Tuesday 27 September 2016

New Directions in Fashion: From Instant Shopping to Pastel Punk

Diaphanous blue and white flowers at Jasper Conran's summery show in London. Cover picture of the Teatum Jones collection for Spring/Summer 2017. 
This season, London Fashion Week began with a large question mark: would the 'see now, buy now' initiative be a success? From Top Shop to Burberry, brands are bringing tech to the catwalks and instant shopping was the biggest trend along with strong new design directions, our fashion editor Limor Helfgott reports from the British capital

Gothic dreaminess at Vin + Omi SS17. Photo: Liron Weissman 
THE ground-breaking change in buying fashion from the runway started with Burberry and has been followed by more brands by bringing their new collection to our wardrobes instantly. Instead of showing six months ahead, fashion houses are presenting what is in stores now and available to buy immediately. Burberry’s Christopher Bailey described the show as season less, with clothes designed to wear throughout the year. Menswear designer Oliver Spencer, the closing show for this season, presented the next step in shopping technology with a new interactive option that allowed ticket holders to buy items from the collection straight from the runway using the Vero app. Topshop Unique was another label that joined this trend, and the unveiling of the collection generated a lot of buzz in London. The show was streamed live on Topshop’s website and enthusiastic shoppers were able to buy pieces from the website straight away.

Embellished denim at Fyodor Golan. Photo: Limor Helfgott
Other designers like Fyodor Golan blurred the lines between technology and reality, with a digital Spring/Summer 2017 presentation. The collection had dramatic reflective, holographic silver pieces of popping luminous tones against metallic and embellished denim and a sci-fi and futuristic theme with a wink to punk. As guests were guided into the presentation space, they were handed a pair of headphones playing Rihanna-mixed beats, meanwhile multiple screens revealed a digital remake of the SS17 Fyodor Golan collection. This is another label looking to the future of fashion, showing us what is possible to do with the design process.
Could this be how ready to wear fashion will be presented?

Apart from these revolutionary changes of how and when we buy clothes from new collections, London's Fashion Week was, as always, a melting pot of ideas, colours and game-changing looks. From romantic ruffles to punk pastels, here are the top directions from the SS17 catwalks for next season:

Pretty in Punk Pink
Punk pink at Fyodor Golan. Photo: Limor Helfgott
Pastels are back after we first saw them dominating the catwalks in Autumn/Winter 2016. This season's Spring/Summer 2017 looks proved that pink is stronger than ever with Topshop, Preen by Thornton Bregazzi and Teatum Jones all using every shade. At Teatum Jones we saw a romantic flamingo pink clashing with fleshy nudes, framed by snooker-table green and emerald. Pink also surprised in a Goth form. Once being a Goth meant wearing black and looking depressed, these days you can be a Pastel Goth and be inspired by ice cream colours!

Preen by Thornton Bregazzi’s collection was a combination of Eighties Goth and summer meadows and sequins which rocked the pastel goth look. “Everything is delicate-looking, but with a sharp, dangerous edge," said Justin Thornton, one half of the Preen creative partnership. "Light on the outside, dark on the inside." Sid Neigum added only a few splashes of bright crimson to his otherwise monochrome palette, including a buttonless silk pyjama-style set, the front of which tied in an ascot knot, and a long tunic and trouser with exaggerated sleeves.

 Eighties vibes at Top Shop Unique. Photo: Limor Helfgott
The Eighties Are Here
This season the 1980s continues to remain at the forefront, as shown at Mother of Pearl, Topshop Unique and Preen. At Topshop we found classic nods to the decade in the form of PVC high-waisted trousers, giant earrings, frizzy hair, fuchsia pointed stiletto boots and zebra print (which seems to be replacing leopard as the animal print of choice this season) all accompanied by an electro soundtrack ~ taking inspiration from provocative artist Linder Sterling and the city’s eclectic fashion markets. “We were thinking about all those amazing markets like Hyper, the Great Gear market, Kensington and Camden, where you bought everything from army surplus to Swanky Modes party dresses,” explains creative director Kate Phelan. Edgy lingerie references dance between ladylike underpinnings and Camden Ballroom anarchy in the Eighties. To break up the black and the strong 1980s statements there were some softer colour options such as pale grey, blush and denim. NewGen designer Marta Jakubowski’s collection included the pink trend with raspberry-hued suiting and deconstructed velvet dresses on models who rotated around the presentation on a bright red carousel.

Love and Ruffles
Voluminous ruffles at Vin + Omi. Photo: Liron Weissman
Whether you’re going for a timeless classic look or fiercely modern, it could all be seen at London Fashion Week. Ruffles dominated a host of collections from Erdem to Teatum Jones and in-your-face sleeves, frills and pleats are having a major moment. At Teatum Jones, innovative and bold fabrics were teamed with modern, relevant shapes, tailored silhouettes presented soft and voluminous looks and ruffles were layered over sheer, pleated netting. Separates ruled the runway, with skirts and lingerie inspired silk satins printed with romantic florals paneled with delicate French lace. At Shrimps we saw textured high-top sneakers paired with floaty dresses that were heavy on ruffles, sea-shell prints and gingham. Burberry's ruffled and frilled shirts were coupled with cute printed shorts, and high-collared shirts were worn underneath trench coats.

