second skin silhouettes that mould, sculpt and enhance the female form, Marios Schwab was at his body conscious best for SS14 delivering an array of slick looks featuring carefully positioned airbrush prints. Wicker like mesh detailing and matching caps added intrigue to immaculate monochrome looks while backpack esque straps brought shimmering sequinned numbers back down to earth. Denim dresses with deliberately frayed hems sat seamlessly alongside gossamer fine lace creations and red carpet floor sweepers with meticulously embroidered underskirts that we caught a flash of as the models stalked the catwalk. If the collection’s name, “Contours” hadn’t given us the hint then the svelte sexiness that exuded from every look drummed Marios’ message home; these frocks are all woman.
Marios Schwab SS14 (Images via Style.com)
Season in, season out, the Burberry Prorsum show is always a major LFW highlight for all who are lucky enough to attend. From the crisp white card invitations featuring a 3D cut out of London to the welcome email “from Christopher” all guests receive on arrival and star studded FROW to the collection and it’s reliably fabulous finale, everything about it is so perfectly done I can’t even imagine the organisation it takes to pull the whole thing off.
Alexa Cheung, Poppy Delevingne, Jamal Edwards and Kevin Stytrom on the FROW
Anna Wintour… Like I needed to tell you that!
Gabriella Wilde, Simon Neil, Alison Mosshart, Paloma Faith, Sienna Miller, Harry Styles, Suki Waterhouse, George Barnett and Naomie Harris
With so many other wonderful components, it would be almost tempting to overlook the clothes themselves and it’s a true testament to Mr Bailey’s design prowess that he manages to make them standout as the star of such a spectacular show. Remember how much I adored (and still adore, it’s only September after all!) Burberry’s AW13 collection? Well my feelings for the SS14 offering are every bit as impassioned.
Indeed, in some ways the looks felt like a very natural progression from the latex pencil skirts, cheeky PVC trench coats and playful heart prints Bailey put down the catwalk last season. The hint of kink remained while the autumnal colour palette had been replaced by sugar sweet pastel shades of lilac, mint and blue, dusky pink, buttery neutrals and hits of rich rose. Incidentally, the collection was entitled “English Rose”, a perfect name for some of the most deliciously, unashamedly feminine ensembles I’ve ever laid eyes on.
Figure hugging, sheer lace pencil skirts and matching buttoned up blouses played a game of peek-a-boo paired with softly cocooning knits and coats and leather grab clutches adorned with embroidered blooms. Thicker fabrics were masterfully manipulated, folded origami style to form knot front detailing or sculpted trench style evening dresses cinched at the waist by embellished belts. As the collection progressed, glittering gobstopper embellishment grew to cover trench coats and almost painfully gorgeous skirts realised in candy coloured lace. Cara Delevigne closed the show clad in a playful plastic cape. As the models made their final walk, a torrent of rose petals rained down from the ceiling to the sound of deafening applause.
Love Ella. X