Thursday 3 March 2016

From Pink to Black with Lots of Colour Clash: Autumn/Winter 2016

Black is back at A.F Vandevorst with a splash of Gothic glamour for AW16. Picture by Mike Rolls 
London is often referred to as the colourful, youthful sister of Paris, Milan and New York fashion weeks. It has certainly always been the most experimental with its fresh and energetic collections. While last season’s collections focused on a soft feminine look, this Autumn/Winter 2016 shifted to an edgier, darker side. Limor Helfgott reports on the trends from the British capital's runways

Belstaff's snug new cape. Photo: Mike Rolls
Fashion editors, photographers and bloggers dash from show to show in London, New York, Milan and Paris taking in the key trends to look out for next season. Femininity and romance are still key themes in new collections, but the designers leaned towards amore Gothic glamour in London. Burberry will also bring the fashion from catwalk shows to High Street stores faster than ever, and fashionistas will be buying their favourite pieces almost straight from the runway.

Capes and over sized coats
Big coats & brilliant colour at Fyodor Golan 
Given the chilly London weather, coats are always a strong part of LFW collections. So it’s not a surprise that they are going to be important for AW16. This season, the overcoats and jackets on the catwalks were bigger, longer and slouchier with expansive sleeves. The trench coat was reinvented as always at Burberry, this time featuring sleek patent leather with polished buckles and military top-stitching.  Aside from over sized coats, the biggest outerwear trend on the catwalks were capes, they look like a very chic way to stay warm this winter.

Their comeback this season comes in many different versions. At Alexander McQueen we saw a dreamy foot length cape, shimmering with embroidered moons and stars which was another repeating motif this season. At Roksanda, there was a more classic version keeping the shape simple in a bold royal blue wool cape with a ladylike collar and black buttons. A more casual day wear design was shown at Belstaff, using a mixture of textures for a traditional feel offering warmth and comfort.

Think Pink & Add Some Bows
Bows were everywhere this season, but certainly the grown-up version and not the sweet kind.
Pink chiffon blouses with velvet bows at Roksanda AW16
A Gothic bow turned simple capes into new and interesting pieces. Topshop's bows were small and subtle, worn tightly around the neck or to tie together tops, while at Roskanda and Preen they were unapologetically large and dramatic. At Roksanda’s collection, although it was darker than usual and inspired by Charlotte Rampling’s character in the classic film The Night Porter,
 Bright pink at Fyodor Golan's London show
femininity was still key with velvet, silk and chiffon blouses with exaggerated wrists, and collars that were softened with bows of black ribbon. Pink is a traditionally pretty hue but has gotten all grown-up for winter and dominated the catwalks. It was definitely the colour this season. Every shade on the pink spectrum was seen, from soft roses to bold pinky reds to brighten up our wardrobes this season. Bright pink was the order of the day at Roksanda while pastel shades  brought the AW16 catwalks to life at Alexander McQueen, Preen and Holly Fulton. Does that mean we will be branching out from black? Not entirely. 

Sparkling black metallics gleamed at Sibling's show
Black & Glitter 
Inventive and exciting looks in all black from top-to-toe were seen in many of the designers' collections. This trend is good news for us who can’t stay away from the timeless shade but want subtle differences in shape and texture. There were shimmers or all-over sequins at Ashish, paired with glittering stilettos, exaggerated hairdos and even pyjamas. Sparkling metallics were seen all across the London collections, blurring the lines between seasons and occasions and enlivening the runways. Topshop Unique added a fully sequinned little black dress into their wearable mix, and Preen by Thornton Bregazzi lit up an autumnal, moody collection of burnt dark colours with candy floss pink sequin looks. Even Fyodor Golan, in their signature eclectic and bright collection, included an all black outfit, a tight dress with a white Coca-Cola logo going down the front.

Print & Colour Clash
Colour clash at Marques Almeida. Photo: Eva Rinnie
Looking at the new collections there is no such thing as too many colours in one outfit, many combined clashing vibrant hues. Anya Hindmarch included in her collection an assortment of oversized coats with classic retro game prints that correlated with the shoes. At Jasper Conran models hit the white runway in bright colours like avocado and pastels, bold stripes and geometric patterns overlaid on soft silk materials. 

While a print-clashing style was served up by Mary Katrantzou with florals mixed with  leopard print. Designer duo Fyodor Podgorny and Golan Frydman presented skirts and dresses in prints and bold colours. Mixing and matching is their signature and the designs were immediately recognisable for their risk-taking combinations. The Fyodor Golan girl certainly stands out at LFW, this time with repeat prints in an Andy Warhol style, wearing gold and silver brogues and pink, blue or green tights.

Splattered Eyewear
A.F. Vandevorst's collection by the Belgian husband and wife duo, who love to shock, put their models on the runway with dramatic powder paint make-up in bright blue and red splashed across their eyes. While at Burberry and Markus Lupfer the shows were more low key but models still wore smatterings of gold glitter. At Fyodor Golan the harsh under eyeliner came with messy wet look hair.

 Georgia May Jagger in black at Ashley Williams. Photo: Limor Helfgott
As always, London is the most divisive of all the fashion weeks across the globe.  It is where rules get broken and leads the way for new and avant-garde designers to show their work. We're interested to see how the trends seen during this autumn/winter 2016 on the runway will be transformed into high street fashion and how quickly it will happen this season.

Subscribe to support our independent and original journalism, photography, artwork and film.