High octane glamour Julien Macdonald SS17
Love is definitely in the air, with a number of designers showing decidedly floaty, flirty and feminine pieces. Frills and froths of lace, as well as delicate embroidery were present at Jasper Conran, and on many other catwalks, proving that it pays to be pretty. Glam it up A-list favourite Julien Macdonald made an extravagant return to London Fashion Week with a high octane glamourous collection drawing inspiration from the Masai tribes and solitary landscapes of the African plains. The colour palette is soft and feminine, inspired by albino animals discovered on faraway travels. Snakeskin is re imagined on dusty pinks through the use of three dimensional Swarovski embroidery to create an Afro-Chic aesthetic, with daring cut-outs, intricate lace and plenty of sparkle.

Checks and Stripes are Never Out
Checks & stripes at Belstaff. Photo: Limor Helfgott
While Geometric patterns can overpower and flowers have been known to pall, checks and stripes never go out of style. Stripey cotton shirts, particularly in blue and white, and pinstripes are the favourite choice for low-key chic. Bold stripes were seen at Gareth Pugh and Marques’Almeida while more traditional brands such as Mulberry went down a more collegiate route. At Belstaff, we saw Buffalo check appearing on jackets, giving a feeling of American heritage. There were a few softer pieces too, including summer dresses and a cream blouse with frills which balanced out the overall tough leather and military direction. The collection was inspired by women such as Augusta and Adeline Van Buren, their motorcycle journey across America, and their campaigning for women’s right to enter the US army as messengers and dispatch riders (this year celebrating a centenary anniversary).

Filmy dresses at Jasper Conran SS17
Maxi Dresses, Slits and Slashes
Long dresses are still in ~ at Daks and Jasper Conran at least ~ both of which opened and closed their SS17 show with filmy maxis. Jasper Conran’s dresses were full of elegance and the suggestion of summer holidays. There were delicate floaty dresses decorated with flowers, leaves, birds and bees, painted and stitched on cotton organdy, silk and organza. These alternated with dresses with floral embroidery and applique in summery, sorbet hues. The beach ready dresses came in bold stripes in yellow and green, and full skirts were layered beneath cropped shirts In dusty shades of pink, peach and pale blue. Super high slits were seen at Mulberry and Topshop Unique. At Christopher Kane’s collection, religious images appeared on tops held together by metal rings and punched through with giant grommets. Paired with a super high slit skirt, it wasn’t a very Sunday school look.

Slashed skirts at Eudon Choi SS17
For his SS17 collection, Eudon Choi continues his recent exploration of the feminine aesthetic through the work of female artists. Inspired by the life and work of the American photographer Francesca Woodman. Her fascination with destruction can also be seen in the way Eudon Choi’s garments had slashes, cuts, openings and undone buttons. Voluminous skirts came slashed and sneak peeks of leather suspenders could be seen holding up mid-calf socks.

The Last Word in Make-Up
Dust down your hot brushes, this season's make-up looks are way more down to earth than you might think. Models were sent down the runway with every eye shadow you could think of with fresh skin and rich looking bronze tones. The key direction this season is healthy, flawless skin as seen at Teatum Jones and the Julien Macdonald show featuring dewy complexions. At Eudon Choi, a transparent glaze was swept across the cheekbones and at Topshop the glossy eyed look was worn by girl of the moment, Taylor Hill, with dusty burgundy eyeshadow with a shiny top coat. And finally, smudged lipstick is now having a moment: as seen at Gareth Pugh and Vin & Omi while Fyodor Golan brought back a Nineties vibe with blue lipstick.

Tap photographs for full screen slideshow
Bold summer stripes at Jasper Conran  

 Strong geometric shapes on a fluid dress at Jasper Conran

Filmy stripes on a long, summer gown at Jasper Conran

Fine stripes and painterly spots at Eudon Choi
Flowing and loose separates with white and stripes at Eudon Choi
Form-fitting glamour at Julien Macdonald  

Tight, black and shiny at Julien Macdonald 

Romantic sleeves at David Koma. Photo by Limor Helfgott 

 Ruffled black at David Koma . Photo by Limor Helfgott

Fuchsia all over at Top Shop Unique. Photo by Limor Helfgott

Diaphanous red and black at Sid Neigum. Photo by Limor Helfgott 

Strong reds and graphic shapes at Sid Neigum. Photo by Limor Helfgott

 Gothic drama at Vin + Omi. Photo by Liron Weissman

Big hair and lots of black at Vin + Omi. Photo by Liron Weissman

Leather and flowing florals at Teatum Jones

Contrasting patterns and bright colour at Teatum Jones

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